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Jennings makes history as Sydney battle past Wigan

ESPN staff
February 22, 2014 « LIVE: Arsenal v Sunderland | Chartbeat test »
Sydney Roosters fought off every chance of a Wigan Warriors comeback and were worth the win © Getty Images
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Wigan Warriors were out-battled 36-14 by Sydney Roosters as Michael Jennings became the first player to score a hat-trick of tries in a one-off World Club Championship match.

Roosters started well with Jennings touching down before James Maloney converted to make it 6-0. Matt Bowen denied Sonny Bill Williams with a last-ditch tackle, but Sam Moa capitalised soon after - Maloney again converted to further extend the lead.

Midway through the first half, Jennings doubled his tally with a second try and Maloney made it a trio of conversions to give the Roosters an 18-0 lead at the break.

Joe Burgess gave Wigan hope after the break but Jennings soon gave the home side further advantage with his history-making third try. Maloney converted once more.

Josh Charnley and Matty Smith combined to reduce the deficit back to 14 points, before Charnley scored a second try to further give hope of a comeback.

However, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Shaun Kenny-Dowall put the game beyond doubt as they both went over while Maloney kept his 100% record with a further two conversions.

"I feel good. [Roosters coach] Trent Robinson has treated us well and we've peaked at the right time. We're a second-half team and we're disappointed with the second half, but we're pleased with the win," Jennings said.

Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin admitted a slow start at Sydney's Allianz Arena cost them the final.

"It was a massive effort. We've come up against a world-class team," O'Loughlin said. "We didn't do ourselves justice in the first part of the game but we fought well. We just caused them some trouble but we just didn't do it for long enough."

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