Skipping Oscars night for rugby league match pays off for Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe saw South Sydney Rabbitohs defeat St Helens 39-0 Sunday.

Story highlights

  • Russell Crowe saw his South Sydney Rabbitohs side win the World Club Series
  • Crowe took over the rugby league team he has supported since a boy in 2006
  • The actor missed the Oscars Sunday to watch the game at Langtree Park

(CNN)He can usually be found on the red carpet on Oscars night, but this year Russell Crowe opted to take in a rugby league game instead.

While the stars of showbiz were in Los Angeles Sunday for the biggest night in the film calendar, Crowe a few hours earlier was in Merseyside, England to see his South Sydney Rabbitohs side defeat St Helens to claim the World Club Series title.
Crowe, who picked up the Best Actor gong in 2000 for his role in Gladiator, co-owns the Australian side, who took the game at Langtree Park by a record World Club Challenge-winning margin score of 39-0.
    Crowe has supported the Rabbitohs since he was a boy and took over the club in 2006 after purchasing a majority stake for a reported £1.5 million ($2.3m).
    The 50-year-old has helped oversee a remarkable turnaround in the side's fortunes in that time, taking it from a club that was once on the brink of insolvency to the very top of the sport.
    A first National Rugby League title in 43 years for the previous-perennial struggler in October was followed by its coronation Sunday as the best team on the planet.
    Glenn Stewart, Dylan Walker, Greg Inglis, Joel Reddy, Luke Keary and Chris McQueen all touched down for tries for Crowe's team at Langtree Park, while Adam Reynolds was on hand to provide a drop goal to ensure the points record -- the previous winning margin had been 38 points.
    English side St Helens is the only team to have failed to register a point in the World Club Challenge or the World Club Series, having also gone down 38-0 in 2003 to Sydney Roosters.
    The World Club Series is an annual rugby league competition played between the champion clubs of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League.
    Previously known as the World Club Challenge, this year's edition was expanded to include a further four teams.