Our weekly #NRL Power Rankings are in. Where does your team ist? 👀 http://bit.ly/2pmXojj
17 hours ago
Bradford forward Stuart Fielden has called for next year's World Club Challenge to be played in Australia to prove the English teams can win the title anywhere.
Fielden believed Bradford's crushing 22-4 win over Penrith at McAlpine Stadium on Saturday would not get its due respect in Australia where excuses always cropped up.
English sides have won seven of the 10 contests to find the best rugby league club team in the world, but nine of the games have been played in England.
"I'd like to play in Oz. Maybe the excuses that we keep winning these things because it's over here and the travel and things, will stop," Fielden said.
"I'd like to do it to prove to myself and everyone else it's not that, it's the team that wins it.
"I think a lot of people will think them flying over here, that is why we beat Penrith and it had nothing to with the quality of our team.
"It'd be good to go over and prove that's not the case."
The Great Britain front rower has some allies in the Australian camp with NRL chief executive David Gallop and Penrith boss Shane Richardson pushing for the match to be played down under.
"The status of it has lifted over the years and it's now an important part of the calendar," Gallop said.
"I think the spot in the calendar is not too bad, we certainly need to have a look at what hemisphere we play it in next time."
Although Penrith looked underdone in its first game since the grand final five months ago, Gallop said it would be impractical to reschedule the game to the end of the year after the respective grand finals.
Richardson said it was time to bring the contest to Australia where it could also play a big role in rugby league's ongoing battle against rugby union.
"I've got to take my hat off to the English rugby league, they wanted to stage this game when nobody else would and they turned it into the game it was last night," Richardson said.
"Overall, it was a great commercial for rugby league at a club level, a great commercial for the international game.
"Hopefully, we can stage it in Australia at some stage.
"The game of rugby league at club level eats every day of its life rugby union, it's far superior.
"It's a better game to watch, it's a great game to watch at that level."
Bradford set up its second world title in three years with brutal defence and an astute high kicking game which created two of its four tries and rattled Penrith fullback Rhys Wesser out of the game.
Tries to former Canberra winger Lesley Vainikolo, Leon Pryce and Logan Swann, in his first game for the Bulls since signing from New Zealand, took Bradford to a 16-0 halftime lead.
Penrith hooker Luke Priddis touched down early in the second half, also off a bomb, but the Panthers had little hope and were finished off by a last minute try to Rob Parker.
Fielden, who was part of the Great Britain team which lost last year's Ashes series 3-0 said it was time to translate the success at club level to the international stage.
"I think they're gradually getting the word that we're not a million miles away," he said.
"Hopefully we can make sure that message is passed along in the tri nations."