Toronto Wolfpack suffer nilling at hands of St Helens


29th February 2020, Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, England; Betfred Super League, Toronto Wolfpack v Saint Helens : Jonny Lomax (6) of St Helens goes in for a try to make it 0-4

The agony goes on for Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack as they crashed to a 32-0 defeat by champions St Helens and had a man sent off.

Second rower Bodene Thompson was shown a red card for a shoulder charge to the head of Saints forward Matty Lees as the Wolfpack went down to a fifth defeat from as many games at the start of the season.

Brian McDermott’s team were already trailing 26-0 when they were reduced to 12 men on 67 minutes in what was designated as Toronto’s second home game of the season but played at St Helens’ neighbours Warrington.

There was little reward for Toronto’s former St Helens captain Jon Wilkin, who has delayed knee surgery in order to help out his team in their hour of need.

McDermott handed a debut to Wigan forward Jack Wells, who has joined the club on loan, but the Wolfpack still look woefully under-strength at this early stage of the season.

Saints were in no mood to show any mercy and they also demonstrated little sign of a World Club Challenge hangover as they raced into an 18-0 lead after 26 minutes in the bitingly-cold wind and rain at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

An early fumble 10 metres from his own line by winger Matty Russell set the pattern for an error-strewn first half by the Wolfpack.

With England prop Alex Walmsley setting a superb lead up front, Saints playmaker Jonny Lomax had all the time he needed to get the attack moving and he proved devastating near the line as he sliced through for two tries in the first 21 minutes.

Another dropped ball, this time from full-back Tony Gigot, paved the way for St Helens to add a third try through makeshift centre James Bentley on 26 minutes but it was his last significant contribution as he hobbled off shortly afterwards after injuring a leg.

Toronto struggled to get out of their own half and Tom Makinson took the opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking over when he kicked a penalty two minutes before the break, to add to his three conversions.

The Wolfpack demonstrated more resistance in the second half as they faced the icy wind but even Sonny Bill Williams was rarely able to trouble the champions’ defence.

Substitute prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook forced his way through the heart of the Toronto defence for Saints’ fourth try on 55 minutes it went from bad to worse for the Canadian club when Gigot went off with a facial injury and six minutes later Thompson was shown his red card.

Saints instantly took advantage of the extra man as replacement hooker Aaron Smith burrowed his way over for his team’s fifth try and Makinson took his goal tally to six from six attempts.

The defeat leaves Toronto entrenched at the foot of the table as McDermott next prepares for a trip to his old club Leeds on Thursday.