Match Report: Toronto Wolfpack vs Barrow Raiders

SIMON DAVIES at Lamport Stadium, Saturday May 20th

A game billed as the ‘Clash of the Undefeated’ with both teams winning their opening seven league fixtures, saw Toronto Wolfpack extend their streak with an impressive 12 try victory over Barrow Raiders.

Barrow, hampered by difficulties in securing visas for four players including Jamie Dallimore, fought bravely and had possession deep in Toronto territory on numerous occasions, but failed to convert the pressure into tries. In contrast the Wolfpack were able to score from all angles, with touchdowns coming from eight different players.

The Raiders however took a fifth minute lead after Adam Sidlow was penalized for lying on in the tackle and Lewis Charnock kicked the resultant penalty. The lead lasted just five minutes, when after a period of sustained Wolfpack pressure, Blake Wallace powered through the middle, evading Nathan Mossop to score under the posts. Barrow responded well with Chris Fleming, Ollie Wilkes and Declan Hulme all going close before Jarrad Stack was inches short on the last tackle. But the Wolfpack made it 12-2 on 16 minutes when Bob Beswick found Ryan Bailey who used his strength to get over the line from 10 metres out. Barrow again threatened, with Steve Crossley just managing to stop Charnock before James Duerden was tackled on the last.

Toronto stepped up a gear on 28 minutes, starting with a long range try initiated by Blake Wallace finding Andrew Dixon who ran 30 metres before passing the ball to Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e for the score. Three minutes later it was 24-2, Sean Penkywicz finding Wallace who again gave it to Dixon on the fly, this time the former St Helens man scoring the try himself. Worse was to come for the Raiders, Richard Whiting picking up the short kickoff and running forty metres to allow Gary Wheeler to score a spectacular try. Greg Worthington then made it four Toronto tries in seven minutes, after Craig Hall returned a deeper Barrow kick-off all the way to within ten metres of the Barrow line. At 36-2 the Wolfpack had taken control and there was time for a further length-of-the-field try just before the break, Moimoi and Beswick combining to allow Ryan Brierley to score in the corner.

Trailing 40-2 at the interval, Barrow’s perfect league record was slipping away, but they almost responded on 41 minutes after excellent work from Ryan Fieldhouse only for Cresswell to be in touch three metres out. Sean Penkywicz scored a fine individual try on 49 minutes, making a diagonal run from dummy half. The pattern of Barrow near-misses, interspersed with Toronto tries, continued throughout the half, with three further Wolfpack scores coming in an eight minute period through Laulu-Togaga’e, Brierley and Shaun Pick. With ten minutes remaining Brierley fed Laulu-Togaga’e allowing the full-back to complete an excellent day as he touched down for the third time making it 70-2. The pair combined again on 75 minutes, giving Brierley the chance for a hat-trick of his own but he was denied by a fine tackle from Shane Toal.

To the delight of the 7000-strong crowd in Toronto’s West End, the Wolfpack march on. With Barrow swept aside so emphatically, it is hard to envisage any of Toronto’s League 1 rivals being able to prevent the Canadians winning promotion when September comes.

GAME BREAKER: With the score at 12-2 after 28 minutes, Andrew Dixon raced away to set up the third Wolfpack try and added a fourth three minutes later.

GAMESTAR: Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e put in an assured performance at full back in both defence and attack, and scored three fine tries.

MATCHFACTS

TORONTO WOLFPACK
No Player
1 Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e
2 Jonathan Pownall
3 Greg Worthington
4 Craig Hall [C] 14 Gary Wheeler
6 Blake Wallace
27 Ryan Brierley
8 Fuifui Moimoi
9 Bob Beswick
21 Adam Sidlow
11 Andrew Dixon
17 Richard Whiting
25 Ryan Bailey
Subs (all used)

10 Daniel Fleming
16 Shaun Pick
19 Steve Crossley
24 Sean Penkywicz

Tries: Wallace (10), Bailey (16), Laulu-Togaga’e (28, 56, 70), Dixon (31), Wheeler (33), Worthington (35), Brierley (40, 59), Penkywicz (48), Pick (65).

Goals: Hall 11/12

BARROW RAIDERS
No Player
1 Ryan Fieldhouse
5 Shane Toal
3 Declan Hulme
45 Tom Loxam
24 Luke Cresswell
27 Ryan Johnston
7 Lewis Charnock
8 Joe Bullock
9 Nathan Mossop
10 Oliver Wilkes [C] 23 Chris Fleming
12 Jarrad Stack
25 Matty White

Subs (all used)
15 Karl Ashall
16 Andrew Dawson
17 Tom Walker
21 James Duerden

Goals: Charnock 1/1

Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match

Toronto Wolfpack: Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e
Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse

Penalty count: 12-13
Half-time: 40-2
Referee: John McMullen
Attendance: 7144

SCORING SEQUENCE:
0-2, 6-2, 12-2, 18-2, 24-2, 30-2, 36-2, 40-2, 46-2, 52-2, 58-2, 64-2, 70-2.

Air Transat 3 Stars

Images from the Match