Toronto Wolfpack Match report - July 13

Heather Toole
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Sunday, July 14, 2019

In a game that appeared from the first half would be a sure fire win for the Toronto Wolfpack, the Featherstone Rovers came back with determination to push the pack back and make them work hard and play tough to maintain the better score.

In a 14 – 0 first half, the first try of the game belonged to Wolfpack’s Gareth O’Brien, which took place just before the two minute mark, with a good conversion the game stood at 6 - 0. Not for lack of effort Featherstone just could not get the ball over the line - shy of inches, which as the first half continued seemed to be the ongoing theme.

At the 15 minute mark a fight ensued involving Toronto’s #15 Darcy Lussick and Featherstone’s Jack Bussey, which resulted in Lussick being issued a yellow card and a trip to the bench, or as the Wolfpack’s Twitter page (@TOwolfpack) stated having been “sin binned”. This did not stop him from ultimately getting voted the Man of the Match. When asked after the game what irritated him Lussick replied “I can’t really remember, just sort of heat of the moment… those things happen sometimes I guess.”

Even with Lussick out, Featherstone continued to fall short on their third big attempt to gain some points. Toronto successfully received the chance to kick for penalty extending the lead to 8 - 0. During back and forth play Darcy Lussick took a kick to the head, no call being made but a time out for medical attention. Liam Kay who had several big runs down the field, did what he does best made a big break and Chase Stanley touches down, with a good kick made the lead going into half time 14 – 0.

Right out of the gates in the second half, Featherstone came on strong letting it be known they were not to be counted out, as they fight for a top five playoff position. Just over two minutes back into play the Rover’s #29 Jack Ormondroyd was successful in finally breaking through Toronto’s defense and giving his team the much needed points 14 – 6. Shortly after, a hard hit on Lussick was heard above the crowd, seemingly slowing him down he continued to play, giving Ricky Leutele the chance to take it in the back corner receiving four of the lost points. The kick was no good bringing the score to 18 – 6, and seeing Lusssick come off the field.

In the 55th minute Featherstone’s Josh Walters scored with a successful conversion to make it 18 – 12. Ten minutes later Toronto’s #1 Gareth O’Brien got layed out cold on the pitch, with a fight following by the rest of the team in the corner. Medical personal attending to O’Brien eventually got him up and walked him directly to the dressing room where he remained until after the game. With one of the teams men being down, the pack fought back to avenge their team mate, scoring another four points less than two minutes later to bring the match score to 22-12. However Toronto’s defense seemed to begin basic blunders leaving the field wide open which the Rover’s #42 Wellington Albert, took advantage of with fast legs and a quick dish to Jones (who was making his debut) for an easy try with conversion, bringing the match within four points at 22 – 18. Despite the Rovers’ come back efforts the Wolfpack held on for the final ten minutes, maintaining their win streak.

After the match while speaking with Gareth O’Brien, he said medical staff felt confident in his results and he should be able to return to next week’s game. When asked on his feelings about the hit which brought his game to an end, he replied that he did not think of it as malicious but he’s alright and out of it now.

Toronto’s next match will be in the UK against the Widnes Vikings on Sunday, July 21st. The game will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, Game TV and CBC sports online in Canada and globally courtesy of the Wolfpack’s Facebook page.