World Club Challenge TipsOwen Fulda - 11:02, 17th February 2017
The Super League and NRL square off this weekend with the showpiece game being the World Club Challenge between English champions Wigan Warriors and NRL kings Cronulla Sharks on Sunday. Brisbane Broncos take on Warrington Wolves in Saturday’s match and we’ve got betting tips in rugby league’s annual clash of the hemispheres...
World Club Challenge Tips
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Warrington Wolves v Brisbane Broncos Tips
Broncos -14 Points @ Evens - BET NOW!
The English side are massive outsiders at 9/2 in this battle with Aussie side the Broncos who only finished fifth in the NRL last season. Three teams turned down the invitation which somewhat undermines the prestige of the competition. Nonetheless Warrington will be looking to cause a huge upset but there’s no doubt they’ll be up against it.
Brisbane Broncos are a best price of 4/15 and they have plenty of experience of taking on English sides. This is the third consecutive year that they’ve made the trip over - 12 months ago they played Wigan Warriors off the park in a crushing 42-12 win that illustrated the quality gap between the two leagues.
Warrington slumped to a 20-12 defeat to the Catalan Dragons in their opening Super League fixture and I fear that they could take a real hammering from a Broncos side who are tuning up for the start of their NRL season. The Aussies are too short to back in the match-result market so I’m going to recommend backing Brisbane to overcome a 14 point handicap at evens.
Wigan Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks Tips
Warriors HT / Sharks FT @ 13/2 - BET NOW!
Wigan coach Shaun Wane says Cronulla "have weaknesses" that he believes he can exploit and his team are 11/4 to do so. And no team has won more World Club Challenge games than Wigan with three, with the last coming way back in 1994 when Martin Offiah was their talisman. However, seven of the last eight have been won by NRL sides which shows you how much things have turned around towards the Australian teams.
Cronulla are are best price of 5/11 to claim to the win but I see this being a low-scoring affair as both teams are missing some of their most effective attacking players through injury. Expect the two sides to sound each other out early on but the emotion of the occasion will drive Wigan forward with gusto. They will batter the Sharks straight out of the gates and should have run up a lead by the break.
But Cronulla will not be flustered by going behind. They have a serious amount of quality in their side. Of those who have travelled, Jack Bird and Wade Graham are ones to watch. Bird was selected for the State of Origin team last year. He's very elusive in the centres and will be hard to contain while Graham will keep Wigan's defence under maximum pressure.
We’re guaranteed second-half fireworks as the Sharks will have to put it all on the line, even with the start of the NRL season just a couple of weeks away. I’d back the second period to be the higher scoring of the two at 10/11 and I reckon Shane Flanagan’s side will come from behind to break Wigan hearts and record a famous win.
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