Rugby League: Rochdale Hornets 6 - 58 Toronto Wolfpack
Date published: 11 February 2019
Hornets 6 – 58 Toronto
After last week's game against Dewsbury Rams was called off due to the weather, Hornets were looking to get their 2019 season off to a good start.
Hornets started the game strong and both sides put in a very good defensive shift in the opening seven minutes.
It was Toronto who got first blood when former Warrington Wolves winger Matthew Russell found his way into the corner.
Moments later, Hornets' Brandon Wood put in the tackle of the game when he dragged Chase Stanley into touch after breaking through the defence.
The home side continued to put pressure on the Toronto defence, with head coach Carl Forster going close to the line but being held up by a sturdy Wolfpack back line.
Joe Mellor managed to extend Toronto's lead moments later though when he touched down under the sticks to give the Canadians a 8-0 lead.
A try from fullback Gareth O'Brien extended Toronto's lead to 14-0 after 17 minutes of action.
Hornets got their first try of the game when Adam Lawton found the try line with his first touch of the game to make it 16-4.
Hornets continued to show key defensive qualities, but they suffered back to back tries before the half time hooter with Darcy Lussick and Ricky Leutele both touching down to make it 26-6 to Toronto at the break.
Former St Helens second rower, Jon Wilkin, was given ten minutes in the sin bin after Toronto were placed on a team warning by referee Jack Smith.
Their one man disadvantage did not stop them though as Russell went over for his second of four tries.
Spirits remained high at the Crown Oil Arena, with the home crowd spurring the players on set by set.
Rochdale continued to fight even though they were clearly tired but Adam Higson crossed over for another Toronto try.
Chairman of Rochdale Hornets, Peter Rush welcomed Rebecca Argyle director of Toronto Wolves, Cllr Blundell, Mayor Mohammed Zaman and Tony Lloyd MP to Hornets to watch the match.
Chairman of Rochdale Hornets, Peter Rush said: “I believe we gave a very good welcome to our oversea opponents.
“Unfortunately the result went against us.”
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