Wolfpack Win on a Frustrating Afternoon
The ‘Pack were frustrated all game at Lamport Stadium but managed to come away with a 52-10 victory against a resilient Rochdale side in front of a crowd of 7,144 to record yet another Championship win.
Andy Ackers and Jack Buchanan started things off for Toronto, going over early under the sticks, allowing Gareth O’Brien to convert from two easy kicks.
It was a windy day at Lamport and the kickers for both teams would struggle today, missing all of their kicks from wide positions. Toronto were being frustrated by Rochdale, with a few little arguments breaking out which referee Liam Staveley needed to sort out.
A hard challenge came in from Buchanan, and the players erupted, the result of which saw Darcy Lussick enter the sin bin.
Shortly after, Greg Worthington fell awkwardly during a tackle, clutching his knee. It took a number of minutes, but the Wolfpack centre, who celebrated his birthday this week, was stretchered off to applause of support from all at the stadium with what looks like a season-ending knee injury.
Tries from Gary Wheeler, Adam Sidlow and Richard Whiting rounded out the first half, which saw the Toronto side 26-0 up, but giving away silly penalties and discipline was haunting the side yet again.
Early in the second half, Corey Paterson crossed the line, but Rochdale would play some nice, simple passing and they were rewarded with Dean Cross putting some points up for the visitors. Chase Stanley soon added his name to the scoresheet for Toronto, quickly followed by Sam Hopkins.
Once again, half way through the second half, the players came together for an altercation, with Chase Stanley and Tobias Adamson seeing yellow from the chaos that ensued.
Rochdale showed that when they focus and play, they play good rugby, with Joe Taira scoring for the Hornets. Tyler Whitaker, having missed the first kick from out wide, wasn’t going to miss from in front of the sticks and added the two points with ease.
In the final few minutes of the game, Liam Kay and Gary Wheeler added two tries for the ‘Pack, with O’Brien kicking six of his ten efforts today. It was an ugly win, but still the ‘Pack march on.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Discipline will be an issue in the Middle 8’s
This was a game that realistically didn’t mean anything to Toronto. It was also top versus bottom of the Championship. The team giving away silly penalties and erupting at any opportunity reminded me of the Warrington game in the Challenge Cup.
Two players sent to the sin bin is surprising in this game, and if that happens in the middle 8’s, you’ll find yourself losing games very quickly. The ‘Pack really need to work on this, as it could be the deciding factor for them in their quest for Super League.
The Big Boys need recognition for the Wolfpack
They are not often commended and don’t normally pick up the end-of-game honours, but todays the big men, most notably Jack Buchanan and Cory Paterson, put in some solid work. The big boys of the ‘Pack were demolition men today, powering their way through Rochdale and forcing them to need extra men to take them down.
The Hornets will have woken up today a little sore from the relentless efforts of Paul Rowley’s men, and credit should be given to them for their work in the game.
Man Of The Match- Cory Paterson (Toronto Wolfpack)
The Wolfpack wrecking ball was a frightening figure today, especially if you were a Rochdale player. He put in some big tackles, he drove his team forward, getting on the scoresheet in the process. The centre had a great game today, showing off his power and his value to the ‘Pack.
Toronto Wolfpack 52
Tries: Andy Ackers, Jack Buchanan, Gary Wheeler 2, Adam Sidlow, Richard Whiting, Corey Paterson, Chase Stanley, Sam Hopkins, Liam Kay.
Goals: Gareth O’Brien 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Rochdale Hornets 10
Tries: Dean Cross, Joe Taira
Goals: Tyler Whitaker
Drop Goals: n/a
Toronto Wolfpack: O’Brien, Russell, Worthington, Stanley, Kay, McCrone, Wallace, Lussick, Ackers, Sims, Dixon, Paterson, Buchanan. Substitutes- Hopkins, Sidlow, Wheeler, Whiting.
Rochdale Hornets: Cross, Whittaker, Massam, Moores, Adamson, Yates, Adamson, Taira, Kay, Syme, Bennion, Hatton, Ryan. Substitutes- Brickhill, Mitchell, Lepori, Gregory
Referee: Liam Staveley