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WATCH: Cronulla comprehensively defeated by Wigan in World Club Challenge
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WATCH: Cronulla comprehensively defeated by Wigan in World Club Challenge

Joe Burgess was the star of the show as Wigan Warriors ended a 23-year wait to be crowned world club champions.

Joe Burgess scored a magnificent hat-trick as Wigan Warriors beat Cronulla Sharks 22-6 at a raucous DW Stadium to win the World Club Challenge for a record fourth time.

MORE: Watch - NRL discard buries Sharks with World Club Challenge hat-trick | Watch - Cronulla controversially denied try against Wigan

Not since 1994 had Wigan been crowned world club champions, but their 23-year wait to achieve that feat again came to an end in a breathless showdown in their own backyard.


Warrington Wolves defied the odds to defeat Brisbane Broncos on Saturday and Wigan struck another huge blow for Super League by stunning the NRL premiers a day later.

Burgess endured a miserable season in the NRL last year before returning home, but the winger showed Sydney Roosters what they are missing with a brace in the first half, during which Cronulla had much of the play and felt aggrieved when two tries were not awarded by the video referee.

Oliver Gildart, whose father Ian won the World Club Challenge for Wigan 30 years ago, added a third try for the hosts and, although Jesse Ramien's score gave Cronulla hope, Burgess put the icing on the cake right at the end with his third try.

Wigan defended heroically throughout and got their rewards, becoming only the second Super League side to win the annual match in the last nine years.

Burgess felt he was not given enough chances to show what he was capable of during a disappointing stint with the Roosters, but took just four minutes to make an impact on the big stage.

The winger produced an acrobatic finish in the corner after Wigan worked the ball briskly out to the left and Cronulla were left puzzled two minutes later when Luke Lewis plucked a high ball and crashed down, but the try was not given by the video referee due to offside.

Shane Flanagan's men cranked up the pressure, but Wigan defended for their lives and were 10-0 ahead after 23 minutes when Burgess stepped inside to finish clinically and this time Morgan Escare added the extra. 

Nothing was going right for the Sharks, who did not get the verdict from upstairs for a second time as Kurt Capewell was adjudged to be on the line when he touched down in the corner.

Things went from bad to worse for Cronulla when Gildart added a third try five minutes after the break following some magnificent work from fleet-footed full-back Escare.


Escare converted expertly to put Wigan in command at 16-0, but Ramien raced onto a grubber to dot down and James Maloney ignored the jeers to reduce the deficit to 16-6 with 20 minutes remaining.

Wigan stood firm, though, and Warriors fans taunted the visitors with chants of '2-0 to the Super League' before Burgess dived over to complete his treble and Escare converted just before the hooter sounded.

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