SWEET RE­VENGE Wolf­pack avenges only league loss in re­turn to home

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS - RICHARD MAUNTAH

A new year at the ‘Den’ be­gan just like the pre­vi­ous one for the Toronto Wolf­pack.

The se­cond-year English rugby league team took to the newly re­fur­bished ar­ti­fi­cial turf at Lam­port Sta­dium and dom­i­nated the Lon­don Bron­cos from start to fin­ish, win­ning 32-12.

A crowd of 7,384 wel­comed the Wolf­pack (141-1) back to its Lib­erty Vil­lage home where the team has won all 12 of its matches. The win was the team’s 12th con­sec­u­tive in Bet­fred Cham­pi­onship play and avenged a 47-17 loss to Lon­don on Feb. 25.

Toronto was sharp from the start. The first set of the match ended when Cory Pater­son took a pass from Josh McCrone and went over the line. A few min­utes later, Gareth O’Brien swung a long pass to Liam Kay down the side­lines and the winger sprinted the fi­nal 15 yards for his 20th try of the sea­son.

The Bron­cos re­sponded when a turnover at mid­field gave them pos­ses­sion. The set ended on a give-and-go be­tween Jar­rod Sam­mut and Matt Gee, with Sam­mut get­ting the fi­nal touch and the score.

Ryan Bri­er­ley opted to kick a short penalty to give the Wolf­pack a 14-6 lead in muggy, over­cast con­di­tions. Matty Rus­sell nearly ex­tended the lead close to the end of the half but was held just a yard short.

Just as the Wolf­pack be­gan the first half quickly, they also needed just three min­utes to open the scor­ing in the se­cond half. A long run by O’Brien opened up space for Pater­son to score his se­cond try of the match. Then just four min­utes later, the Wolf­pack put the game away when Greg Wor­thing­ton made a run down the side­lines and passed in­side to McCrone who fin­ished the play.

After Bri­er­ley kicked his se­cond penalty of the match, Lon­don, who be­came just an­other vic­tim of the Wolf­pack’s tena­cious de­fence, caught a break when a kick to­wards the try line could not be cor­ralled by play­ers on ei­ther team. Sam­mut was the last player to touch it be­fore it went out of bounds and he was awarded the score.

Be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle, the Wolf­pack gave its fans one more thrill when Blake Wal­lace, sport­ing his new blonde-dyed hair­style, found Bri­er­ley to fin­ish off the scor­ing.

Some credit for the win also goes to for­ward Jake Em­mitt, who did a lot of good work in the trenches.

The Wolf­pack re­turn to Lam­port Sta­dium next Satur­day to face the Dews­bury Rams.

Toronto Wolf­pack make a move up the field against the Lon­don Bron­cos at Lam­port Sta­dium yes­ter­day. It was the Wolf­pack’s 12th straight win at home.

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