Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson insists the World Club Series must be allowed to grow despite watching his side heap more misery on Super League with a 38-12 rout of St Helens.
NRL clubs achieved a 3-0 whitewash of the cream of Super League in the inaugural series in 2015 and th ere was a familiar feeling as a weakened Saints, humiliated 39-0 by South Sydney a year ago, went down tamely in the opening game of the three-match tournament.
The focus now turns to St Helens' neighbours Wigan, who host Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night, before Leeds and North Queensland Cowboys provide the climax with Sunday's World Club Challenge, and Robinson warns against any knee-jerk reaction to Friday night's one-sided match.
"The next two games are going to be crackers," said Robinson, who was Super League coach of the year in 2011 during his spell with Catalans Dragons.
"It's here to stay, I don't think questioning it is a good idea. It's about loving it and investing some time and thinking about how to get the best out of it."
Robinson had plenty of sympathy for St Helens, who were again without England hooker James Roby as well as highly-rated centre Mark Percival, and were fragile after suffering a shock 44-10 defeat by Salford a week earlier.
Trailing 22-0 at the break, Saints at least spared themselves another whitewash as centre Dominique Peyroux scored his first tries for the club in an improved second-half performance which pleased coach Keiron Cunningham.
Robinson, who had taken his squad to Dubai for a training camp as part of their pre-season preparations, saw his side quickly shake off the rust against a side already feeling wear and tear from the opening fortnight of Super League.
"It's hard for the Australian teams coming over but we've only had one focus," Robinson said. "The Super League teams have to play a couple of games. I f you train a whole off season and play that game as your sole focus, sometimes it's easier.
"And also injuries cost St Helens tonight. Losing Roby was huge loss, Percival was as well and there was no Jon Lomax."
Robinson sprang something of a surprise by leaving out new signing Joe Burgess, the former Wigan winger, who lost out to another youngster, Latrell Mitchell, but insisted the England international would get plenty of game time in his first season in the NRL.
"It was probably the toughest call," Robinson said. "Latrell has been there all off-season, whereas Joe has had five or six weeks with us.
"But he's a very good player and he'll play a lot of NRL this year."News Now - Sport News