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“The best by a long distance” – Sam Tomkins on the greatest team of the summer era

Rivalries often cloud people’s judgement in sport and especially in rugby league, given its gladiatorial nature.

However, England captain Sam Tomkins has been open enough to admit that, despite his Wigan background, the current St Helens team are clear as the best in Super League history.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the Saints secured a 24-12 win over Leeds Rhinos to claim their fourth consecutive Super League title, Tomkins admitted there isn’t even a discussion to be had on who the best team of the summer era is anymore.

“They are the best by a long distance,” said Tomkins. “Saints have the ability to go hard longer than any other team.

“The first game this year of the 2022 season was a replay of last year’s Grand Final. We (Catalans Dragons) travelled away to play St Helens and it was a brutal game.

“We went as hard as we possibly could, and we just could not do it as long as St Helens did it.

“It is the consistent theme of St Helens. They just outmuscle teams, outwork teams and before the game Paul Wellens said they have a ‘team first’ mentality and it is clear when you watch it.

“Everyone is doing it for the team and there are no individuals.”

Another side Tomkins has experienced a number of run-ins with down the years is the Leeds Rhinos, however, he was quick to pay Rohan Smith’s team credit for their turnaround in 2022.

“The reason Leeds lost tonight wasn’t because they played bad or put in a lack of effort, they have just played the best team of the summer era.

“It proves that in this sport, effort alone isn’t enough. Rohan Smith has done a great job in getting Leeds to the Grand Final, I’m sure he will be proud of the effort.”

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