After suffering their first defeat of the season in the opening game of the Championship One Super 8s at the hands of the York City Knights, the previously all-conquering Toronto Wolfpack travelled to Cumbria to take on Workington Town.
The Wolfpack demonstrated their vulnerability last week, and after Workington Town registered a victory over Newcastle Thunder in the opening round of the eights, they came into today's game full of confidence.
Poor weather conditions were a potential leveller but Toronto were still firm favourites.
The sides were evenly matched in the early exchanges with the conditions the clear winner with a number of unenforced errors marring the game.
Fuifui Moimoi was yellow carded after nine minutes for a late hit and Toronto faced the next ten minutes with a man short but with thirteen on the clock it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Craig Hall kicked a twenty metre penalty after Workington interference at the play-the-ball.
With Moimoi just back on the pitch the Wolfpack extended their lead. Blake Wallace took a Bob Beswick pass to crash over the line after good build-up. Hall added the extras.
On the half hour a brilliant tackle from Workington full-back Theerapol Ritson stopped a flying Liam Kay from scoring when the Wolfpack winger looked certain to score.
On thirty-four a Bob Beswick kick to the corner was chased by Wallace who grounded as the Workington defender waited for it to go into touch. The touch judge gave a dubious looking try, as the ball appeared to be grounded on the line, but Hall failed to convert leaving Toronto 12-0 ahead.
A couple of minutes before the interval and Quentin Leuluai-Togagae was involved in an initial pass to put Greg Worthington through a gap before being in support to take the pass and got ten metres to score under the sticks. Hall kicked the extras for 18-0.
On the stroke of half-time Town put the ball to ground which was picked up by Ryan Brierley who broke for forty metres before he found Jonathan Pownall inside to go the last twenty to score under the sticks. Hall added the extras for 24-0 at the break and Workington would have considered themselves unlucky to be trailing by so many.
Blake Wallace got his hat-trick on forty-four when he took a short pass from Laulu-Togagae to dance through a broken Worky defence to score. Hall added the conversion for 30-0.
On fifty-one Liam Kay grabbed Toronto’s sixth try of the afternoon when he took a Worthington pass to go five metres and score by the left corner flag. Hall failed to get near the sticks kicking into a strong wind.
Running the ball on the last tackle James Laithwaite took a pass at first receiver to muscle over the line from three metres and when Hall added the extras the Wolfpack were 40-0 ahead as the game passed the hour.
Within a minute Craig Hall picked up a Rhys Jacks grubber to the corner to round the last defender and go behind the sticks to score. He added the conversion himself and it was turning into a rout.
The fifty was brought up by Hall when he picked up a wayward Workington pass to go fifty metres down the right wing to dive over. Hall slipped badly taking the conversion but the ball still went over the crossbar for his eighth goal of the afternoon.
On seventy-three Jake Emmitt went from acting half back and spun over the line from three metres. Crossing close to the sticks Hall had a simple kick. Wallace got his fourth of the afternoon with a solo run evading two tackles before being pushed over the line by a team-mate. Hall kicked again for 64-0 with three minutes left.
The scoring was concluded with a Pownall try on the final hooter, after a scrappy period of play. Hall missed the conversion for a 68-0 Toronto win.
This was another clinical Toronto performance after last weeks hiccup against York. Despite a full-blooded effort from Workington they were no match for the professional outfit who moved one step closer to Championship rugby in 2018. A personal haul of twenty-eight points for Craig Hall was eclipsed by four tries from Blake Wallace as Town had no answer to a second half onslaught.
Workington: Ritson, Hambley, Rasool, Moore, Lister, Howarth, Doran, Curwen, Phillips C, Scholey, Phillips B, Davies, Maudling. Subs: Fitzsimmons, Szostak, Shelford, Prior.
Wolfpack: Laulu-Togagae (T), Pownall (2T), Worthington, Hall (2T, 10G), Kay (T), Wallace (4T), Brierley, Moimoi (SB), Beswick, Emmitt (T), Laithwaite (T), Whiting, Bussey. Subs: Jacks, Sidlow, Crossley, Fleming.
Referee: J. Roberts.