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Dragons win World Club Challenge
St George Illawarra win rugby league World Club Challenge for the first time with a 21-15 win over Wigan.
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2011 21:52 GMT
Brett Morris of St George Illawarra Dragons muscles his way over the line for his team's third try [GALLO/GETTY]

Cameron King gave a glimpse of the future as the Australian St George Illawarra Dragons downed the Wigan Warriors 21-15 to win rugby league’s World Club Challenge on Sunday in Wigan.

The 19-year-old, hotly tipped to have a bright future with the Dragons, was on the pitch for a matter of minutes but proved the difference scoring the winning try in the 55th minute.

King showed great awareness to dive over from dummy half but his ecstasy soon turned to agony as he was taken off injured with what proved to be a torn pectoral muscle.

Australian international Brett Morris and Wigan centre George Carmont earlier both scored first-half doubles to pave the way for King's heroics with the score 15-14 to the Warriors at the interval.

The World Club Challenge pits the champions of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League competitions to determine the world's best rugby league club.

Bennett loss

St George were dealt a major blow shortly after landing on British soil with inspirational coach Wayne Bennett flying home after learning that his mother-in-law had been taken seriously ill.

Bennett is the most revered and successful coach in the game and his absence was clear for all to see as Wigan literally flew out of the blocks and into the lead at the DW Stadium.

With just two minutes on the clock scrum-half Paul Deacon's lofted kicked was met by an on-rushing Carmont high in the air and he made no mistake in notching the first score.

Deacon completed the Warriors sensational start by comfortably kicking the goal before being called into action again to slot a second just two minutes later.

However it wasn't long before the Dragons found their wings with Morris responding to Carmont's try with one of his own in the tenth minute.

Wigan centre Martin Gleeson, struggling with a hamstring injury in the build up and soon-to-be substituted, failed to collect a routine pass with St George working the tackles for Morris to score.

Matt Cooper soon followed Morris' lead taking his career tally of tries for St George to 103 latching onto a pass from skipper Ben Hornby and powering over the whitewash.

Stray ball

Soward, this time, kicked the goal before Carmont made light work of the Dragons defence after picking up a stray ball in the 22nd minute for his and Wigan's second try.

Deacon kicked the extras however St George continued to cause problems down Wigan's right and were back in front as the half wore to a close through Morris' second.

Soward missed the goal to leave the scores level at 14-14 before an instinctive drop goal moments before the half-time hooter from Sam Tomkins saw Wigan end the half narrowly ahead.

St George dominated the second half and finally broke through a resolute Wigan defence in the 55th minute after a great piece of intuition from teenager King.

King's joy was short-lived as he went straight off holding his right shoulder before a last-gasp Joel Tomkins ankle tap prevented Morris putting the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute.

Soward used his initiative to slot a drop goal and extend St George's lead to six which they nearly saw clawed back had Amos Roberts not throw into touch with the try line begging at the death.

Source:
AFP
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