Match Report: Toronto Wolfpack v Leigh Centurions
Toronto Wolfpack have completed their regular season fixtures with a resounding 46-12 victory over the visiting Leigh Centurions at Lamport Stadium. It is the transatlantic side’s 21st consecutive win of 2019 and serves to maintain their momentum on the cusp of a Playoff Series that will decide which team from the Betfred Championship is promoted to the top flight Super League for the 2020 Season.
Fan Appreciation Day at the Den attracted a large crowd and they were treated to a tough contest on-field from the outset. Both teams had their chances early but it was the Wolfpack that made theirs count on the scoreboard. Skipper Josh McCrone opened the scoring with the assistance of some Joe Mellor brilliance in the 12th minute and before long Hakim Miloudi was acrobatically doubling the home side’s lead.
The Centurions repeatedly tested the Wolfpack defense but the line held strong, repelling the advances of a determined Leigh time and again. Gareth O’Brien and Matty Russell would score two more tries before the visitors got on the board as the lead soared to 24 points in the shadows of half-time. It would be Kevin Brown who eventually got the Centurions off the mark, crashing over the line to fire their first shot of the clash.
The half-time siren would sound with the Wolfpack leading 24-6 and well in control of the clash but still with plenty of work to do against a Leigh side that was building in confidence throughout the contest. Already guaranteed a playoff spot, the Centurions still had a lot to play for in the second half as an upset win over the league leaders could see their position in the standings improve and see them better placed in a bid for promotion.
Head Coach Brian McDermott clearly said the right things to his squad during the break because they emerged from the rooms full of energy and immediately got the scoreboard ticking over again. The Wolfpack thrilled the home fans as they added 12 points in 20 minutes to take the game away from Leigh and ensure they finished the regular season the way started it.
Second half tries to McCrone, Mellor and Liam Kay stretched the margin out to a substantial 34 points before former Wolfpack player Ryan Brierley pulled it back for Leigh with a try in the left hand corner that was spectacularly converted by Martyn Ridyard. Bob Beswick would restore the Wolfpack’s 34 point lead right on the final siren however, hitting a McCrone pass as speed and forcing his way over the line beneath the posts.
The Wolfpack will now enjoy a week-off as their four fellow finalists begin the Playoff Series and battle it out to progress to the semi-finals. Toronto will await results to see who they play at Lamport Stadium on September 22 at 1.30pm ET, a game where a win will see them straight through to an all-or-nothing Grand Final on October 5. Playoff tickets are available now and fans can head to Ticketmaster to secure their tickets. Playoffs will also be televised and beamed around the world to Wolfpack fans; keep an eye on the Club’s social media and website to see where you can watch.
12’ Try Wolfpack: McCrone. Conversion: O’Brien 6-0
20’ Try Wolfpack: Miloudi. Conversion: O’Brien 12-0
22’ Try Wolfpack: O’Brien. Conversion: O’Brien 18-0
31’ Try Wolfpack: Russell. Conversion: O’Brien 24-0
35’ Try Centurions: Brown. Conversion: Ridyard 24-6
Half Time: 24 – 6
42’ Penalty Wolfpack: O’Brien 26-6
57’ Try Wolfpack: McCrone. Conversion: O’Brien 32-6
59’ Try Wolfpack: Mellor 36-6
64’ Try Wolfpack: Kay 40-6
74’ Try Centurions: Brierley. Conversion: Ridyard 40-12
80’ Try Wolfpack: Beswick. Conversion: O’Brien 46-12
Full Time: 46-12