A-lister Russell Crowe leads social media praise

Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin lifts the trophy
Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin lifts the trophy

Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe led the social media salute to Wigan’s World Club Challenge win.

“Well done Warrington and Wigan Rugby League #superleague #WorldClubSeries,” he tweeted.

He followed it up with a message to comedian Johnny Vegas, saying, “not a bad weekend for #superleague”.

Vegas – a die-hard St Helens fan – replied, and joked: “Made up for #superleague but Pie Eaters with bragging rights is a tough burden for a Saint. Give it a rest Wigan ;).”

Saints themselves were among the clubs to congratulate Wigan – beaten opponents Cronulla Sharks did likewise - and there were brief congratulatory tweets from MP Lisa Nandy, footballer Joey Barton and ‘94 World Club Challenge winner Martin Offiah.

During the game, ex-Warrington prop Ryan Bailey urged referee Robert Hicks to “put your whistle away”.

And Press Association journalist Ian Laybourn joked: “ Paul Gallen has spoken to the referee more often than I’ve spoken to the wife over the last four days.”

Former Great Britain captain Paul Sculthorpe praised John Bateman’s display, and Warrington skipper Chris Hill agreed.

“Well done to Wigan Warriors, I thought John Bateman was outstanding,” Hill wrote.

Manchester United star Michael Carrick, a Wigan fan, missed the game as he was playing at Blackburn in an FA Cup tie.

“Just catching up, missed the game as I was at work today. Congrats lads, massive achievement,” he tweeted.

Australian TV commentator and ex-coach Phil Gould was guarded with his praise. “Wigan tough and relentless. Sometimes that’s all you need to win big games,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australian journalist Steve Mascord pointed out no officials from the NRL had travelled to England for the game.

The NRL’s absence of social media updates on the competition’s own Twitter feed may have been down to the kick-off time – which meant the game was played in the early-hours Down Under.

It also meant there were 11 lower-league games in England on at the same time.

“Personally would have liked to have watched the WCC,” said Bradford Bulls captain Leon Pryce. “In my opinion all fans and players should be given a chance to watch such a big game.”