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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 07:56 GMT
World Club Challenge
By Chris Joynt
St Helens 1992-2004

I can't wait for Friday's World Club Challenge match between St Helens and Brisbane Broncos.

St Helens great Chris Joynt
Joynt was at St Helens for 12 seasons, winning four Grand Finals

I've got some awesome memories of the match against Brisbane in 2001. It certainly ranks up there with the highlights of my career.

To be crowned the best club side in the world is a special achievement - not many people can put that on their CV.

We had to do it the hard way though. We were 18-6 behind and really up against it, especially when you think about some of the players in the Broncos team.

Darren Lockyer, Wendell Sailor, Shane Webcke, Gorden Tallis and Petero Civoniceva were all there to name but a few.

But we weren't short of talent ourselves. We had Kevin Iro, Paul Newlove, a young Paul Wellens. And our six, seven, nine and 13 combinations - Sean Long, Tommy Martyn, Keiron Cunningham and Paul Sculthorpe - would probably have got in any team in the world at the time.

LIVE COVERAGE OF ST HELENS V BRISBANE BRONCOS ON RADIO FIVE LIVE SPORTS EXTRA FROM 2000 GMT ON FRIDAY

It was a bitterly cold January night in Bolton. We seemed to have every type of weather that day - hail, snow, sleet. If I'm honest, the weather probably had a bearing. It certainly didn't do the Aussie boys any favours.

We got back into it with a try from Longy. It was what you'd normally think of as a prop forward's try even though he's not a big fella - he just dipped his shoulder and buried his way over.

Paul Newlove went around Sailor and I was on the inside to score and I think that made it 18-18. The next thing we got down their end and Longy kicked a drop-goal. Soon after Scully kicked another one and we'd won it.

We knew it was going to be a very tough game. The year before we got beat heavily (44-6) by the Melbourne Storm and we certainly didn't want to feel as bad as we did that night.

We had a lot to prove, and the British game at the time was almost on its knees. Australia had dominated the 2000 World Cup, and we needed to put down a marker for the British game. It meant a lot to us.

Darren Lockyer
Lockyer played in the 2001 World Club Challenge match as well

We put in a lot of hard work beforehand at a pre-season training camp in Lanzarote - it was probably the most intense training I've ever been involved in - so we were confident that if we stuck to our game plan we'd get the rewards.

Looking ahead to Friday's game, I'm not too worried by St Helens losing two on the bounce in Super League.

They've undeniably got off to a slow to start this season, but I don't think it counts for much in a one-off game like the World Club Challenge.

I know they'll be seething about the two defeats, but I wouldn't read too much into them.

For me, the key has to be in the forwards.

Lockyer was rightly voted best player in the world last year, but he is only allowed to play if his forwards are on top. If they do, he'll have a field day.

Likewise, if Saints start to dominate. Sean Long will have a lot of fun. Both sides have got the ammunition to put the other away, but it will only be after a lot of hard graft in the forwards.

I certainly wouldn't back against the Saints. But I do know that the Broncos have had a really good preparation for this game, they've come over very early, had a warm-up game so you can tell that they really are taking it seriously.

I think it will be a very close game, but the home advantage should just see St Helens home.


Teams for 2001 World Club Challenge:

St Helens: Wellens; Hoppe, Iro, Newlove, Sullivan; Martyn, Long; Fairleigh, Cunningham, Nickle, Shiels, Joynt (capt), Sculthorpe
Replacements: Stewart, Matautia, Jonkers, Stankevitch

Brisbane Broncos: Lockyer; Tuqiri, De Vere, Kelly, Sailor; Berrigan, Prince, Webcke, Priddis, Civoniceva, Tallis (capt), Carlaw, Lee
Replacements: Meyers, C Walker, S Walker, Harrison.

(Chris Joynt was talking to Phil Harlow)



SEE ALSO
St Helens crowned world's best
26 Jan 01 |  Rugby League
Big boost for British league
27 Jan 01 |  Rugby League
Hard act to follow
21 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
St Helens v Brisbane Broncos
20 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Broncos expect Saints to hit form
20 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Lockyer pleased with warm-up win
15 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Lockyer tempted by Super League
15 Feb 07 |  Rugby League


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