The Toronto Wolfpack have extended their winning streak in league play to seven with victory against Dewsbury Rams in wet conditions at the Tetley’s Stadium.
The victory marks another success in Toronto’s extended road trip to open their Betfred Championship campaign and maintains their position on top of the ladder.
Scottish international Ryan Brierley starred for the Wolfpack with three try assists, a field goal and a 90 metre interception try but also had a poor day with the goal-kicking boot which kept the score closer than it should have been.
The starting middle forward combination of Ashton Sims, Adam Sidlow and Jack Buchannan set the tone for the visitors early as they dominated the battle of the forwards.
On the back of the hard work in the middle, the Wolfpack’s playmakers created two good opportunities to score in the first ten minutes but failed to capitalize.
Despite the early miscues, Toronto pulled off three back to back tries to take control of the match.
NRL veteran Reni Maitua scored first by running a hard line off the shoulder of Brierley and crashing over.
On the next set from the kick off, fellow Australian import Chase Stanley broke the line before setting up winger Adam Higson to score in the corner.
An attempted 40/20 kick by Brierley on the next Wolfpack possession was batted in field by a desperate Gareth Moore, only to be collected by the hard chasing Brierley who popped the ball up for Stanley to finish.
Brierley missed all three sideline conversion attempts which left Dewsbury within two scores of tying the game.
Dewsbury lock Aaron Brown hit back, diving on a short grubber from hooker Dom Speakman to cut Toronto’s lead in half.
The Wolfpack elected to kick a penalty goal given the wet conditions and took an eight point lead into half time.
Marquee mid-season signing Gareth O’Brien, attracting plenty of attention following his hat trick against Batley last week, committed Dewsbury’s defensive line before throwing a cut out ball to Higson to finish with a dive into the corner.
Toronto piled on the pressure with several sets attacking Dewsbury’s goal line, but some tenacious defense from the Rams kept the Wolfpack out, holding the Wolfpack up over the line on numerous occasions.
Brierley popped a field goal from point blank range to give Toronto a three score lead and secure victory.
In response, Dewsbury looked to have the numbers to score a late try but Brierley intercepted and won a 90 metre foot race to cap a clinical performance by Toronto.
Dewsbury were bizarrely awarded a penalty try on the stroke of full time following a grubber into Toronto’s in goal for a player being taken off the ball, even though a Wolfpack defender reached the ball before any Rams chasers would have.
Adding to the bemusement of players and fans-alike, O’Brien was sent to the sin bin for dissent but full time was blown before play could restart.
Despite the much-deserved victory, Toronto’s injury woes continued with centre Greg Worthington leaving the match early and Reni Maitua being carried off with a lower body injury late in the match.
Nevertheless, The win keeps Toronto one point ahead of Featherstone in the Betfred Championship table, with Dewsbury stranded in eighth place, well clear of any relegation troubles.
Toronto Wolfpack 23
Tries: Maitua, Higson, Stanley, Brierley
Goals: Brierley 1/6
Field Goals: Brierley
Dewsbury Rams 12
Tries: Brown, Penalty Try
Goals: Sykes 2/2