The Toronto Wolfpack have secured automatic promotion to the second flight of U.K. rugby league following a clinical display to defeat the Barrow Raiders by 24 points at Lamport Stadium. The top of the table clash was evenly matched in the middle of the field but Toronto’s class in both attacking and defending the goal line was the difference between the two teams. Australian playmaker Blake Wallace starred for the home team, scoring a brace of tries and setting up a try for teammate Richard Whiting.
Both teams squandered early opportunities to score with poor ball security. The deadlock was broken when the Wolfpack executed a slick backline move which resulted in a try to fullback Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e in the corner. The Raiders had numerous sets attacking Toronto’s line but failed to break their defence after consistent pedestrian attack. Barrow’s playmakers failed to end their sets with dangerous, attacking kicks and repeated one out runs were easily defended by the Wolfpack. Toronto took a cautious approach in view of recent upsets in the Super 8s round and opted to take a rare penalty to extend their lead to 8 points at the halftime break.
The Raiders made the questionable move of taking 2 points to reduce Toronto’s lead to 6 points early in the second half. Wallace made the Raiders pay by stepping past their defensive line to score the first try of the second half. Shortly after dynamic back rower Richard Whiting scored after bursting onto a short ball from Wallace. Barrow’s fatigue began to set in with a lazy kick chase on a punt kick. Toronto speedster Liam Kay returned the ball past the staggered defensive line before Wallace scored to secure victory, and the Kingstone Press League One trophy for the Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack have conquered Kingstone Press League One in their inaugural season and have their sights set on the Kingstone Press Championship in 2018. They have shown they mean business by recruiting NRL veterans Josh McCrone, Faifai Loa, Dave Taylor and Ashton Sims and will back themselves to achieve promotion to Super League.
Toronto Wolfpack 26 Tries: Laulu-Togaga’e (14), Wallace (52, 59), Whiting (55)
Goals: Hall 5/5
Barrow Raiders 2 Goal: Charnock 1/1