Stats Insider: History blows against the Storm

Melbourne shape up against Leeds this weekend for the World Club Championship – facing a battle against history to take the crown from the English champions.<br><br>Manly may have wrestled the title from the Rhinos last year but the somewhat sad overall tally is 11 wins for the northern hemisphere teams to just six wins for the Australasian competitors – and that includes a Brisbane title during Super League!<br><br>Seven of the past nine matches have gone the way of the British champions in matches played during their season, under their conditions, so the Storm have an uphill battle even before you factor in their injury concerns.<br><br>No Cooper Cronk, Brett White, Chase Stanley and Sika Manu weakens the NRL champions somewhat but they will still have formidable names like Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater suiting up.<br><br>The Rhinos’ big guns include the likes of Danny McGuire, Keith Senior, Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield, while they also boast former NRL stars Brent Webb, Scott Donald, Kylie Leuluai, Ali Lauitiiti, Greg Eastwood and Danny Buderus who will reignite his rivalry with Cameron Smith.<br><br>The two teams faced up for this very title in early 2008, with Leeds prevailing 11-4. The Rhinos have played in three WCC finals, winning in 2005 and 2008 before falling to Manly last year. If they can win in 2010 they will join Wigan and Bradford atop the list of most titles.<br><br>Should Sinfield score just two points he will join Frano Botica as the highest points-scorer in World Club Challenge finals history – and if he kicks two goals he’ll also equal the same man for most goals. <br><br>Forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan and half McGuire can join the top try-scorer’s list with a try in the match, while a double or more would see them hold the record themselves.<br><br>With the record at just three tries Senior, Ryan Hall, Donald, Ryan Hoffman and Danny Buderus all have a chance to move up the list as they all have one WCC try each.<br><br>Melbourne has won the title before, back in 2000 over St Helens, before their 2008 loss.<br><br>In the 17 contested finals the average winning margin is just over 15 points, so we won’t be guaranteed a close encounter. The wining side has scored on average 26.6 points to the losers’ 11.4.<br><br>But in the past three years the average winning margin is just over six points – which seems to support the high regard this game is now held on the rugby league calendar on both sides of the equator. <br><br>Leeds have played four competition matches leading into the encounter and have a 2-2 record while the Storm warmed up with a 34-10 win over Harlequins RL in London.<br><br><b>MOST WCC TITLES</b><br>3 – Wigan Warriors (1987, 1991, 1994), Bradford Bulls (2002, 2004, 2006)<br>2 – St Helens (2001, 2007), Leeds Rhinos (2005, 2008), Sydney Roosters (1976, 2003), Brisbane Broncos (1992, 1997*)<br>1 – Manly Sea Eagles (2009), Melbourne Storm (2000), Widnes Vikings (1989)<br><br><b>BIGGEST WINNING MARGINS</b><br>38 – Sydney Roosters 38 def St Helens 0 (2003)<br>38 – Melbourne Storm 44 def St Helens 6 (2000)<br><br><b>SMALLEST WINNING MARGIN</b><br>2 – St Helens 20 def Brisbane 18 (2001)<br><br><b>HIGHEST-SCORING GAME</b><br>71 – Leeds Rhinos 39 def Bulldogs 32 (2005)<br><br><b>LOWEST-SCORING GAME</b><br>10 – Wigan 8 def Manly 2 (1987)<br><br><b>MOST INDIVIDUAL POINTS</b><br>24 – Frano Botica (Wigan, Widnes)<br>22 – Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters)<br>22 – Kevin Sinfield (Leeds)<br>17 – Paul Deacon (Bradford)<br>16 – Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)<br>15 – Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens)<br>14 – Michael Withers (Bradford)<br>14 – Andrew Johns (Newcastle)<br><br><b>MOST TRIES</b><br>3 – Darren Smith (Brisbane), Michael Hancock (Brisbane), Marcus Bai (Melbourne/Bradford)<br>2 – Martin Offiah (Wigan), Ben Ross (Melbourne), Scott Hill (Melbourne), Wendell Sailor (Brisbane), Nick Zisti (Hunter), Julian O’Neill (Brisbane), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Jamahl Lolesi (Bulldogs), Lesley Vainikolo (Bradford), Michael Withers (Bradford), Robbie Paul (Bradford), Andrew Johns (Newcastle), Stuart Fielden (Bradford), Ade Gardner (St Helens), Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens), Anthony Watmough (Manly), Brett Stewart (Manly), Danny McGuire (Leeds), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds).<br><br><b>MOST GOALS</b><br>12 – Frano Botica (Wigan, Widnes)<br>10 – Kevin Sinfield (Leeds)<br>9 – Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters)<br>8 – Paul Deacon (Bradford)<br>6 – Michael DeVere (Brisbane)<br>5 – Iestyn Harris (Bradford), Brad Watts (Melbourne), John Brass (Roosters)<br>4 – Matt Orford (Manly), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Sean Long (St Helens), Dane Stephenson (Wigan)<br><br><b>MOST FIELD GOALS</b><br>2 – Kevin Sinfield<br>1 – Joe Lydon (Wigan), Sean Long (St Helens), Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens), Paul Deacon (Bradford)<br><br><b>WCC RESULTS</b><br><br>1976 – Eastern Suburbs 25 def St Helens 2<br>1987 – Wigan 8 def Manly 2<br>1989 – Widnes 30 def Canberra 18<br>1991 – Wigan 21 def Penrith 4<br>1992 – Brisbane 22 def Wigan 8<br>1994 – Wigan 20 def Brisbane 14<br>1997* - Brisbane 36 def Hunter 12 (Super League)<br>2000 – Melbourne 44 def St Helens 6<br>2001 – St Helens 20 def Brisbane 18<br>2002 – Bradford 41 def Newcastle 26<br>2003 – Sydney Roosters 38 def St Helens 0<br>2004 – Bradford 22 def Penrith 4<br>2005 – Leeds 39 def Bulldogs 32<br>2006 – Bradford 30 def Wests Tigers 10<br>2007 – St Helens 18 def Brisbane 14<br>2008 – Leeds 11 def Melbourne 4<br>2009 – Manly 28 def Leeds 20