World Club Series: St Helens 12-38 Sydney Roosters

By Phil CartwrightBBC Sport
Dale Copley
Dale Copley's try gave Sydney Roosters a 22-0 lead over St Helens at half-time
St Helens (0) 12
Tries: Peyroux 2 Goals: Walsh 2
Sydney Roosters (22) 38
Tries: Evans, Guerra 2, Ferguson, Copley, Kenny-Dowall, Tupou Goals: Hastings 5

Sydney Roosters ran in seven tries as they beat St Helens in the first match of the 2016 World Club Series.

The NRL side led 22-0 at half-time, with Aidan Guerra crossing twice and Kane Evans, Blake Ferguson, Dale Copley, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Daniel Tupou also crossing for the Roosters.

Dominique Peyroux touched down twice for Saints at Langtree Park.

Australian sides have won all four games since the World Club Series was expanded to involve six teams in 2015.

Wigan and Leeds will attempt to gain Super League's first win in the event at the weekend, with the Warriors hosting Brisbane Broncos on Saturday and the Rhinos taking on North Queensland Cowboys a day later.

St Helens were beaten 39-0 by South Sydney Rabbitohs in last year's World Club Challenge - a record margin in the annual contest between the champions of Super League and Australia's NRL - and for much of this match it looked as though they would end up without a point once more.

The hosts, who were thrashed by Salford in Super League eight days earlier, got themselves on the scoreboard when visiting full-back Ferguson spilled a high kick in his in-goal area and centre Peyroux scored his first try for the club.

But Saints could not thwart Sydney's young half-back partnership of Jackson Hastings and Jayden Nikorima, with 19-year-old Nikorima particularly impressing after being forced off the field inside the first three minutes with a knock to the head.


Warrington assistant coach Richard Agar told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

"The Roosters did a really efficient job, scored some brilliant tries, played with a lot of control and patience, were really strong in their defensive systems and made it difficult for St Helens to make any headway.

"Saints had a couple of good periods early on and, when the Roosters were down to 12 men when Dylan Napa was sent to the sin-bin, they looked like they might mount a little bit of a comeback.

"But over the 80 minutes they made too many mistakes and they were simply outgunned by a better team."

Match reaction

St Helens captain Jon Wilkin told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

"I thought there were two or three opportunities for us to get into the game. At those crucial times, we conceded possession or they broke away and scored length-of-the-field tries.

"I don't think the score reflected our effort and our intent. I thought our forward pack were immense at times.

"We just lacked a bit of execution and composure, and ultimately you just have sometimes step back and say they had some outstanding outside backs who came up with some amazing plays. "That probably typifies one of the big differences between our competition and the NRL."

St Helens: Owens; Makinson, Peyroux, Turner, Swift; Wilkin, Walsh; Walmsley, Burns, Savelio, Greenwood, Vea, McCarthy-Scrasbrook.

Replacements: Amor, Tasi, Thompson, Knowles.

Sydney Roosters: Ferguson; Tupou, Copley, Mitchell, Kenny-Dowall; Nikorima, Hastings; Evans, Friend, Napa, Guerra, Aubusson, Taukeiaho.

Replacements: Moa, Liu, Leuluai, Henderson.

Referee: Ben Thaler