Wolves breathe new life into World Club Series by taming Broncos


Warrington Wolves provided Super League with a welcome shot in the arm by capitalising on a dream start to beat Brisbane Broncos 27-18 in Saturday's World Club Series fixture.

Since the World Club Challenge was expanded to incorporate additional matches in 2015, NRL teams had recorded six victories from six against their English counterparts - winning last year's three games by an aggregate score of 118-28.

However, it was a different story at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as Warrington - inspired by debutant Kevin Brown - stormed into a 20-point lead inside the opening quarter and did enough to hold off a predictable fightback that saw the intensity rise.

The start of the NRL season is still 12 days away, while Warrington had the benefit of coming into this game with a competitive fixture under their belt, having kicked off their Super League campaign last week.

And the hosts certainly appeared much sharper in a dramatic opening. Joe Westerman charged down a Ben Hunt kick at the end of the Broncos' first set and, although the loose forward did not quite have the pace to reach the line, Brown was up in support to mark his Wolves bow with a second-minute try.

After Declan Patton had converted from the left touchline and added a penalty, Tony Smith's men soon surged further clear, Brown putting Ryan Atkins over.

David Mead's drop of a high kick from the hugely influential Brown then gave Warrington another strong platform, which they ruthlessly took advantage of as Matty Russell cut in off the right flank to finish an eye-catching move.

Brisbane finally responded through an acrobatic finish from Corey Oates, set up by an Andrew McCullough chip over the top, but the Wolves had a fourth try before the interval when Tom Lineham followed up an Atkins line-break by burrowing over for a score confirmed by the video referee.

James Roberts scored from deep inside his own half to give the Broncos the start they needed to the second period.

Yet Warrington were still two scores clear by the time tempers flared around the hour mark, two separate melees erupting amid an increasingly hostile atmosphere.

As the visitors infringed repeatedly, Patton retained his composure to kick a drop goal, before adding a penalty - his fifth two-pointer - that put the Wolves 15 ahead with 14 minutes remaining.

Lineham's failure to ground the ball in goal gifted Jordan Kahu a late try that he converted, but it was too little, too late for the Broncos as Warrington held on to raise anticipation ahead of Sunday's World Club Challenge between Wigan Warriors and Cronulla Sharks.