The Toronto Wolfpack thoroughly outclassed the Newcastle Thunder in a 50 point shut out at Lamport Stadium. It was Toronto’s first home match in the Super 8s series and the Toronto locals responded by turning out for a club record attendance. Speedsters Liam Kay and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e starred for the home side with a hat-trick and brace respectively.
Toronto’s star winger Liam Kay scored on the Wolfpack’s first possession, catching a cross field kick uncontested before bumping past a poor attempted tackle from his opposite number. Newcastle kept the contest even for the next 20 minutes, enjoying a majority of possession and good field position. But as the starting middle forwards rotated off Toronto’s greater depth on the bench wrestled back control of the match.
Kay scored his second try following a backline move which easily stretched and broke the Thunder’s defensive line. Australian halfback Rhys Jacks scored next for the hosts, cutting through Newcastle’s defense on the play following a line break. Skipper Craig Hall got in on the action next by breaking Newcastle’s line and extending the lead to 22 points at the halftime break.
Newcastle lacked the attacking flair required to score against Toronto’s stingy defence. The visitors had numerous sets inside the attacking 20 metres but could not convert any opportunities into points. A lack of direction from the Thunder’s halves led to attackers being tackled on the last and kicks which were easily defended by Toronto.
Crowd favourite Fui Fui Moi Moi was next to score as he had too much power for Newcastle’s smaller forwards close to the try line. Kay completed his hat-trick by scoring the corner. Samoan international Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e broke a tackle and then had too much pace for the cover defence. Laulu-Togaga’e backed up this effort just two minutes later after stepping past Newcastle’s fatigued defence to score again. Centre Greg Worthington completed the team’s half-century by scoring from a scrum set move.
Toronto’s campaign for automatic promotion is back on track. The Wolfpack will need to lose two of their remaining three games in the Super 8s to have any chance of falling from number one spot. For Newcastle the loss means they will almost certainly miss out on the playoffs for promotion.
Toronto Wolfpack 50
Tries: Kay (2, 24, 66), Jacks (33), Hall (35), Moimoi (55), Laulu-Togaga’e (66, 68), Worthington (69)
Goals: Hall (7/10)