Half-backs the key to WCC - Sculthorpe

St Helens captain Paul Sculthorpe believes that Penrith?s superior experience at half-back could prove to be the difference in Friday?s World Club Challenge clash against Bradford.

The Bulls will be without influential skipper Robbie Paul and Great Britain scrum-half Paul Deacon for the big game at the McAlpine Stadium, while the Panthers will be able to call upon the skill and know-how of Australian Test star Craig Gower and former Dally M winner Preston Campbell.

In the absence of his two first-choice pivots, Bulls coach Brian Noble looks likely to field Karl Pratt and Leon Pryce at six and seven, and this is where Sculthorpe feels that the NRL champions will hold the ace card.

Speaking exclusively to http://www.talkin-rugby.co.uk at the launch of the new Talkin Rugby store in Shaw, near Oldham he said: ?Penrith are very strong in the half-backs and this is where Bradford could struggle.

?The Bulls will definitely miss Paul Deacon?s kicking game and this could prove to be the difference between the two sides.?

Sculthorpe was the matchwinner in St Helens own World Club Challenge triumph over Brisbane three years ago and, despite Bradford?s injury setbacks, he still feels that the Bulls are capable of bringing the world crown back to the Northern Hemisphere.

?It?s a one-off game, played over 80 minutes, so anything can happen. Penrith have the edge at half-back but the Bulls have made some great signings, they?ve got a very strong pack and they?ll be well led by Jamie Peacock ? so they still have a great chance. Whatever the outcome, I?m certain it?ll be a great game.?

Coutesy of http://www.talkin-rugby.co.uk The new Talkin Rugby store is situated at 14 Milnrow Road, Shaw, Lancs, and will stock a full range of merchandise and equipment from both codes of rugby. Customers can also shop online at http://www.talkin-rugby.co.uk

The business has been set up by Peter and Andy Deakin, along with business partners, Andy Walker and former Warrington forward Lee Tyman. For further information, contact [email protected] (07782129986)