LEEDS, England (AP) — Melbourne held off strong display by Leeds on Friday to become the first Australian team to claim a third victory in the annual World Club Challenge with an 18-14 victory over the English side.
Second rower Tohu Harris, fullback Billy Slater and prop Jesse Bromwich scored tries as the Australian champions completed their second win over the Rhinos in four years. The Rhinos staged two fightbacks to remain in contention at Headingley, but fell short in their final attempt to secure what would have been a record fourth victory in the global challenge.
Ryan Hall and Jamie Jones-Buchanan had tries for Leeds. Melbourne went up 18-8 through Harris' try, but Leeds fought back as Jones-Buchanan crossed the line. However, Melbourne's defense stood firm at the end, and the visitors even had late tries by winger Mahe Fonua and Gareth Widdop disallowed.