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22nd June 1997: Canberra 56 Wigan 22

Canberra Raiders v Wigan Warriors - 1997 Visa World Club Challenge Round 3.
Sunday 22nd June 1997. Kick Off 2:30pm (Local) / 5:30am (UK) at Bruce Stadium.

Match Report from www.theboltonnews.co.uk

Shell-shocked Wigan left for home after a second embarrasing defeat in Australia.

The euphoria of the opening win over Canterbury has been completely swept aside by two awful displays against the top Aussie clubs.

Only a spirited fightback saved them from the biggest humiliation in their history.

The Warriors trailed 42-6 at half-time in the Visa World Club Championship and were in danger of a worse defeat than their record 58-3 loss to Leeds in 1972.

The Warriors were shell-shocked after three tries in the first 11 minutes. The first two came from basic errors when the ineffective Henry Paul passed blind and the ball was intercepted by flying centre Brett Mullins who raced 85 metres to score. Full-back Paul Koloi was slow to retrieve a kick through, slipped, and allowed New Zealand centre Ruben Wiki, who was racing through, to score. It was a sad game for Koloi who was eventually banished to the wing. Paul reverted to full-back and winger Jason Robinson went to stand-off.

But by then it was too late as although Wigan made yards on attack they made far too many errors and their tackling was woeful.

The Raiders' green machine was in full flow and tries came almost at will through Luke Priddis, Bradley Clyde, Wiki, Noa Nadruku and David Westley with Dave Furner kicking all seven attempts. All Wigan had to show was a Martin Hall try after Tony Smith had chipped ahead and an Andy Farrell goal.

Wigan lifted themselves after the break and Kris Radlinski shot through a gap to score before Farrell kicked ahead twice for Radlinski and Gary Connolly to score. Farrell added two goals.

Raiders eased off the gas but still managed to keep the margin with tries through Priddis, Clyde and Nadruku and one goal from Furner.

A bitterly disapopointed Hughes said: "The platform was set when we gifted them two early tries from schoolboy mistakes. I didn't think we had a problem in attack but our defence was appalling. If we get a good hiding then so be it. Some of the pleyers will look at what has happened and realise they are not as good as they thought they were. Some players will benefit from it, some will run away."

Wigan: Koloi, Johnson, Radlinski, Connolly, Robinson, Paul, Smith, Hansen, Hall, O'Connor, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Cardiss (for Koloi 32), Lester (for Hall 39), Tallec (for O'Connor 68), Holgate.

Other Information

Attendance: 9,098

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