The Toronto Wolfpack celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with 58 unanswered points during a 45 minute stretch to flatten the York City Knights in front of a crowd of 5,212 at Lamport Stadium. Winger Liam Kay starred for the Wolfpack with five tries, including four in a row, and was a constant threat to York City’s defence.
The opening 20 minutes of the game were scoreless as a result of sloppy errors, poor kicking and ill disciplined play by the Wolfpack. Fui Fui Moi Moi, sent from the field for a high tackle in a Challenge Cup fixture earlier in the season, was verbally cautioned for a high shot. The Knights failed to score against the Wolfpack’s strong defence in the opening exchanges in spite of a weight of possession and several opportunities to raid the Wolfpack try line.
Toronto’s Irish hooker Bob Beswick broke the deadlock with a crafty scoot from dummy half close to the York City try line. Just as it appeared the Wolfpack had regained the initiative Liam Harris of the Knights intercepted a pass from Toronto captain Craig Hall and scored untouched to tie the game at 6-6.
Capitalising on the shift of momentum, a bold play by York City to chip and chase on the second tackle 30 metres out from the Wolfpack try line paid dividends with winger Dee Foggin-Johnston crossing to give the Knights an unlikely lead of 12-6.
The shock of trailing inspired the Wolfpack into immediate action to retake control of the game. They showed their class minutes later with a slick backline move for Jonny Pownall to score in the corner. Soon after a towering bomb by Wolfpack playmaker Ryan Brierley was dropped by York City’s fullback and the Wolfpack scored again from the ensuing set. Moments before halftime the Wolfpack executed another set play which resulted in Liam Kay scoring close to the sideline. Toronto led at halftime 20-12.
The superior fitness and skills of the Wolfpack proved to be the difference in the second half. York City’s defenders struggled to contain the rampaging Wolfpack outfit as defenders struggled to retreat the 10 metres and were caught offside several times. The Wolfpack scored a further 44 unanswered points until York City hit back with two late consolation tries.
In the flashiest of his five tries for the game, Liam Kay scored after supporting a line break, grubbering past the last Knights defender and demonstrating superior determination to get to the ball first as it entered York City’s in goal. 20 year old Dee Foggin-Johnston showcased his potential by scoring a hattrick for the visitors.
The Wolfpack extended their unbeaten streak in league play to 13. The comprehensive victory over the fourth placed York City Knights further cements their position on top of the table. The Knights can take pride in scoring the most points against the Wolfpack of any Kingstone Press League One team this season.
Toronto Wolfpack 64 Tries: Beswick (24), Pownall (31, 50), Kay (35, 39, 42, 47, 51), Penkywicz (55), Bussey (58), Hall (60), Laulu-Togaga’e (68)
Goals: Hall (8/12)
York City Knights 22 Tries: Harris (25), Foggin-Johnston (28, 77, 78)
Goals: Robinson (3/4)