- Wigan defeat Penrith Panthers in WCC with controversial try
- Soccer fans on social networks explode against referees
- Wigan sealed a record fifth title with a 16-12 victory
Penrith have been denied their first World Club Challenge title, with the powerful NRL team beaten by Super League champions Wigan in England.
A controversial second-half try from Warriors center Jake Wardle and a brave defensive display sealed the hosts a record-equalling fifth title in a 16-12 victory, while again preventing the Panthers from completing his trophy case.
The Super League champions join the Sydney Roosters in winning five world titles.
It was the second year in a row that Penrith failed to add the world title to their NRL premiership, having lost a heartbreaking 13-12 to St Helens at home in 2023.
The Panthers will ask plenty of questions about Wardle’s bid to win the match at the sold-out DW Stadium, awarded despite the England international appearing to touch the ball well below the line.
The Penrith Panthers have lost in the World Club Challenge against Wigan
Wigan center Jake Wardle was awarded a controversial try in the 53rd minute.
A video review failed to overturn the on-field try decision, with replays of the apparent fall obscured by the bodies of Penrith duo Brian To’o and Dylan Edwards as they made desperate tackles.
To make matters worse for Penrith, center Taylan May touched down for what would have been a dramatic equalizer with a thrilling effort on the final play of the match, but inconclusive evidence meant the on-field decision not to try stood.
Football fans watching at home took to social media to complain about the referee.
“I will NEVER complain about NRL referees again,” one fan wrote.
“Panthers stolen by terrible referee/video referee,” another responded.
“The Panthers stole Wigan’s last try tonight it was never a try, the typical English referees made the wrong decisions again,” said a third.
It was far from the Panthers’ best performance, making six errors in 25 minutes after they fell behind as their attack struggled to click.
The NRL champions took time to find their rhythm and struggled from the start to find the right option in the final tackle plays, held without a kick in four sets in the first 20 minutes as they failed to capitalize on the dominance territorial.
It was the second year in a row that Penrith failed to add the world title to their NRL premiership.
Wigan sealed a record fifth title with a thrilling 16-12 victory.
Instead it was former Parramatta talent and Wigan five-eighth Bevan French who made the killer plays with some delightful passes.
He created the first points of the match with a double cut ball for winger Abbas Miski, while another pass helped former Gold Coast forward Kruise Leeming beat to give the hosts a 10-6 lead.
Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary got his team on the board, scoring after Miski failed to handle his own kick, while number one Dylan Edwards gave them the lead at half-time with a quick run from close range which opened a hole in Wigan. defending.
Coupled with his last-gasp effort, May had the best chance to steal victory late on with a sizzling line break, only for a brilliant cover tackle from Wigan No.1 Jai Field to drag him into touch.
Penrith finished without winger Sunia Turuva, who landed awkwardly on her knee after jumping to try to avoid a dead kick.