Brett Morris has starred in his Roosters debut as the 2018 NRL premiers became the equal-most successful team in World Club Challenge history.

Morris scored a first-half hat-trick as the Tricolours beat Wigan 20-8 in front of 21,331 fans at DW Stadium.

Coach Trent Robinson claimed a second WCC title as the Roosters drew level with the Warriors, adding a fourth WCC title to their trophy cabinet.

Playing in the centres for the first time in his professional career, Morris crossed the try line less than three minutes into his Roosters career.

Filling the shoes of centre Latrell Mitchell, the former Canterbury Bulldogs winger resembled the premiership-winner with a barnstorming first effort.

His second was even more impressive, dragging four defenders over the line and planting the ball down to make it two tries inside 10 minutes.

The 32-year-old's hat-trick was complete when he stood up England centre Oliver Gildart to cross in the 32nd minute.

Grand final hero Cooper Cronk got through the match unscathed in his first hit-out since undergoing surgery to repair a 14cm crack in his shoulder blade.

Cronk's left shoulder was put to the test inside the first minute when he copped a hit from Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin as the halfback kicked downfield.

He then used left shoulder to help put Wigan winger Liam Marshall into touch early in the second half.

A late hit from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on Wigan hooker Sam Powell had all 26 players come together for a midfield melee midway through the first half.

Match: Wigan Warriors v Roosters

Round 1 -

Full Time
Wigan Warriors

Home Team

Wigan Warriors

Scored 8 points
Roosters

Away Team

Roosters

Scored 20 points

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • GEM
  • LIVEPASS

Tom Davies crossed for the home side moments later but the highlight of Wigan's night came when Marshall dove over to get the Super League champions to within eight points of the Roosters in the 65th minute.

Gildart had his coach Adrian Lam cursing and throwing his hands in the air when the centre failed to ground a grubber in the in-goal with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The Roosters sealed their 12-point win when giant winger Daniel Tupou leaped high above Davies to bring down a Luke Keary bomb and score centimetres inside the left touchline.

The victory means the Roosters remain undefeated in WCC matches, having been successful in the inaugural fixture in 1976, then again in 2003 and 2014.

It's also the ninth time an NRL team has beaten their Super League opponents in the past 11 matches, while the ledger is now level at 13 wins a-piece overall.

In more bad news for Wigan, back-rower Liam Farrell suffered a suspected torn bicep which could rule him out for up to three months.