When you are desperate top record your first win of the season, you would probably rather not be going up against the Champions in your fifth round match. But that is exactly what the Toronto Wolfpack had to do as they took on St Helens in their home fixture being played at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington.
Everything pointed to a Saints win which could lift them up into second spot but after last weekends World Club Challenge disappointment the Wolfpack came into the game hoping to gain their first two points which could have lifted them as high as eighth in the table.
A slippy ball and cold hands were the victors in the opening exchanges. Both sides had opportunities but made errors until Jonny Lomax saw the Toronto defence open up for him as he took a pass and stooped to run ten metres to dive over under the crossbar. Tommy Makinson added a simple goal.
A suicidal Sonny Bill Williams offload on twenty minutes gifted the ball to Saints and on the last tackle Lomax dropped his shoulder and again ducked under the taklers to dive for the line. Makinson was again accurate with the boot, the visitors with a 12-0 lead.
Another error, this one from Tony Gigot allowed Saints a scrum on the Toronto twenty and from the back of the scrum the ball was fed to Bentley who carved through the defensive line for the third try. Makinson added his third kick of the game and Toronto were a distinct second best.
A Saints penalty, with two minutes left on the clock, took Saints to a four score lead with a 20-0 score line as Makinson found the target from thirty metres out.
After promising further points at the beginning of the second half it took Saints sixteen minutes for them to extend their lead. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook took a short pass from Theo Fages to step through the defence and score by the post. Makinson kicked his fifth goal of the night for 26-0.
A shoulder charge from Bodine Thompson saw referee Marcus Griffiths brandish the red card to the Toronto second rower, down to twelve players for the remaining thirteen minutes. Three tackles later Aaron Smith shrugged off four attempted tackles to score under the sticks and give Makinson a simple sixth goal.
A St Helens side, which never got out of second gear, cruised to simple 32-0 win to start to banish thoughts of last weekends disappointment. Toronto made a bucket full of errors and never showed any real threat of scoring against the champions.
It’s a fifth consecutive defeat for the Toronto Wolfpack who have had the worst possible start to their Super League life. Saints were far from their normal top drawer selves but they still had far too much in attack and defence for the basement side in the game. Saints are now up into second place while Toronto will go to Headingley becoming increasingly desperate to register some points.
Saints: Welsby, Grace, Bentley (T), Naiqama, Makinson (6G), Lomax (2T), Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook (T), Lees, Paulo, Smith (T).
Wolfpack: Gigot, Kay, Wallace, Leutele, Russell, O’Brien, McCrone, Sidlow, Ackers, Springer, Thompson (SO on 67), Williams, Wilkin. Subs: Mullally, Olbison, Miloudi, Wells.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.