As the Coronavirus pandemic worsens across much of the UK, tough decisions will have to be taken by Super League and the RFL in when rugby league will be safe to restart. Before the unanticipated halt of the competition last Sunday, Kristian Woolf’s St Helens fell to an uncharacteristic defeat at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to in-form Castleford, leaving them sixth in the league standings.
That defeat to Darrell Powell’s side cemented Saints’ third defeat in the competition, on par with 2019 when the Merseyside team went onto to claim Super League supremacy. However, with a stoppage in play, for the time being, MerseySportLive will take a look back at St Helens’ top-five stand-out players of the 2020 season so far.
- Jonny Lomax
New head coach Kristian Woolf hasn’t been afraid to throw the well-rounded halfback into his line-up, with Lomax enjoying a healthy Spell in the Australian’s side. With two tries, seven assists and three man of the match performances, the Wigan-born player will be hoping to keep up his early-season form for the remainder of the competition.
2. Zeb Taia
The forward has warmed to life under a new head coach, making a maximum seven appearances to start the year, scoring one try in the process. As the season halts at round six, Taia has made 702 metres with 107 carries, fifth highest in the Super League standings and the second-rower will be hoping he can maintain his early-season form and push Saints up the league standings.
- Jack Welsby
After consistent fullback Lachlan Coote sustained a round one injury in a victory over Salford, 19-yeard-old Welsby stepped into the number one jersey and took control. The teenager has really grown into the position over the past couple of rounds and with three tries and one assist in the first seven games at both fullback and centre, the youngster seems to have found his feet in the top-tier.
- Luke Thompson
The news that consistent forward Luke Thompson would be leaving the Totally Wicked Stadium at the end of 2020, St Helens was shaken to the core. A series of excellent performances throughout much of 2019 helped Saints to Grand Final glory and he will be aiming to go out with a bang.
With three tries from seven appearances already this campaign – including one in the Club World Challenge defeat to Sydney – Thompson and his partner Alex Walmsley has started the season strong. However, it is still early days and we expect the hard-hitting pair to follow up on their already terrific starts.
5. James Roby
After captaining his home town side to their sixth Grand Final win last October, hooker James Roby was eager for more glory. The 34-year-old is a born winner and with four appearances already the campaign, despite an injury, Roby has the ability to change a game. However, after a disappointing start, Woolf will be needing the experience of his captain to turn their fortunes around and guide Saints up the league standings.
Featured image – Platy Photos