Wigan v Brisbane: Key points
Brisbane made it two straight wins for the NRL sides in the World Club Series in commanding fashion, trouncing Wigan seven tries to two on Sunday morning (Australian time). Here are the key take-outs from their win.
Eden locks up wing spot
With injuries and departures in the Brisbane backline, Wayne Bennett will be handing someone an NRL debut on the wing come Round 1 and despite claims from Tom Opacic and Carlin Anderson, that spot has now surely been tied up by former Hull Kingston Rovers fullback Eden.
The 25-year-old had a busy night and was polished in both attack and defence. A couple of great reads helped shut down Wigan attacking plays and safe hands under a high bomb got the Broncos off the hook before either side had scored. He had one long line break in support of James Roberts to help set up a Corey Oates try then scored one of his own after receiving the ball from Anthony Milford off a scrum 10 metres out from his side's try-line. A match-high 223 metres underscored his contribution.
Nikorimas continue tour of torment
In the series opener, the Roosters were minus halfback Mitch Pearce, who is currently stood down, and were forced to call up rookie half Jayden Nikorima. The teenager brought calmness and quality that belied his tender years as he helped his side dominate St Helens. A day later, Jayden's older and slightly more seasoned brother was relied upon to fill the gap opened up by a suspension to Ben Hunt arising from the 2015 grand final – and boy did he deliver. A series of quality touches capped off by two tries proved he is right at home in the top grade as players named Nikorima have dominated in each of the opening two games. An honourable mention also to Milford, who was dominant in attack with his regular halves partner absent.
Gulf in class expanding
Wigan were expected to provide healthier competition than St Helens, who were comfortably disposed of by the Roosters 38-12 in the World Club Series opener but the Broncos won by an even bigger margin. The fact the Super League sides are already a couple of rounds into their current season should indicate an advantage in terms of match fitness and combinations while both NRL sides so far have been without their first choice halfbacks. There was a period Aussie teams struggled in the World Club Challenge but whether it's a case of the NRL sides taking it more seriously or a slipping of standards from the UK sides, the gulf in class seems as wide now as it ever has.
Old man Parker still has it
Brisbane's all-time greatest point-scorer may not play the full 80 too often these days but he can still guide the ball between the sticks when needed. Parker casually slotted six goals from as many attempts (Jordan Kahu nabbed the other, from in front right before half-time with Parker on the bench) against Wigan. Two of those were from right on the touchline, proving Parker still has the quality required from the kicking tee. Just over 100 metres, one offload and 25 tackles was an otherwise quiet return for the hard-working lock in a match where his side's backline ran riot.