World Club Series

World Club Series: Warrington 4/1 to beat Brisbane

2017-02-17
A preview of the first match in the 2017 World Club Series.

Warrington are taking the World Club Series seriously and are 4/1 to be rewarded with victory against Brisbane Broncos on Saturdaynight.

Wayne Bennett's Broncos were the only NRL club willing to join champions Cronulla in a series which was launched amid high expectations two years ago when Russell Crowe cancelled a trip to the Hollywood Oscars in order to support his beloved South Sydney at St Helens.

A 39-0 rout that day demonstrated the gulf that still exists between the NRL and Super League, whose representatives have lost all six matches so far.

Wolves coach Tony Smith, whose side suffered an 18-12 loss to St George Illawarra in 2015, is aware of the onus on his side to fly the flag for Super League.

“Some teams don't want to be part of it but we certainly do,” Smith said. “It's a great opportunity for us to shine for Super League if we can. A couple of years ago we were just a little short against St George.”

Brisbane, who are one of three clubs to boast three World Club Challenge titles, are aiming for a hat-trick of wins in the World Club Series after getting the better of Wigan in each of the last two years.

They are 1/6 to extend that winning run and 43/50 to overturn a 14-point deficit on the handicap.

Bennett has left behind new signings Benji Marshall and Korbin Sims, younger brother of Warrington forward Ashton, but a star-studded line-up includes internationals Matt Gillett, Darius Boyd, Josh McGuire, Sam Thaiday, Alex Glenn and Jordan Kahu, as well as exciting half-back pair Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford.

The Broncos are still in pre-season but Gillett insists they are taking the match seriously.

“We want to keep it simple,” he said. “All we can do is work on little things like competing all the time. Win or lose, we need to come off the field knowing we did a good job.

“We were lucky enough when we got in we got to watch a bit of them play. They are a big side and a physical side, but if we can contain their forward pack and aggression that will help us get the win. It is difficult conditions over here so we are going to have to work hard.”