Match Report – Sheffield Eagles vs Toronto Wolfpack
Toronto Wolfpack have extended their winning streak to nine with a commanding 16-42 win over Sheffield Eagles at Olympic Legacy Park. The Wolfpack’s 2019 record is now 14-1 and today’s victory maintains their gap atop the Betfred Championship table.
Sheffield, who entered the contest with a record of 9-4 and a hold on third position, were forced into defence early against the Wolfpack, a side they are yet to beat for Championship points. Toronto drew back-to-back sets of six and pushed hard for the line, eventually breaking through in the 5th minute. Blake Wallace made the most of field position created by a determined Andrew Dixon charge by crawling across the try-line for his 14th four-pointer of 2019 amidst several Eagles defenders.
Dixon would have his own reward for early efforts in the 13th minute, getting on the end of slick teamwork to register the second try of the contest. Gareth O’Brien ignited the crowd with a thrilling line break and offload that allowed Dixon to open his account for the day. Just minutes later he would have a second against his name and an increasing list of teammates to thank. Quick movement from several Wolfpack hands opened up space for Dixon and he graciously accepted the opportunity to add another four points to the scoreline.
Sheffield struggled for much of the contest to build pressure on the Wolfpack, with handling errors often hindering their chances to complete sets and retain field position. A knock-on when deep in attack saw the ball handed back to the Wolfpack and the Eagles were made to pay full price when Liam Kay dove over the line in the right hand corner. Wallace converted from the touchline and the scoreboard showed an imposing scoreline on 0-24.
Pure desire to keep the ball alive led to the Wolfpack’s fifth try, with Chase Stanley the one on the end to claim the points. Andy Ackers, Josh McCrone and Ashton Sims all dished out clever offloads, each creating more space for the Wolfpack wingers. The Eagles responded through Ben Hellewell, who got on the end of an Anthony Thackeray pass in the shadows of half-time to pull the margin back by four as the siren signalled the break.
It was the Ricky Leutele show from the outset of the second half, the electric winger diving full length to not only retrieve an O’Brien kick but also find a way to ground it just millimetres within the field of play. Nick Rawsthorne lit up the opposite wing just moments later with his own lunge across the line to extend the margin out to 32.
The Lions put together a perfect set during their next opportunity and it led to a Josh Duzdek try, made possible by another supreme offload by Thackeray. The points were good reward for a Sheffield side that had found their footing in the contest. Their momentum was halted almost immediately afterwards however when Andy Ackers collected an under-pressure offload from Adam Sidlow and scurried across the line, restoring the margin to 32.
The Eagles put their third on the board with ten minutes remaining through Brad Knowles who danced through the Wolfpack defence and narrowed the margin with help from the boot of Pat Walker. The referee’s whistle cut through the evening air without an addition to the scoreboard, seeing the final margin 16-42.
The Wolfpack’s next challenge comes in the form of Swinton Lions at Heywood Road on Sunday, June 9th. The two last met at the 2019 Lamport Stadium Home Opener in March, with the Wolfpack notching a strong victory against an impressive Lions side. Fans can tune in live on Sky Sports in the UK, Game TV and CBC sports online in Canada and globally courtesy of the Wolfpack’s Facebook page.
5’Try Wolfpack: Wallace. Conversion: Wallace 0-6
13’Try Wolfpack: Dixon. Conversion: Wallace 0-12
17’Try Wolfpack: Dixon. Conversion: Wallace 0-18
26’Try Wolfpack: Kay. Conversion: Wallace 0-24
28’Try Wolfpack: Stanley 0-28
40’Try Eagles: Hellewell 4-28
Half Time: 4–28
45’TryWolfpack: Leautele 4-32
48’Try Wolfpack: Rawsthrone 3-36
52’Try Eagles: Guzdek. Conversion: Walker 10-36
58’Try Wolfpack: Ackers. Conversion: Wallace 10-42
72’Try Eagles: Knowles. Conversion: Walker 16-42
Full Time: 16 – 42
TORONTO WOLFPACK SQUAD
1 Gaz O’Brien
3 Chase Stanley
4 Ricky Leutele
5 Liam Kay
7 Josh McCrone
8 Adam Sidlow
10 Ashton Sims
11 Andrew Dixon
12 Bodene Thompson
13 Jon Wilkin
14 Andy Ackers
15 Darcy Lussick
16 Tom Olbison
17 Blake Wallace
21 Anthony Mullally
24 Nick Rawsthorne