Four Points: Toronto Wolfpack v Rochdale Hornets
1. Wild weather at the Den
It was a wild day in Toronto when the Wolfpack took on the Hornets. There was so much thunder and lightening during the second half that the game was halted in the 67th minute and then ended prematurely by the 74th. Scattered thunderstorms had been forecast for the afternoon and the prediction was proved correct during the latter stages of the contest. In the interests of player and spectator safety, it was the Match Commissioner and referees who eventually came together to declare the match at an end when it was clear the Wolfpack had built an unassailable lead. It is the first time in Wolfpack history that a game has not gone the full 80 minutes but thankfully for the home side, the result does stand as per RFL rules which dictate that 60 minutes needs to be completed to constitute an official game.
2. Russell rustling up some points
Matty Russell came to play on Saturday and he finished the afternoon with a hat-trick of tries that puts the competition on notice as playoffs draw near. The match against the Hornets was Russell’s 17th appearance in 2019 and his three try haul takes his season tally to 24. It is the third time this season that Russell has registered three tries in a single game and the eighth time he has finished with more than one. Rochdale is clearly an opponent he enjoys facing because the electric winger also scored a hat-trick against the UK side in round two.
3. Standings at a stand-still
It was another interesting round in the Betfred Championship that saw the race for a place in the playoffs tighten. Toulouse and Leigh both claimed victories in their respective fixtures, results that see them holding onto second and third spots in the standings. Fourth-placed York City triumphed over fifth-placed Featherstone which leaves the latter in a tough fight to maintain that final playoff place as both Sheffield and Bradford mount last-minute charges to qualify.
4. Defending the line
A solid Wolfpack defense did not allow Rochdale to hit the scoreboard on Saturday afternoon, the ninth time in Toronto’s history they have held an opposition to zero points. Five of these one-sided results came in 2017 when the Wolfpack were playing in League One, it happened twice in 2018 and the weekend marked the second time in 2019. The Wolfpack themselves have never been held scoreless, with their lowest ever score coming in the Million Pound Game last season against London Broncos.