Toronto Wolfpack blanked by St. Helens for fifth consecutive loss

The Canadian Press

WARRINGTON, United Kingdom — The Toronto Wolfpack's tough introduction to English rugby league's top tier continued on Saturday.

The Wolfpack dropped a 32-0 decision to reigning Super League champion St. Helens Saints to remain winless through a club-record five games.

It marked the first time in the Wolfpack's four seasons that the transatlantic team has been held scoreless.

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"To be nilled by such a great defensive team in St. Helens, there's no shame in that," said Toronto forward Jon Wilkin, a former Saint. "It was a shame how we attacked. I thought that was our problem. We just couldn't get it going with the ball.

"Credit to St. Helens, they just played with a different intensity to us. But we're learning. There's a misconception… I don't know what people expected of us this year but we've just got a lot of learning to do and we'll do better."

Toronto (0-5-0) has now faced the top five teams from last year's standings, with all five fixtures on the road.

The Wolfpack lost Bodene Thompson in the 67th minute when he was red-carded for a shoulder charge to the head.

Jonny Lomax scored a pair of tries for St. Helens (3-1-0), while James Bentley, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, and Aaron Smith had one apiece. Tommy Makinson kicked five conversions and a penalty.

"There's no easy games in this league. I played with St. Helens for 17 years and you never took anything for granted," Wilkin said. "There's no easy games in Super League, they're all tough and none are tougher than these guys tonight. They've been the best side in Super League for three years and you can see why."

Playing in swirling wind and rain at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Toronto shot itself in the foot with a string of mistakes. It completed just eight sets from 16 attempts and missed 10 tackles in the first half, trailing 20-0 heading into the second.

The game was officially a home contest for the Wolfpack but was held at the Warrington Wolves stadium because of the Canadian winter.

The loss was Toronto's most lopsided this season. They'll look to rebound ahead of their sixth-round clash against Leeds Rhinos on Thursday. Leeds (3-1-0) is coming off a 36-point win over Warrington.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

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