TORONTO WOLFPACK 64 – 12 DEWSBURY RAMS
It may have been a Beach Party in the stands but it was all business on the field as the Toronto Wolfpack swept aide Dewsbury Rams at Lamport Stadium to make it two wins from two at Lamport Stadium and continue their march towards the Super 8s.
This was the 13thstraight win in the league for the table toppers, who extended their advantage over the chasing pack to seven points and it’ll certainly take a good side to stop the Wolfpack on home soil in 2018.
It was a fantastic attacking display from Toronto in the first half, which saw them out of sight by half time having blown Dewsbury away with a seven try masterclass.
Toronto weren’t able to maintain their lightening form into the second half, which was scruffy from both sides in patches and marred by a number of mistakes and penalties.
However, Head Coach Paul Rowley’s men were always in control of the contest and outscored the Rams four tries to one after half time to put an exclamation mark over their superiority.
In truth, Dewsbury simply couldn’t handle the pace and power of Toronto, who dominated the go forward battle throughout the game and at times broke the Rams’ defence at will.
The fight and spirit the visitors showed in the second half would give the West Yorkshire side something to build on but it was still another heavy defeat to leave the Rams in danger near the foot of the Championship.
For Wolfpack boss Rowley, it was another pleasing result but a performance with plenty of room for improvement. He said:
“I thought the first half we were under pressure but our transition was very good and we put Dewsbury to the sword in the first half.
“I wasn’t as happy with our second half but I think you have to say Dewsbury has a real dig and can leave with their heads held high.
“There’s a lot of good things to come out of today’s game. There are places we can improve which is good but overall it was great to get another win.”
Rowley heaped praise on his fullback Gareth O’Brien, who turned in an outstanding performance to win Air Transat’s first star of the game, with two tries and ten goals in the game. He added:
“Gaz was fantastic. He’s only slight but arguably the toughest player you’ll play with. He plays above his weight and he’s full of skill and was our best player.”
Dewsbury opened the game with plenty of chances in Wolfpack territory but couldn’t crack the line. The Wolfpack had no such problems and got the first try through Liam Kay, who picked up a loose offload before darting back in field and crashing over.
Toronto doubled their lead inside the first 15 minutes as Darcy Lussick, back in the side after a few weeks out injured, took a route one carry straight through the heart of the Dewsbury defence to score next to the posts.
The Rams were well and truly on the back foot in a dominant opening quarter from the home side and they soon grabbed their third try and fourth try in quick succession.
Lussick skittled defenders close to the line before Andy Ackers scampered over from dummy half and Matty Russell joined the scorers on the next set, taking a fantastic offload from Chase Stanley in the in goal area to put the Wolfpack in total control.
The host’s attack was relentless. They were playing the game at a tempo that Dewsbury couldn’t match and this brought two more tries before the half hour mark.
Blake Wallace hoisted a high kick up which Cory Paterson swooped on to score a simple try and Toronto were in again from the restart; O’Brien this time making a long range break and finishing out wide.
Toronto found themselves on the wrong side of the referee to end the first half, with a number of penalties gifting Dewsbury sustained field position on their line.
The Rams eventually made it count as Toby Everett pounced on a Dom Speakman kick to get the visitors on the board.
That score was almost immediately cancelled out by Wallace, who stepped off his left foot to slice through the defence to score trademark try under the posts as Toronto hit 40 points by half time.
Dewsbury got the perfect start to the second period with a try to Josh Guzdek. Kyle Trout made a half break before the young fullback powered his way through a couple of defenders to score.
However, that was as good as it got for the Rams as the Wolfpack retook control of the contest. Jack Buchanan went over for his first try for Toronto, finishing off a fantastic break up the middle from O’Brien.
O’Brien was having a day to remember and turned scorer a few minutes later, taking Josh McCrone’s pass to carve his way through the defence to grab his second try and take Toronto over the 50 point mark.
Substitute Nick Rawsthorne joined the try scoring action, streaking away down the left from half way following more good work from O’Brien and Russell completed his double and the scoring three minutes from time after shrugging off two defenders on the right to complete the win.
Air Transat 1st Star: Gareth O’Brien proves week on week that he has been an exceptional signing for Toronto. The talented fullback was at his dazzling best in attack, having a hand in a number of tries as well as scoring two himself and adding ten goals to boot.
Air Transat 2nd Star: Matty Russell
Air Transat 3rd Star: Cory Paterson
31 Gareth O’Brien
30 Matty Russell
33 Chase Stanley
3 Greg Worthington
5 Liam Kay
6 Josh McCrone (C)
17 Blake Wallace
8 Jack Buchanan
14 Andy Ackers
32 Darcy Lussick
11 Andrew Dixon
24 Cory Paterson
21 Olsi Krasniqi
Subs (all used)
15 Adam Sidlow
22 Rich Whiting
28 Sam Hopkins
23 Nick Rawsthorne
Tries: Kay (7), Lussick (13), Ackers (16), Russell (19, 77), Paterson (25), O’Brien (27, 67), Wallace (39), Buchanan (65), Rawsthorne (73)
Goals: O’Brien 10/11
1 Josh Guzdek
18 Gareth Potts
3 James Glover
4 Macauley Hallett
5 Dale Morton
25 Lewis Heckford
30 Danny Ansell
10 Jack Teanby
14 Dom Speakman
24 Shannon Wakeman
20 Jordan Crowther
28 Kyle Trout
13 Aaron Brown
Subs (all used)
8 Jode Sheriffe
17 Toby Everett
22 Martyn Reilly
6 Paul Sykes
Tries: Everett (17), Guzdek (42)
Goals: Glover 2/2
Penalty count: 4-12
Referee: N Bennett
Half time: 40-6
Scoring sequence: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 22-0, 28-0, 34-0, 34-6, 40-6, 40-12, 46-12, 52-12, 58-12, 64-12