Warrington beat an ill-disciplined Toronto Wolfpack side to move one step closer to a Wembley day out with a 12-try rout at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
A second half hat-trick from Tom Lineham helped secure victory for Warrington, who were behind for much of the first half before Andrew Dixon saw red for a punch on Harvey Livett.
After a brutal first half, the Super League side ran riot, scoring 60 unanswered points against a side who had both Josh McCrone and Darcy Lussick send to the sin-bin for dissent, and spent part of the second period playing with just ten men.
Coming into the game, both clubs were on impressive winning streaks, with the Wire nine games unbeaten, and Toronto 11 unbeaten.
The game started with the Canadian side in the ascendency, with two tries from Adam Higson and Liam Kay in the space of 20 minutes silencing the home crowd.
However, the game started to turn back in Steve Price’s sides favour. Firstly, through a defensive error from Cory Paterson, which allowed Mike Cooper to go over.
Minutes later, Toronto then lost Kay to the bin for a dangerous tackle on Josh Charnley. Despite that, Ryan Brierley slotted over a penalty goal, albeit it would turn out to be their last points of the game.
In the 37th minute of the game, an off-the-ball incident between Harvey Livett and Andrew Dixon let to the Wolfpack forward seeing red, with Charnley scoring in the corner moments before the break to add insult to injury.
Warrington increased their lead straight from the kick off, with Livett finishing off a team try, before Ben Murdoch-Masila strolled over off the back of a well-timed pass by Tyrone Roberts.
Moments later, the visitors were down to 11 thanks to McCrone’s backchat, before Jack Hughes and Ben Westwood crossed either side of Lussick’s yellow.
Tom Lineham scored two of his own, with Roberts adding another as the game ticked towards the final quarter.
Soon after, Murdoch-Masila was in for his second of the game. Charnley then scored his second, after some slick showboating, bringing up 60 points for the Wolves.
The final try was scored on the hooter by Tom Lineham, finishing off his treble and bringing to an end Toronto’s Misery.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Toronto ill-discipline costs them
A major moment in the game was Toronto’s lack of discipline, astounding considering this was quite possibly the biggest game of their career.
With 23 penalties conceded, one red card and three yellows, Toronto shot themselves in the foot at a time when they were largely on top in the contest.
Paul Rowley’s troops need to learn quickly from this experience and produce far better if they are to secure a spot in Super League for 2019.
Warrington’s professional second half display.
Following the hetic first half, Warrington showed in the second half why they are the most inform club team in world rugby right now.
Scoring 54 unanswered second-half points and sticking to their game plan, the way in which they put Toronto to the sword will no-doubt please Steve Price and his backroom team.
This will be a huge confidence booster having into their huge clash against Wigan at the Magic Weekend next Saturday.
Man Of The Match- Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves)
Although there are a few options for man of the match, including Josh Charnley, Stefan Ratchford, Daryl Clark and Tom Lineham, Joe Philbin changed the game following his introduction.
The way he was able to get his side back over the gain line, especially when his side were 8-0 behind, shows his ability to do the hard graft, and the Ireland international is surely playing the best rugby of his career.
Warrington Wolves 66
Tries: Lineham (3), Charnley (2), Murdoch-Masila (2), Hughes, Westwood, Roberts, Cooper, Livett
Goals: Goodwin (9)
Drop Goals: n/a
Toronto Wolfpack 10
Tries: Kay, Higson
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves: Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Ryan Atkins, Josh Charnley, Kevin Brown, Tyrome Roberts, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Harvey Livett, Jack Hughes, Ben Westwood.
Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Sitaleki Akauola
Toronto Wolfpack: Gareth O’Brien, Adam Higson, Chase Stanley, Greg Worthington, Liam Kay, Josh McCrone, Ryan Brierley, Darcy Lussick, Bob Beswick, Ashton Sims, Andrew Dixon, Cory Paterson, Jake Emmitt.
Subs: Adam Sidlow, Jack Bussey, Andy Ackers, Sam Hopkins.
Referee: Ben Thaler.