Match Report: Toronto Wolfpack vs Coventry Bears

SIMON DAVIES at Lamport Stadium, Saturday June 3rd

Toronto Wolfpack secured a ninth consecutive league win, putting together ten tries for a 54-12 victory over an enterprising and positive Coventry Bears side.

Coventry impressed early on, Jamahl Hunte setting up a chance for Billy Gaylor, but after mounting Wolfpack pressure Andrew Dixon wriggled over from short range for the first Toronto try on ten minutes. Two minutes later Jonathan Pownall fired a pass out to Liam Kay on the left wing who beat two defenders to score from five metres out.

Coventry took inspiration from Hunte and Harry Chapman hauling down Kay after a 70 metre breakaway, and brought it back to 8-4 on 23 minutes when Chris Barratt put in a well-weighted kick for Hunte to touch down in the corner. The score remained close until the half hour mark when Craig Hall picked out a run from Bob Beswick who went in under the posts.

Having reasserted their authority, Toronto were able to add two further tries, first Dixon taking a looping pass from Sean Penkywicz to make it 18-4 on 34 minutes, and two minutes later Ryan Brierley touching down after good work from Richard Whiting. However, Delaney responded with a Bears’ penalty on the hooter, making the half-time score 24-6.

A further Wolfpack try came four minutes after the break, Canadian international Rhys Jacks completing a seventy metre move with contributions from Craig Hall, Ryan Brierley and Richard Whiting. Kay added his second two minutes later assisted by Beswick, but Coventry hit back on 50 minutes, with Delaney picking up a diagonal kick from Billy Gaylor to score under the posts.

Kay brought up his hat-trick on 55 minutes, managing to spin and get the ball down in the corner after receiving a well-worked pass from Penkywicz.

Fuifui Moimoi became ever more influential as the game progressed. Again with a pass supplied by Penkywicz, the Tongan forward scored his first try on 58 minutes and appeared to have a second ten minutes later only for the final pass to be adjudged forward. But Moimoi was not to be denied his brace, his second try, set up by Adam Sidlow, coming a minute from time.

The final score was initially announced as 56-12 with a match official having conveyed a request midway through the second half that two points be added for Toronto on the stadium scoreboard and TV coverage, due to a supposed earlier error. This change was reported to have been overturned by the match referee after the game, returning the official result to 54-12, correctly reflecting the three missed Wolfpack conversions before the interval.

Toronto consolidate their position at the top of league 1 and had the satisfaction of giving debuts to two players with North American origins, Joe Eichner from Florida and Tom Dempsey who learned the game in Australia but qualifies for Canada through his mother. Coventry meanwhile won many admirers, with Wolfpack CEO Eric Perez full of praise for the Bears’ enthusiastic approach. ‘Their attitude was spot-on, they’ve appreciated the opportunity, enjoyed their time here and gave our boys a run. It’s good for the fans, and good for the league’.

GAME BREAKER: Bob Beswick’s try on 30 minutes gave the Wolfpack breathing space, restoring their two-score lead at a time when Coventry had come firmly back into the game.

GAMESTAR: Liam Kay worked hard throughout the game and scored three fine tries, the last of which required a skilful spin to touch down in the corner.

MATCHFACTS

TORONTO WOLFPACK
2 Jonathan Pownall
15 Ryan Burroughs
3 Greg Worthington
4 Craig Hall
5 Liam Kay
27 Ryan Brierley
7 Rhys Jacks
25 Ryan Bailey
9 Bob Beswick
8 Fuifui Moimoi
11 Andrew Dixon
17 Richard Whiting
21 Adam Sidlow

Subs (all used)
16 Shaun Pick
20 Tom Dempsey
24 Sean Penkywicz
26 Joe Eichner

Tries: Dixon (10, 34), Kay (12, 46, 55), Beswick (31), Brierley (36), Jacks (44), Moimoi (58, 79).
Goals: Hall 7/10

COVENTRY BEARS
1 Harry Chapman
2 Mikey Russell
3 Tommy Briarley
4 Eddie Medforth
5 Jamahl Hunte
19 Billy Gaylor
7 Brad Delaney
8 James Geurtjens
9 Jay Lobwein
10 Dan Gover
11 Kieran Sherratt
12 Chris Barratt
18 Matt Reid

Subs (all used)
13 Liam Thompson
14 Hayden Freeman
16 Alex Beddows
24 Paddy Jones

Tries: Hunte (23), Delaney (50)
Goals: Delaney: 2/3

Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match

Toronto Wolfpack: Liam Kay
Barrow Raiders: Brad Delaney

Half-time: 24-6
Referee: Nicholas Bennett
Attendance: 6973

SCORING SEQUENCE: 4-0, 8-0, 8-4, 14-4, 18-4, 24-4, 24-6, 30-6, 36-6, 36-12, 42-12, 48-12, 54-12

Air Transat 3 Stars

Images from the Match