Spirited Saints fall to Sydney

Sydney Roosters became the most successful side in World Club Challenge history as they battled to a 20-12 victory over St Helens.

The Roosters became the first side to ever retain the trophy and win the title for a record fifth time, but were made to work for it a by a resilient St Helens side that threw plenty at the NRL champions throughout the 80 minutes.

Saints had countless chances in the second half, but a combination of wastefulness and excellent defence meant the Super League champions couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities provided to them.

The battle down the middle was ferocious, with four of the world’s best props going head-to-head. It was one of them, Saints’ NRL-bound forward Luke Thompson, who opened the scoring in the opening ten minutes to instil hope of a Super League triumph.

But Trent Robinson’s Roosters hit back with two tries before the break as Daniel Tupou and Joseph Manu both crossed.

The second-half saw Saints camped on the Roosters’ line, but were just unable to execute to the level required to crack the NRL champions.

Then, Sio Siua Taukehiaho made a clean break down the middle of the pitch and offloaded to Luke Keary to end Saints’ hopes.

Alex Walmsley scored a late and deserved consolation for the Saints, but it was Sydney who took the spoils.

St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Bentley, Costello, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Paulo, Smith.

Sydney: Tedesco, Morris, Manu, Crichton, Tupou, Keary, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Tupouniua, Aubusson, Radley. Subs: Verrills, Liu, N. Butcher, Collins.