Four Points | Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants
12/03/2020 by Aiden McNicholas
80 mins, 1 sub
When looking at the stats from the Toronto and Huddersfield clash, discerning eyes will be drawn to a single number. Many may assume it to be an error, but the solitary figure is in fact correct. Throughout the entire 80 minutes, the Wolfpack made just one substitution.
Of the four players to begin the game on the bench, only Anthony Mullally made his way onto the field during the fixture. Blake Wallace, Tony Gigot and Darcy Lussick spent the contest attempting to stay warm while prowling outside the field of play in the driving rain and wind. A highly unusual tactic, Brian McDermott asked a lot of his starting squad and they answered with endless effort and commitment to claim the Club’s maiden win of 2020.
A win in the Challenge Cup may not translate into Super League points, but there is no doubt that it can grease the wheels of a Wolfpack machine that has shown in the past the damage it can do when rolling. The jubilation of the Toronto squad was evident post-game and with a return to top division fixtures on the horizon, the momentum gathered could well provide a huge boost.
On March 22, Toronto welcome Wakefield Trinity to York as part of a massive double header also featuring a second-tier Championship clash. Wakefield currently sit ninth in the standings and the Wolfpack will be determined to notch their debut Super League triumph when they met at Bootham Crescent. The following week, Toronto and Huddersfield face-off once more, this time with League points on the line. There is no substitute for winning form and after Wednesday night at John Smith’s Stadium, the Wolfpack may just have started something special.
6ix in the 6
Toronto’s defeat of Huddersfield takes them through to the sixth round of the Challenge Cup, equalling the Club’s best performance in the prestigious competition. 2020 is the Wolfpack’s third appearance in the Cup after taking part in both 2017 and 2018.
2017 saw Toronto join the Cup in the third round as a League One team and after defeating Siddal ARLFC and London Broncos, they would go on to be eliminated by Salford Red Devils in the fifth round. In 2018, now playing in the Championship, Toronto entered in the fourth round and earned victories over Kells ARLFC and Barrow Raiders before eventually falling to Warrington Wolves in the sixth round.
McCrone reverses fortunes
Against Huddersfield, Wolfpack captain Josh McCrone went a long way to dispelling any lingering demons from a costly error made in the Super League third round clash against Wigan Warriors. With the scores tied late in that game, McCrone put through a kick that was pounced on by Bevan French who then took his team the length of the field to claim the game for the Warriors.
In the 11th minute against the Giants on Wednesday night however, as the Wolfpack looked to consolidate on their strong start, the skipper again took to the boot, but with vastly different results. Keeping it low and inviting bounce, McCrone perfectly guided the ball through an eager Huddersfield defensive line and found the rampaging Ricky Leutele who scored his second try of the night. Once again a result had turned on the boot of McCrone, but this time it was the Wolfpack on the winning side.