MATTHEW SHAW, Zebra Claims Stadium, Sunday August 6,2017
Anyone hoping to see a Toronto collapse ahead of their predicted charge to the League 1 title were left disappointed after the Wolfpack responded to last week’s shock defeat with a comprehensive performance against Workington.
“I thought the attitude was fantastic,” said head coach Paul Rowley.
“We played a game with a lot of control today which I thought was important. We frustrated Workington, we played the conditions and played tough. From top to bottom I thought we were fantastic.”
An intense opening ten minutes resulted in no points, although Fuifui Moimoi was harshly sin-binned for a slightly late tackle on Callum Phillips.
However, Workington couldn’t capitalise and it was the Wolfpack who went ahead, albeit via a penalty goal through Craig Hall, after Stevie Scholey dislodged the ball illegally from Jake Emmitt’s grasp.
When Moimoi returned, Toronto soon extended their lead through Blake Wallace who crashed over on the last after Bob Beswick’s quick pass from under the sticks.
Workington were having their moments. Jamie Doran almost scored from his own kick after intelligently landing a kick in a puddle, only for Toronto to clear.
But the Wolfpack were threatening too. Liam Kay was superbly hauled back by Theerapol Ritson after breaking clear while they were held up on several occasions.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute that they extended the lead. Bob Beswick’s deft kick in-goal trickled towards the dead-ball line, but it deviously stayed in play and Wallace’s persistence to chase the ball was rewarded as he grounded the ball as Joe Hambley watched on.
Crucially, the Wolfpack clinically scored two further tries before the break. A flowing move down the left edge saw Greg Worthington break free and pass inside to release Quentin Laulu-Togagae, and then after the hooter Town fullback Ritson was guilty of trying to overplay as his offload was snapped up by Ryan Brierley, who raced down the right wing before passing inside for Pownall to score by the posts. Hall converted for a 24-0 lead at half-time.
The tries continued in the second-half. Wallace completed his hat-trick after yet another neat move, and soon after Liam Kay crossed for his first of the afternoon from Beswick’s smart offload.
James Laithwaite crossed in the 59th minute after Jack Bussey’s deft pass allowed him to crash over, and Craig Hall benefitted from a fortunate bounce of the ball from a kick through to score his customary try and a 46-0 lead.
Toronto then raced through the gears. After a seven minute wait, Hall crossed for his second after breaking down the right edge from deep. It was the first of four tries in the final 12 minutes.
Jake Emmitt took Toronto’s tally to 58 with a bulldozing effort, Wallace bagged a fourth after benefitting from some tired Workington defenders before Jonny Pownall completed a satisfying afternoon with his second, diving over in the right corner after picking up a loose pass and dotting down for Toronto’s 1000th point of the league campaign.
GAME BREAKER: Jonny Pownall’s try at the end of the first-half knocked the stuffing out of Town.
GAMESTAR: Toronto superbly handled the conditions. Bob Beswick was key to that.
1 Theerapol Ritson
2 Joe Hambley
9 Danny Rasool
22 Jacob Moore
24 Phillip Lister
16 Stuart Howarth
14 Jamie Doran
15 Tom Curwen
7 Callum Phillips
10 Stevie Scholey
11 Brett Phillips
20 Macauley Davies
25 Gordon Maudling
Subs (all used)
18 Conor Fitzsimmons
12 Alex Szostak
21 Kyle Shelford
3 Joe Prior
1 Quentin Laulu-Togagae
2 Jonny Pownall
3 Greg Worthington
4 Craig Hall
5 Liam Kay
6 Blake Wallace
27 Ryan Brierley
8 Fuifui Moimoi
9 Bob Beswick
29 Jake Emmitt
12 James Laithwaite
17 Richard Whiting
13 Jack Bussey
Subs (all used)
7 Rhys Jacks
10 Dan Fleming
21 Adam Sidlow
19 Steve Crossley
Tries: Wallace (21, 35, 47, 71), Laulu-Togagae (37), Pownall (40, 80), Kay (55), Laithwaite (59), Hall (61, 68), Emmitt (75)
Goals: Hall 10/13
Sin Bin: Fuifui Moimoi (9) – late tackle
Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match
Workington Town: Macauley Davies
Toronto Wolfpack: Bob Beswick
Penalty count: 9-8
Referee: Jon Roberts
SCORING SEQUENCE: 2-0, 8-0, 12-0, 18-0, 24-0; 28-0, 34-0, 40-0, 46-0, 52-0, 58-0, 64-0, 68-0.