Bennett, Robinson back WCS concept

Victorious NRL coaches Wayne Bennett and Trent Robinson have implored World Club Series organisers not to abandon the concept despite a second consecutive year of thrashings handed out by Australian teams.

Bennett’s Brisbane were a class above England heavyweights Wigan on Saturday night, running out 42-12 winners 24 hours after Robinson’s Sydney Roosters had thrashed St Helens 38-12.

The World Club Challenge will round out the three-match series on Sunday, with NRL premiers North Queensland heavily favoured to beat Super League champions Leeds.

But despite the magnitude of the defeats this series and the prospect of a likely second consecutive 3-0 victory to NRL sides, following their success in the inaugural series last year, both Robinson and Bennett backed the future of the concept.

Bennett also threw his support behind a proposed expansion which could result in games being played in Australia.

“The Cowboys would have sold out (their ground) and we would have had 40,000 plus at least in Brisbane,” Bennett said.

“That can’t be a failure. When Wigan played the Roosters in Sydney (in 2014) they got a fair crowd.

“People want to see English players against Australian clubs. It is a lot better than a trial match.

“I thought last night St Helens tried extremely hard and Wigan did too.

“St Helens just didn’t have the quality of players Roosters had.

“I expected a tough game and the score got away from them a bit.”

After his side’s clinical dismissal of St Helens on Friday, Robinson was adamant that the series should be nurtured rather than abandoned.

“It’s here to stay, I don’t think questioning it is a good idea,” he said.

“It’s about loving it and investing some time and thinking about how to get the best out of it.”

Robinson suggested the possibility of including overseas clubs and nations in the annual Nines tournament might be a further avenue to grow rugby league globally.

“All I know is that we need competition,” he said.

“For me, I think the Nines is an awesome concept as well to develop our game.

“I think (we could have) the clubs playing in a Nines competition, international games, countries playing in a Nines competition.

“I think that’s a way to get one-off weekends, and have lots of games and develop our game.”

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