Four Points: Toronto Wolfpack vs. Salford Red Devils
09/02/2020 by admin
Jon Wilkin Continues His Tireless Work
One of the most experienced Rugby League players on the planet, Jon Wilkin was brought to the Wolfpack ahead of their 2019 Championship season to help guide the Club to Super League. After playing a pivotal role in that successful endeavour last year, the 36-year-old shows no signs of slowing down in 2020.
In round one, Wilkin made 48 tackles, the second most of any player across the League. Against Salford he somehow took his defensive game up another level, finishing the fixture with 53 tackles. Wilkin’s total tackle tally of 101 is the highest for the Wolfpack and one of the most impressive numbers throughout the League after the opening rounds.
The Return of Gary Wheeler
A member of the Wolfpack’s inaugural squad, Gary Wheeler has been a part of the Club since its earliest days. Repeated, long-term injuries have unfortunately reduced his output across the journey however. Taking to the field just three times in 2019, Wheeler managed 12 games in 2018 and 13 in 2017. Over three seasons, Wheeler has scored a total of eight tries for the Wolfpack, but it took just seconds for him to register his ninth against Salford on Saturday.
Coming onto the field replacing Joe Mellor, Wheeler collected the ball immediately following the restart and pushed through several defenders to score a remarkable try, the first of the match. In the 54th minute, Wheeler crossed the line for his second four-pointer, his third double in a Wolfpack jersey.
Sonny Bill Building
After beginning last weekend on the interchange bench, Sonny Bill Williams was named in the starting line-up for the clash against Salford and he looked solid from the opening whistle. On several occasions, Williams was able to keep the ball alive to the surprise of Red Devils defenders through a clever offload that regularly gifted the Wolfpack extra territory.
With ball in hand near the try-line, Williams looked increasingly dangerous as the match wore on. Williams has made no secret of the fact that he has plenty to work on as he transitions back to the sport where he began his career but from his efforts against Salford, he does not look far away from a breakout Super League performance.
Wolfpack Winless at AJ Bell Stadium
Saturday’s loss to Salford is the third time the Wolfpack have fallen short at AJ Bell Stadium in three attempts. Always rising to perform strongly in front of their home fans, the Red Devils played at AJ Bell Stadium 15 times in 2019, emerging with nine wins. With home wins so important in a long Super League season, Salford will be delighted to notch a victory in their 2020 Home Opener.
Toronto travel to AJ Bell Stadium again in 2020, with the rematch coming on Sunday May 31. Salford will then make the transatlantic journey to face the Wolfpack at Lamport Stadium on Saturday July 11, marking the Red Devils first time playing for Super League points on North American soil.