1987 World Club Challenge

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1987 (1987) Foster's World Club Challenge  ()
1 2 Total
WIG Wigancolours.svg 4 4 8
MAN Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg 2 0 2
Date 7 October 1987
Stadium Central Park[1]
Location Wigan, United Kingdom
Referee John Holdsworth
Attendance 36,895
Broadcast partner
Commentator Graham Eadie
 < 1976

The 1987 World Club Challenge (also known as the 1987 Foster's World Club Challenge due to sponsorship by brewers, Foster's) was only the second game of its kind to be played between Britain's and Australia's respective domestic rugby league champions. Maurice Lindsay chairman of 1986–87 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan, invited 1987 NSWRL season premiers, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles to England for the game.[2] After this memorable match, the World Club Challenge was decided to be made an official annual feature on the rugby league calendar.

Match details[edit]

Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Position Wigan Wigancolours.svg
Dale Shearer Fullback Steve Hampson
David Ronson Wing Richard Russell
Darrell Williams Centre David Stephenson
Michael O'Connor Centre Joe Lydon
Stuart Davies Wing Henderson Gill
Cliff Lyons Stand-off Shaun Edwards
Des Hasler Scrum-half Andy Gregory
Phil Daley Prop Brian Case
Mal Cochrane Hooker Nicky Kiss
Ian Gately Prop Shaun Wane
Ron Gibbs Second-row Andy Goodway
Owen Cunningham Second-row Ian Potter
Paul Vautin (c) Loose forward Ellery Hanley (c)
Paul Shaw Bench Ian Lucas
Jeremy Ticehurst Bench Ged Byrne
Mark Brokenshire Bench Graeme West
Mark Pocock Bench Ian Gildart
Bob Fulton Coach Graham Lowe

The match was played at 7:45pm on a dry Wednesday night, the 7th of October at Central Park, Wigan. A crowd of 36,895[3] was in attendance for the game which was refereed by John Holdsworth (Kippax). Graham Eadie was on hand as a match commentator.

No tries were scored in what was a closely fought and, at times, spiteful encounter. Michael O'Connor opened the scoring for Manly with a successful penalty kick in only the second minute. Tempers flared as the match went on, punctuated by more penalties and a few unsavoury incidents:

  • Manly forward Ron Gibbs became the first person to be sent off in a World Club Challenge match for illegal use of the elbow when taking out Joe Lydon high after he attempted a drop-goal;
  • an all-in brawl erupted after Dale Shearer was lifted in a tackle then started a punch-up in the ruck with Brian Case;
  • after taking Paul Vautin over the touchline, a group of Wigan defenders went on to take him over the fence;
  • later, when Shearer brought down Lydon in defence, he appeared to step on his opponent's head as he got up after making the tackle.

Amongst all of these incidents Wigan's David Stephenson kicked four penalties, which in the end would prove decisive. The score was 8 - 2 in favour of the home side as the final whistle blew,[4] prompting the overjoyed Wigan supporters to flood onto the field to celebrate with the players.

Wigan 8 Manly-Warringah 2
Goals (4):
David Stephenson
Goals (1):
Michael O'Connor


  1. ^ "Wigan move quickly to set up showpeice with Maroons", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1988)
  2. ^ Wilson, Andy (3 October 2010). "Wigan prepare to slay Dragons after crushing St Helens in Grand Final". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  3. ^ AAP (25 January 2001) "World Club Championship Factbox" AAP Sports News (Australia)
  4. ^ Wilson, Zack (24 February 2011). "Wigan heroes of 1987 to parade before PROBIZ World Club Challenge". code13rugbyleague.com (UK: Code13 Sports Media). Retrieved 26 February 2011. 

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