As the Toronto Wolfpack held the first of their annual beach parties on a blisteringly hot day at Lamport Stadium, Wolfpack emerged victorious with an emphatic 62-12 win over a struggling Dewsbury side.
In front of a little over 5,000 fans, the Toronto Wolfpack put on a display to remember, putting themselves seven points clear at the top of the table.
The Dewsbury Rams started the game on a positive foot, keen to show Toronto that they were here to play and weren’t afraid of the runaway league leaders. The first seven minutes of the game were constant attack from the Rams, but with practically their first attack of the game, Toronto opened the scoring with Liam Kay, leading try scorer for the Wolfpack, adding to his tally. O’Brien would take the kick for the successful conversion.
Things quickly turned in favour of the home side, with the Toronto side getting three quick tries in just 7 minutes, with Lussick crossing successfully and Russell getting two tries for his team.
The Rams looked out of steam and out of ideas, as though the pace of the game was just too much for them. Toronto pressed and pressed in their relentless attack, with Paterson, Lussick and Wallace crossing the line with six minutes of the half still remaining.
Wolfpack seemed to be in complete control, and perhaps with complacency slipping into their defence, Toby Everett was able to cross for the Rams, with Glover converting. The half time whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Dewsbury, who prior to this game had won 4 and lost 11, with the half time score 40-6.
As the teams came back out onto the field, the feeling amongst the Toronto fans was that this was going to be a long day for Dewsbury. However, the Rams must have had a very positive team talk at the half, as they came out with every intention of showing what they can do.
Perhaps knowing that the chance to win the game had gone eased the pressure from the Dewsbury players. They came out playing simple, positive rugby, with Guzdek crossing after just two minutes, and Glover kicking the points.
For the first twenty minutes of the second half, full credit to the Rams as they kept the Toronto team on the back foot. Many of the Toronto players seemed surprised by the impressive display by Dewsbury, and a few errors from the Pack meant that Dewsbury were in control, although they could not find a way to break through Toronto’s defence to add some points to the board.
Paul Rowley’s men managed to swing the momentum back in their favour as Buchanan crossed the line for the Pack. You could see that the Dewsbury player’s heads dropped, as all of their hard work had come undone.
This signalled a repeat of the first half, where Toronto would score in quick succession, with O’Brien, Rawsthorne and Russell all adding more points the scoreboard, as Toronto came away with an impressive victory to remain unbeaten at the Den.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
There’s No “Lone Wolf” in the Pack
Often, when teams are created in the same style that the Wolfpack have been (meaning big named players brought in), you can often argue that you haven’t created a team, but rather you have individuals all wanting to show that they are the best.
Toronto showed us today that they are a team. Every single player contributed to this win. They went out onto the field as one, played as one, and won as one. There were no egos on display, just intricate team play that was a joy to watch for any rugby fan.
There’s Cover for Brierley
Let’s be honest, when teams have a good kicker, often they only have one good kicker at the club. Today, O’Brien hit six kicks from seven, and there’s no doubt that he has given Head Coach Paul Rowley one of the best difficult decisions that you can have ahead of the Barrow game.
Brierley is a key player for Rowley and for Toronto, but O’Brien showed in this game that he is not just a stand in for the half back but he is on par with the number 7. Rowley will have been delighted with him today and will certainly have to stop and think the next time he puts his team sheet together.
Man Of The Match- Gareth O’Brien (Toronto Wolfpack)
Put simply, if anything positive occurred during the game, O’Brien was involved. O’Brien has played in the Super League under Salford Red Devils, and that class was on full display today.
The only reason that we cannot say that O’Brien had the perfect game was because he missed one of his eleven kicks. He was a class above today, turning in a performance worthy of making him this week’s “Pride of the Pack”.
Toronto Wolfpack 62
Tries: Kay, Lussick, Ackers, Russell 2, O’Brien 2, Wallace, Buchanan, Rawsthorne
Goals: O’Brien 10
Drop Goals: n/a
Dewsbury Rams 12
Tries: Everett, Guzdek
Goals: Glover 2
Drop Goals: n/a