Match reports / Rugby League

Match report: Wigan 22-6 Cronulla

Wigan are now four-time world champions

Wigan Warriors beat Cronulla Sharks 22-6 on their way to becoming world champions thanks to a Joe Burgess hat-trick.

The Cherry and Whites started well and crossed in just the third minute when Oliver Gildart allowed returning winger Joe Burgess to finish acrobatically in the corner.

Cronulla back-rower Luke Lewis crossed the whitewash following a kick just minutes after the Wigan try but it was chalked off by the video referee owing to an offside.

The home side were applying pressure on the Sharks defence midway through the first-half as they forced consecutive drop-outs as well as an error from Lewis but Cronulla held on.

England international Burgess then got his and Wigan’s second as a quick set saw them motor their way up the field. The left side duo combined once again as it went through the hands of Williams and Gildart before Burgess added the finishing touch. Escaré added the extras and Wigan were 10-0 to the good after 25 minutes.

The Australian outfit went over with nine minutes of the first half remaining as Kurt Capewell dived in at the corner but the video referee ruled it out due to the ball being grounded on the in-goal line.

Cronulla had a number of sets on the Warriors line late on but Shaun Wane’s side showed great spirit to keep the Sharks out and went into the break 10-0 ahead.

Wigan came out in the second-half flying and scored a few minutes after the restart. France international Escaré skipped across the Cronulla defence before giving it to Gildart who threw a dummy and touched down. Escareé converted from the touchline to put his side 16-0 in front.

The Super League team continued to pressure the NRL side and forced errors on the Cronulla line and had good field territory for a large part of the second-half.

Cronulla fought back and pulled one back through Jesse Ramien. The winger latched onto a grubber kick to score in the corner. James Maloney’s conversion attempt was successful, Wigan 16-6 Cronulla.

Shane Flanagan’s side had chances late on but determined Wigan defence helped maintain a two-try lead.

Wigan looked home and hosed before Burgess completed his hat-trick on the full-time hooter as he pounced on a grubber from Williams. Sam Powell rounded off a solid display with the conversion and Wigan were crowned World Club champions with a 22-6 win.

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