Four Points: Toronto Wolfpack vs. Wigan Warriors
14/02/2020 by admin
A tale of two minutes
The space of just 120 seconds laid bare the ecstasy and agony of professional sport in the second half, with Wolfpack captain Josh McCrone playing the lead role. The scores were tied in the 58th minute and the Warriors looked irresistible favourites to recapture the lead as they spread the ball wide into acres of unguarded space. McCrone seemed to appear from nowhere as he found a way to lay a try-saving tackle and regain the ball for his side in front of a vocal Warriors crowd.
The very next possession, Toronto worked their way up the field and McCrone looked to attack on the last tackle with a kick designed to put Wigan fullback Bevan French under pressure. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack captain, just moments ago the hero, his kick drifted slightly too far and French was able to catch it on the full. The quick thinking Australian raced forwards for the 20m restart and sparked a chain of events that saw a length of the field run end in a try for Joe Burgess. From there, Wigan proved unstoppable, leaving McCrone and the Wolfpack to ponder an extremely costly error.
Super League Growing Pains
In addition to opening the scoring in all three of their 2020 fixtures so far, the previous fortnight has seen the Wolfpack come from behind to level the scores only to be overrun as the final whistle draws near. A sign that the squad is still finding their way after a huge step up to Super League Rugby, Head Coach Brian McDermott will nonetheless be pleased with his team’s ability to continue the fight when the scoreboard isn’t in their favour.
In round two against 2019 Grand Finalists Salford, Brad Singleton tied the scores at 16 with just ten minutes remaining. On Thursday night at Wigan, Bodene Thompson’s try saw the scores locked up with half an hour to play but once again, Toronto was unable to find that next score to wrestle the lead away from their opponents. It is only a matter of time before the Wolfpack take that extra step, with McDermott looking for a way to ensure their fourth-round clash with Warrington provides the breakthrough.
Russell turns back the clock
All the way back in 2011, a fast running fullback named Matthew Russell made his Super League debut draped in the colours of Wigan Warriors. Nine years later, the Scottish international opened the scoring in the Wolfpack’s first ever top division fixture against his old side.
His first try of 2020, Russell has been prolific since crossing the Atlantic to join the Wolfpack in 2018. He was the Club’s leading try-scorer throughout their 2019 Championship campaign and Toronto will be looking to him to find more points on the left wing in the coming weeks.
Singleton a standout
Brad Singleton had over 200 professional games to his name before signing with the Wolfpack ahead of the Club’s maiden Super League season. In just three fixtures for Toronto, the Irish international has shown exactly how valuable he could be as they navigate the top division.
Singleton is an enforcer on the field, never afraid to aggressively charge at the opposition’s line or put his body on the line to make an important tackle. His 53 tackles against Wigan takes his season tally to 124, the most for any Wolfpack player. Add to that the fact that Singleton has personally made a total of 146 meters for his side at an average of 6.2 per carry and the new recruit is putting together a fantastic beginning to the 2020 season.