Match Report: Toronto Wolfpack vs Hemel Stags

MITCHELL TIERNEY, Lamport Stadium, July 15, 2017

The Toronto Wolfpack concluded the regular season with their fifteenth straight win, 74-16 over the Hemel Stags. Wolfpack captain Craig Hall led the way, scoring four tries, including a first half hat trick.

In front of 7,242 supporters at Lamport Stadium, the biggest crowd yet for a Wolfpack home match, Toronto came out flying. They scored four tries in the first 15 minutes.

Hall opened the scoring on four minutes when he broke through the Stags’ defence at the halfway line before running the ball under the posts. The Toronto captain scored again two minutes later, this time touching down in the corner. He converted both to put the Wolfpack up 12-0.

On ten minutes Blake Wallace added to Hemel’s misery, marking his return from injury by fighting through Hemel defenders before touching the ball down. Johnny Pownall then added his 17th try of the season on 15 minutes. Hall converted one of two.

Hemel was able to stop the bleeding on 22 minutes. After putting pressure on the Wolfpack for several minutes, the Stags finally found an opening with some quick ball movement. Marcus Elliot finished the move by diving into the corner. Mitch Vincent missed the conversion.

Toronto quickly regained their momentum, however, with Liam Kay scoring an unconverted try on 28 minutes. Hall then completed a first half hat trick with an impressive try that saw him spin past a defender before touching the ball down.

The Stags replied once more before the halftime hooter courtesy of Mark Barlow, who capitalised on some untidy Wolfpack defending before touching down in the corner. Vincent converted, and the score at the half was 32-10.

It didn’t take Toronto long to extend their lead in the second half. Bob Beswick broke through the Hemel line on the Wolfpack’s first possession of the half in the 42nd minute.

Four minutes later the Stags scored their final try of the match. Jack O’Brien finished another hard working possession from the visitors to cut the Wolfpack lead to 38-16.

After that, it was all Wolfpack, who cruised to victory. Wallace added two more tries to become the second Toronto player of the match to score a hat trick. Hall, Dan Fleming and Fuifui Moimoi also scored second half tries.

Moimoi’s effort was particularly enjoyed by the Lamport Stadium crowd, for whom he has become a fan favourite. Moimoi followed a 70 yard run by Kay closely, before taking the offload and powering past the remaining Hemel defenders.

The match finished 74-16, but not before a scuffle broke out between the two teams after Hemel’s Joshua Casey was injured on the hooter. The shoves quickly turned to handshakes, however, as the two sides acknowledged each other after a hard fought match.

Toronto now has a week off before travelling to the UK to compete in its first ever Super 8s. Coach Paul Rowley says the team is looking forward to testing themselves in these meaningful matches ahead

GAME BREAKER: Craig Hall found his way through the Hemel defence twice in the first six minutes, which kicked off a 22-0 run for the Wolfpack in the first 15 minutes.

GAMESTAR: Toronto captain Craig Hall scored a first-half hat trick and added a fourth try in the second half for good measure to cap off another strong performance.

MATCH FACTS

TORONTO WOLFPACK

2 Johnny Pownall
15 Ryan Burroughs
3 Greg Worthington
4 Craig Hall (C)
5 Liam Kay
6 Blake Wallace
7 Rhys Jacks
8 Fuifui Moimoi
9 Bob Beswick
29 Jake Emmitt
13 Jack Bussey
12 James Laithwaite
21 Adam Sidlow

Subs (all used)
10 Dan Fleming
19 Steve Crossley
20 Tom Dempsey
28 Quinn Ngawati

Tries: Hall (4,6,35,54), Wallace (10, 51, 68), Pownall (15), Kay (28), Beswick (42), Crossley (59), Moimoi (73), Fleming (76)
Goals: Hall
Sinbin: Pownall 47 (dissent)

HEMEL STAGS

1 Mitch Vincent (C)
2 Marcus Elliot
3 Joshua Casey
4 Danny Lawton
5 Darren Forde
6 Mark Barlow
7 Lewis Fairhurst
8 Corey Hanson
9 Jonathan Burns
10 Reece Williams
11 James Thornton
12 Jack O’Brien
18 Brett Whitehead

Subs (all used)
14 Scott Lee
15 Sam Crowther
17 Wayne Jowett
22 Alex Williams

Tries: Elliot (22), Barlow (38), O’Brien (46)
Goals: Vincent (2/3)

Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match

Toronto Wolfpack: Craig Hall
Hemel Stags: Mark Barlow

Penalty count: 10-8
Half-time: 32-10
Referee: Nicholas Bennett
Attendance: 7,247

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 22-0, 22-4, 26-4, 32-4, 32-10, 38-10, 38-16, 44-16, 50-16, 56-16, 62-16, 68-16, 74-16

Air Transat 3 Stars

Images from the Match