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1st June 1994: Brisbane 14 Wigan 20 (World Club Challenge)
Posted by cherryandwhite on October 02 2013 - 22:40

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wednesday 1st June 1994

Brisbane Broncos 14 Wigan 20
ANZ Stadium, Brisbane
MMI Insurance World Club Challenge

Kick Off: 7:30pm (10:30am UK)


Wigan Team
1.  Gary Connolly    
2.  Jason Robinson  T   

Sam Panapa


Barrie-Jon Mather


Martin Offiah

6.  Frano Botica    G4 
7.  Shaun Edwards    

Neil Cowie

9.  Martin Dermott    
10.  Billy McGinty    
11.  Denis Betts  T   
12.  Andy Farrell    
13.  Phil Clarke    
15.  Martin Hall    
16.  Paul Atcheson    
17.  Mick Cassidy    

Unsued Sub: 14. Va'aiga Tuigamala


1. Willie Carne, 2. Wendell Sailor, 3. Steve Renouf, 4. Chris Johns, 5. Michael Hancock, 6. Kevin Walters, 7. Allan Langer, 8. Glenn Lazarus, 9. Kerrod Walters, 10. Andrew Gee, 11. Mark Hohn, 12. Alan Cann, 13. Julian O'Neill. Subs: 14. John Plath, 15. Peter Ryan, 16. Brett Galea, 17. Chris McKenna.

Tries: Wendell Sailor, Michael Hancock, Julian O'Neill
Goals: Julian O'Neill 1


What made this win for Wigan so special was not only because it was in the Broncos back yard but also because nobody expected a Wigan win.

Wigan were up against it! The Broncos had visited Central Park the season before and convincingly defeated us 22-8. Pre Match both first choice test props, Kelvin Skerrett and Andy Platt had been ruled out injured. Weeks before the game coach John Dorahy had been sacked despite leading us to a League and Challenge Cup double. They also had to deal with an Australian referee in Greg McCallum and a 54,000 strong Brisbane support!

Back then though, Wigan were not daunted by a prospect like this and simply turned up and did what they did best - play magnificent rugby.

So into the game they went under the leadership of caretaker coach Graeme West.

The Brisbane side that day included two players who would go on to play for Wigan later in their careers - Steve Renouf and Julian O'Neill. The side also included big names like Michael Hancock, Wendell Sailor, Alfie Langer, Glenn Lazarus and Kerrod and Kevin Walters.

The Wigan side was full of all the big names from that period including a much younger Gary Connolly, Mick Cassidy and Andy Farrell, who all of course still play for the club day.

As the game got under way, it was imperative that Wigan scored first and they did just that after 6 minutes.

A beautiful kick from Shaun Edwards dissected full back Willie Carne and winger Wendell Sailor, they let it bounce and it was touched down by Denis Betts. The try took some scoring. Betts had to lean back to ground it but showed great confidence and ability in doing so. Botica converted to make the score 6-0.

Wigan then opened up a 12-0 lead on 16 minutes. Barrie Jon Mather did well to finish off a flowing left to right move.

This is how Channel 9 Australia's commentator Ray Warren described the try: "This is Mather stepping through, he's got support with Offiah, he runs away from Offiah and scores himself!

"Big Mather, all six foot seven of him, treated Martin Offiah with destain! He looked at him and said your joking this (try) is mine!"

Phil Clarke sent Mather away, he beat Steve Renouf and once the dummy pass to Offiah fooled Sailor, he was over. Botica converted for an unbelievable 12-0 lead.

In the second quarter of the match it was all Brisbane. But all they could show for their efforts was a 27th minute try from Sailor. He burst down the wing to defeat Offiah and score in the corner but the failed conversion meant Wigan had a 2 score lead at the break - 12-4. Defence was the key, as during the first half, Jason Robinson, Sam Panapa, Offiah and Gary Connolly had all denied Brisbane with try saving tackles.

Probably the key moment that decided the game came just three minutes into the second half. Michael Hancock knocked on, Robinson picked up the ball and was away.

As Ray Warren described again: "Robinson picks up the dregs. He runs for the line. Sailor to beat! Does that! and puts it down!

Is (Robinson) having a game or what? He'll be the mayor of Wigan!

Robinson did well to beat Sailor and in the end this try proved to be the difference. Botica's conversion made it 18-4 and a comfortable Wigan victory looked on the cards.

But Brisbane had other ideas and came fighting back. Hancock made up for his knock on with a try on 46 minutes. Then Julian O'Neill scored on 59 minutes and at 18-14 the pendulum of the game was swinging to Brisbane.

However this was a special Wigan side who had great mental strength and a Herculean defensive effort and a 66th minute penalty from Botica saw them bring the cup back home with a 20-14 win. A series of drop goal attempts were attempted by failed.

At the final hooter the Wigan players rejoiced. If you look back at the video, notice how knackered the players are as they walk the steps to lift the trophy. They had put in so much effort, Shaun Edwards had to take a breather at the top of the steps before lifting the cup aloft!

Arguably this was the peak of our dominance in the early 90s but as it turned out, this was just the beginning of us achieving the immortal grand slam!

One thing is for certain, it was without doubt the greatest moment in the history of Wigan Rugby League, if not the greatest moment in British club Rugby League history.


7th Minute Brisbane 00 Wigan 04 Try: Denis Betts
- Brisbane 00 Wigan 06 Conversion: Frano Botica
16th Minute Brisbane 00 Wigan 10 Try: Barrie Jon-Mather
- Brisbane 00 Wigan 12 Conversion: Frano Botica
26th Minute Brisbane 04 Wigan 12 Try: Wendell Sailor
Half Time Brisbane 4 Wigan 12
43rd Minute Brisbane 04 Wigan 16 Try: Jason Robinson
- Brisbane 04 Wigan 18 Conversion: Frano Botica
46th Minute Brisbane 08 Wigan 18 Try: Michael Hancock
59th Minute Brisbane 12 Wigan 18 Try: Julian O'Neill
- Brisbane 14 Wigan 18 Conversion: Julian O'Neill
66th Minute Brisbane 14 Wigan 20 Penalty Goal: Frano Botica
Full Time Brisbane 14 Wigan 20


6th Minute Brisbane 14. John Plath for 6. Kevin Walters
23rd Minute Brisbane 15. Peter Ryan for 3. Steve Renouf
23rd Minute Wigan 15. Martin Hall for 9. Martin Dermott
26th Minute Wigan 17. Mick Cassidy for 10. Billy McGinty
50th Minute Wigan 16. Paul Atcheson for 4. Barrie Jon-Mather
65th Minute Brisbane 16. Brett Galea for 10. Andrew Gee
74th Minute Brisbane 17. Chris McKenna for 14. John Plath
Unused Wigan 14. Va'aiga Tuigamala




Greg McCallum (Australia)


Live Coverage on Channel 9 Australia - Ray Warren, Peter Sterling & John Monie
Live Coverage on Sky Sports - Studio: Peter Hutton & Andy Gregory

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