Toronto Wolfpack overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Halifax by 14 points at The Shay. Newly appointed vice captain Ashton Sims made his debut for the Wolfpack after missing the first two matches with an injury. The Australian made a strong addition to Toronto’s forward pack with effective hit ups, hard-hitting defence, frequent offloads and mixed in a sharp passing game at the defensive line.
The match was an arm wrestle early as neither side could score for the opening thirty minutes. Toronto won the field position battle on the back of fast defensive line speed and a superior kicking game by halves Josh McCrone and Ryan Brierley. The first close scoring chance of the game went to Halifax however as five-eighth Scott Murrell bombed to the left-wing where his teammate caught the ball and crossed the line, however the play was ruled a double movement.
Toronto drew first blood close to the half time break. Earning a repeat set following a bomb to the corner and tackling Halifax’s winger into touch, Toronto decided to put on a set move from the scrum. Brierley took the ball from the base of the scrum and threw a long pass to centre Greg Worthington on the blind side. Worthington had positioned himself to put a large distance between him and Halifax’s halfback, who could not make up the distance as Worthington raced straight to the try line.
Halifax came back hard and after numerous sets attacking Toronto’s line scored through a low cross field chip kick which centre Chester Butler dove on. The conversion was successful and Halifax led by two at the halftime break.
Paul Rowley’s men fired out of the gates with an 80 metre team effort reminiscent of Toronto’s dazzling best during its 2017 campaign. Working the ball out from their own area, Toronto fired a long cross field pass to McCrone who put Richard Whiting through a gap, Whiting then teamed up with Liam Kay to eliminate the Halifax fullback with two quick passes before passing to new recruit and Halifax junior Nick Rawsthorne who ran the rest of the way.
McCrone was sin-binned in the 50th minute due to a dangerous tackle, but Halifax could not leverage the additional man power into any points while he was off the field. A well worked backline move linked up by Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and finished by a flying Adam Higson extended the Wolfpack’s lead, before Higson completed his brace by diving on a Brierley grubber to secure victory.
The win moves Toronto into second place in the Betfred Championship and sets up a mouth-watering top of the table clash against fellow undefeated team London Broncos.
Toronto Wolfpack 20
Tries: Worthington (33), Rawsthorne (46), Higson (72, 80)
Goals: Brierley 2/5
Tries: Butler (39)
Goals: Tyrer 1/1