The second round of the Kingstone Press Championship saw Whitehaven host the Toronto Wolfpack and hoping that they could do better than London Skolars effort last weekend.
The weather conditions had been awful all day and with the pitch already looking a little worse for wear the hopes weren't great for a game of open rugby.
Whitehaven more than held their own in the early exchanges on a quagmire of a pitch at the Recreation Ground.
It took until the twentieth minute before Craig Hall scored in the right corner after the winger Jonny Pownall had originally made a break for fifty metres before being tackle brilliantly by a chasing Karl Olstrom. It was fast Wolfpack hands after Olstrom held down too long in the tackle which saw Hall on a small overlap. Hall himself kicked the conversion from the touchline.
It was a real grind for both teams with metres difficult to make in the ever deepening centre field mud. When 'Haven were adjudged offside twenty out from their own line, Hall extended the lead with a penalty with the clock showing just four minutes to the break.
Thirty seconds from the interval and Liam Kay scored behind the sticks with Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e and Hall both making twenty metre breaks before releasing the winger tomgo down the touchline and round behind the sticks. Hall added the extras for a 14-0 lead.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Bob Beswick ducked under the tacklers with a dart from dummy half for the third Wolfpack try but with Hall unable to convert the lead was 18-0.
On the hour mark Whitehaven scored the first ever league points against the Wolfpack when a delightful Paul Crook reverse kick confused the Toronto defence but not Elliot Miller who dove on the ball to ground. Crook hit the post with the conversion.
On sixty-seven a left to right passing move saw Jonny Pownall cross off a Richard Whiting final pass as he ducked inside and gave Hall a slightly better angle to kick the extra two points for 24-4 and the game was going the way of the Wolfpack.
Whitehaven got their second try of the game when Dave Thompson got his boot to a Ste Roper kick to the corner to chip it back inside for a chasing Chris Taylor to collect and ground. Roper added the extras to get 'Haven into double figures but as the hooter sounded it signalled a 10-24 defeat.
The scoreline suggests an easy two points for the Wolfpack but behind the headlines this was a real battle for Toronto against a very capable looking Whitehaven side on a pitch which started the game resembling a ploughed field and finished up as a slurry pit. There was little room for the open rugby that the Wolfpack like to play but the knuckled under and given the conditions secured a good win.
Miller (T), Thompson, Taylor (T), Parker, Burns, Crook, Roper (G), Shackley, Newton, Holland, Holliday, McAvoy, Olstrom. Subs: Riley, Forster, Foster, Tilley.
Laulu-Togaga'e, Pownall (T), Hall (T, 4G), Worthington, Kay (T), Wallace, Jacks, Sidlow, Beswick (T), Emmitt, Dixon, Laithwaite, Bussey. Subs: Wheeler, Everett, Whiting, Crossley.