Toronto Wolfpack moved themselves five points clear at the top of the Betfred Championship table with a convincing 32-12 win over London in their first game of 2018 at the Lamport Stadium.
On the new artificial surface, the Wolfpack stormed into a 12-0 lead as Cory Paterson dummied his way through the defensive line, before Gareth O’Brien found Liam Kay to break away and score.
Malta international Jarrod Sammut found his way over to reduce the arrears but Ryan Brierley added a penalty just before the interval to make it 14-6.
The Canadians scored two more just after the interval to get a stranglehold on the game as Paterson grabbed his second of the game after a wonderful break by O’Brien, before Josh McCrone was on hand to finish off Greg Worthington’s break down the sideline.
Brierley added his second penalty of the game as the match entered the final quarter, but Elliot Kear touched down after some sloppy defending to make it 26-12.
With the game entering the final minute, Brierley added further gloss, breaking through the line to score, before converting his own try, much to the adulation of the 7384 in attendance.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Toronto make a statement
This was Toronto’s first game back at the Lamport Stadium, having played away from home for the opening half of 2018. Nevertheless, they picked up from where they left off in League One with a comprehensive victory over another of teams challenging for the top four.
Ryan Brierley and Gareth O’Brien really provided the platform for the Wolfpack to work from, causing havoc all afternoon with their swagger and agility. The development of a partnership between these two players could be pivotal if the Wolfpack are to make it into Super League at the first time of asking.
Crowd make their voices heard
The passion of the Wolfpack fanbase is really starting to become evident and was outlined by the 7384 who cheered on the side at the weekend.
The way that the people of Toronto have taken to the cities newest franchise is really something to behold and they may very well be watching top level rugby, come 2019.
There was something of a carnival atmosphere when the Broncos came to town. There may not have been many travelling fans, which was to be expected, but the Toronto fans more than made up for that with their atmosphere throughout.
Man Of The Match- Ryan Brierley
Ryan is really started to play with the guile and expertise than many fans of the English game have become accustomed to. He set the Championship alight during his time at Leigh and is doing the same now that he is wearing the jersey of Toronto.
He epitomises the free-flowing eye-catching rugby that Paul Rowley and his coaching staff want to implement. One player doesn’t make a team but it is people like Brierley who really help to keep the Wolfpack locomotive going full steam ahead.
Toronto Wolfpack 32
Tries: Paterson 2, Kay, McCrone, Brierley
Goals: Brierley 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Sammut, Kear
Goals: Sammut 2
Drop Goals: n/a