Melbourne win World Club Challenge
March 1, 2010 - 7:51AM
Melbourne have won rugby league’s World Club Challenge with a come-from-behind 18-10 win against Leeds at Elland Road.
Storm skipper Cameron Smith contributed 10 points off the boot as the NRL premiers this morning (AEDT) made amends for their 11-4 defeat to the Rhinos in 2008.
Tries to Luke MacDougall and Anthony Quinn ensured the trophy would remain in Australian hands after Manly beat three-time defending Super League champions Leeds last year.
The home team thought it had scored a try within the opening minute when Brent Webb ran over but he was held up by MacDougall on the last tackle.
Leeds were on the board a short time later when a penalty for off-side yielded two points for Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield.
Melbourne levelled in similar fashion via Smith.
Leeds teenager Kallum Watkins dived over the line in the left corner but spilled the ball before Sinfield left the pitch after a heavy knock to his leg.
Rob Burrow stepped in to kick the Rhinos two points clear and a melee ensued moments later when Danny Buderus was dumped to the ground by Hep Cahill having already off-loaded the ball. However, Melbourne regained their composure and once again drew level off Smith’s boot.
Leeds finally scored a try in spectacular fashion eight minutes after half time.
Smith’s grubber kick hit the boot of Leeds’ Australian centre Brett Delaney and landed in the path of of Danny McGuire, who powered down the length of the field to put the Rhinos four points ahead.
Burrow’s conversion pushed the margin out to six, but Melbourne responded through MacDougall, who slid over on the right after Slater had been knocked to the ground by Kylie Leuluai and the Storm players moved the ball neatly across the field.
Smith made amends for his earlier contribution to the Leeds try by slotting home a tough conversion from the sideline.
Another successful kick by Smith after referee Richard Silverwood received an earful from Keith Senior put the visitors in front for the first time.
They survived a late scare when Watkins again failed to control the ball as he made a desperate leap over in the right corner and a last-gasp try by Quinn put the result beyond doubt.