CHESHIRE club, Widnes added the world title to their British and European championships when they beat Australian champions, Canberra at Old Trafford in Manchester, before a crowd of 30,786.
The Chemics, as Widnes were known then, scored six tries to three in an epic Foster’s 50,000 pounds event, although the Raiders looked far superior in the opening 20 minutes.
Raiders’ players will tell you now that they partied hard after winning their inaugural ‘Sydney’ title the same year, in an extra time classic against Balmain.
That partying continued on the flight to the UK, and in their first few days in Manchester.
Skipper, Mal Meninga scored after only eight minutes against Widnes, and when Chris O’Sullivan crossed soon after it seemed the good times would never end.
But Widnes got on the board in the 26th minute when hooker, Paul Hulme scored following excellent lead-up work by his brother, David (halfback), and prop, Joe Grima.
Five minutes before halftime, Widnes winger, Martin Offiah went over in the corner, and Welshman Jonathan Davis’s conversion meant Canberra led only 12-10 at the break.
Davis scored a try five minutes after the resumption, despite a high tackle from Raiders’ five eighth, Laurie Daley, who was sin binned for his trouble.
With Meninga off injured (replaced by Paul Martin) and the Raiders down to 12 men, Widnes capitalised scoring two tries. The Chemics scored again after Daley’s return and only a late consolation try by hooker, Steve Walters made the final score respectable.
WIDNES: Alan Tait; Andy Currier, Johnathan Davies, Darren Wright, Martin Offiah; Tony Myler, David Hulme; Joe Grima, Phil McKenzie, Derek Pyke, Kurt Sorenson (c), Paul Hulme, Richard Eyres; Inter: Barry Dowd, Paul Moriarty, Brimah Kebbie, David Smith.
CANBERRA: Gary Belcher; Matthew Wood, Mal Meninga (c), Laurie Daley, John Ferguson; Chris O’Sullivan, Ricky Stuart; Steve Jackson, Steve Walters, Glenn Lazarus, Dean Lance, Gary Coyne, Bradley Clyde. Inter: Phil Carey, Paul Martin, Mark Lowry, Craig Bellamy.
Referee: Francis Desplas (France).