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It was second against third as two of the remaining one hundred percenters in the Betfred Championship met in Newcastle for a Toronto Wolfpack home game. The Widnes Vikings went into the game trailing their hosts by a vastly inferior points difference. A five point win would see Toronto finish the weekend at the top of the pile but if Widnes could win by more than thirty-four then they would leapfrog the Canadian outfit into top spot.

Brian McDermott came into the game knowing that his side would face one of their biggest hurdles of the season as they came up against the side who were relegated in 2018. Toronto won by 20-12 when the two sides met at Lamport Park in the September Middle 8's last season.

It was a mouthwatering prospect at the top of the Championship between two sides with clear aspirations of Super League 2020.

If you were in any doubt before kick-off that this wasn’t going to be a brutal the opening ten minutes was plenty of evidence that both sides came into the game desperate for a win and determined to play the game at a relentless pace.

Toronto hit the front on thirteen minutes when Blake Wallace punished a mistake by Ryan Ince after he spilled the high kick. The rebounded ball bounced perfectly for Wallace and he went fifteen to score under the sticks. Gareth O’Brien kicked the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

O’Brien added a penalty goal on twenty-two, after a high tackle by Anthony Gelling on his own twenty, to extend the lead to 8-0.

The remainder of the half was rough and tough with Vikings winger Olly Ashall-Bott helped from the field after picking up a contact injury. The sides went into the shed separated by eight points.

With eight minutes on the second half clock the Wolfpack scored a tremendous fifty metres try as Darcy Lussick and Jon Wilkin combned with a forty metre beeak before finding Andy Ackers to go over for Toronto’s second of the afternoon. O’Brien added the conversion for 14-0, some breathing space for the Canadians.

On fifty-three Gary Wheeler managed to ground over the line despite stumbling short. The score was by the left corner flag and O’Brien pulled his conversion wide of the left upright. Widnes now needed three unanswered converted tries just to draw level.

Five more minutes had elapsed before Ricky Lutele found space down the left wing off a touch-pass to score one-handed. O’Brien put his kick between the uprights for 24-0.

Andy Ackers scored on seventy with a sprint for the line after fending off an attempted tackle. O’Brien kicked the conversion for 30-0, a scoreline which didn’t reflect the effort of the visitors. Toronto has the momentum and upper hand and Widnes had been steamrollered.

The Vikings avoided the whitewash when Bradley Walker collected a grubber kick at head height and touched down. Jack Owens added the extras but the decent band of supporters who’d made the trip from Widnes knew that it was just consolation.

Toronto return to the top of the pile on points difference from the Sheffield Eagles, the only two sides in the competition with one hundred percent records. It was a real arm-wrestle in the first half but McDermotts men redoubled their efforts in the second half and ultimately cruised to an easy win over one of their main competitors for a promotion spot.

Wolfpack: O’Brien (4G), Russell, Mellor, Leutele (T), McCrone, Wallace (T), Sims, Dixon, Higson, Thompson, Wheeler (T), Springer, Wilkin.  Subs: Sidlow, Ackers (2T), Lussick, Olbison.

Vikings: Owens (G), Ashall-Bott, Brand, Gelling, Ince, Craven, Lyons, Tangata, Hood, Hansen, Wilde, Dean, Leuluai. Subs: Chapelhow T, Johnstone, Chapelhow J, Walker (T).

Referee: Liam Moore.

Half-Time: 8-0.

Full-Time: 30-6.

Attendance: .



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 16th Feb 2019 6:51 PM | Views : 2954 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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