Revised club format mooted as Wigan fall

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The Independent Online
Wigan were unable to repeat their first-round victory in the World Club Championship, thumped 34-0 in Brisbane yesterday by the Broncos on a day when talk was rife that the expensive series would be scaled down next season.

Wigan's loss was the eighth defeat for northern hemisphere teams in nine games at the weekend and after two rounds the European statistics stand at played 19, won two, lost 17.

The Canterbury coach, Chris Anderson, whose side thrashed Halifax 58- 6 on Sunday, confirmed he had already been advised of changes to the series format. "I think it's going to be the top four teams from both countries, that's what I've heard," he said.

Wigan competed well in the first half but trailed 10-0 to tries from Kevin Walters and Darren Lockyer. Their best chance of striking back came early in the second half, when Paul Koloi, a substitute for the injured Nigel Wright, sent Jason Robinson sprinting for the try-line. Amazingly, Robinson was caught by the Brisbane prop Brad Thorne, and almost immediately the Broncos went to the other end and scored through Tonie Carroll to take the match beyond Wigan's reach.

"There was no shortage of commitment," said the Wigan coach Eric Hughes. "But we caught Brisbane on a particularly good night."