Having won the Super League title for the last four seasons, St Helens secured their place in rugby league history with a World Club Challenge win over Penrith Panthers in Australia.
The first Super League side to win the World Club Challenge on Australian soil since 1994, this Saints side has become one of the best teams in the sport’s history.
Saints Secure Landmark Victory
Going to Australia as the heavy underdogs, BBC reported on St Helens and their remarkable 13-12 win in the outskirts of Sydney to take down the reigning NRL champions. Penrith, on their patch, was expected to come out on top, but a strong start from the visitors meant the hosts were always playing catch-up. Tries from Jack Welsby and Konrad Hurrell saw Saints storm into the lead while Mark Percival added a penalty. It might not be St Helens’ day when Izack Tago scored a try before Brian To’o’s score in the dying moments to take the game into extra time. Like so many times, St Helens found a way to win, and Lewis Dodd created the highlight moment with his drop-goal in golden-point spare time to secure the victory.
ExpressVPN reports that rugby is the third most searched-for sport online in the UK, competing with football and golf. With Saints becoming world champions at the start of the new season, interest is only likely to grow in the UK at this early stage of the Super League campaign. The victory against Penrith has also sparked the debate about the best Super League team in history.
Are Saints Now The Greatest?
Looking back at great Super League teams of the past, it’s tough to argue against St Helens side as the best there’s ever been. Winning the Super League Grand Final in four consecutive seasons has not been achieved in the competition’s history. Leeds Rhinos did manage to lift the trophy five times in six seasons during their period of domination between 2007 and 2012.
The Rhinos also won the treble in 2015, with Rob Burrow, Jamie Peacock, and skipper Kevin Sinfield leading them to glory. Leeds couldn’t back up the win in the World Club Challenge the following year and went down 38-4 to North Queensland Cowboys at Headingley Stadium. Given their consistency over the last four years and with different coaches at the helm, St Helens recent success has been unprecedented. New head coach Paul Wellens has made the perfect start to his tenure and has picked up where Kristian Woolf left off at the end of last term at Old Trafford.
Winning the World Club Challenge in Australia looks to have cemented St Helens’ place in Super League history as the greatest club side. The Merseyside outfit will be determined to add to the legacy this season.