World Club Challenge: Wigan well beaten by Sydney Roosters
Last Updated: 22/02/14 11:11pm
Michael Jennings: Scored three tries to dash Wigan hopes
Wigan tasted World Club Challenge defeat for a second time in four seasons as Sydney Roosters cruised to a 36-14 victory at Allianz Stadium.
Michael Jennings made history with a hat-trick of tries as the NRL champions produced a clinical performance to see off their Super League counterparts.
Wigan had emerged with a famous victory against Brisbane Broncos the last time the contest was held in Australia but could not repeat their 1994 heroics despite two tries from Josh Charnley.
The Warriors trailed 18-0 at half-time and, although they gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a brief fightback after the break, the hosts were never in danger of surrendering such a healthy lead.
Wigan, who lost to St George Illawarra Dragons at the DW Stadium in 2011, were looking to lift the trophy for a record fourth time.
But their hopes of achieving that looked slim from the off as the Roosters made the much stronger start and opened the scoring after just two minutes.
Jennings handed off Charnley to go in for the first try before former Hull prop Sam Moa took a short pass from hooker Jake Friend to crash over 10 minutes later. James Maloney added the extras to both scores, as he would for all six tries Sydney ran in.
Sydney's next score was set up when Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin - passed fit to play in the showpiece fixture - was whistled for a knock-on, with Friend's subsequent grubber kick being grounded by Jennings after Matty Bowen had failed to deal with the danger.
Full-back Anthony Minichiello narrowly failed to take Mitchell Pearce's high kick after out-jumping Bowen and Jennings twice went close as Sydney looked to add to their lead before half-time.
But Wigan, who lost forward Eddy Pettybourne with a shoulder injury after he had earlier been put on report for a high tackle, made a brighter start to the second half.
Half-backs Blake Green and Matty Smith created an overlap for teenager Joe Burgess to cross in the corner, with Smith being unable to add the conversion.
Smith made another error with the boot, sending a kick straight into touch to put his side under pressure, and then came up with a stray pass which was seized on by Jennings for his hat-trick, the first treble ever scored in the World Club Challenge.
Maloney's fourth goal made it 24-4 and left the Super League champions staring at a heavy defeat on the world stage.
However, they went on to produce their best spell of the match and were rewarded with two tries in nine minutes from prolific winger Charnley.
He pounced on an error by Minichiello, who failed to deal with Smith's high kick, for his first and then took Darrell Goulding's well-timed pass to double his tally on his 100th appearance in a Cherry and White shirt.
Smith kicked his first conversion as Wigan cut the deficit to 10 points but when prop Gil Dudson fumbled the ball on his own 20-metre area, the Roosters took advantage to wrap up the game.
New Zealand prop Jared Warea-Hargreaves plunged over from close range on 66 minutes and four minutes later Shaun Kenny-Dowall produced a flying finish at the right corner.
World Club Challenge 2014
Wigan's Eddy Pettybourne has been charged for an alleged high tackle during Saturday's World Club Challenge match.
Shaun Wane's enthusiasm for the World Club Challenge remains undimmed by Wigan's 36-14 defeat by Sydney Roosters.
Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin hailed a "massive effort" from his side after they were beaten 36-14 by Sydney Roosters.
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