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Third played fourth in the Betfred Championship as the Toronto Wolfpack breezed into Post Office Road to take on Featherstone Rovers. The spoils for the winners of todays match would be second place in a very competitive top four.

Chase Stanley was making his debut for the visitors after being released by the Canterbury Bulldogs and a number of ex-Featherstone players were making a return including Richard Whiting and Jack Bussey. 

The Wolfpack struggled to get to Featherstone from their Manchester base due to motorway issues and only arrived at the ground an hour before kick-off but Paul Rowley would have had the time to get his side focussed for kick-off.

Featherstone chose to play up the hill in the second half and opened the scoring on five minutes when Martyn Ridyard kicked a penalty goal, after missing an earlier effort. 

On eighteen minutes Ryan Brierley made the most of an awful defensive mistake from Featherstone when he chased down his own kick off the post pad and a Featherstone hand and grounded the bouncing ball. There was some controversy over a Wolfpack knock-on but the referee awarded the four pointer. Brierley added the extras for a 6-2 lead.

A mass brawl erupted on twenty-four under the Toronto sticks which resulted in a Featherstone penalty. Faetherstone opted to kick the two to reduce the arrears to two points as Ridyard slotted the ball between the posts. 

On twenty-five Richard Whiting grabbed Toronto’s second after Fev’ made a real mess of fielding the kick –off. The big second rower spotted a gap on the blind side and stepped of his right foot to go through it and ground. Brierley was unable to add the extras and his side led by 10-4.

On twenty-eight Whiting got his second in three minutes after taking a Josh McCrone kick to ground under the sticks and giving Ridyard a simple conversion for 16-4. After a valiant start from Rovers the Wolfpack were hitting them hard and exploiting every mistake.

The first try of the second half came for Luke Briscoe on forty-nine, equalling Paul Newlove’s Featherstone all-time record of scoring a try in ten consecutive games, as he pushed through three attempted tackles to ground one-handed in the corner. Ridyard was unable to add the extras and his side still trailed by eight points.

A Featherstone foul on fifty-three enabled Brierley to extend the Wolfpack lead with a penalty from twenty metres out.

On sixty minutes Gareth O’Brien made a terrific fifty metre break before passing inside to Brierley to go under the sticks from twenty metres. Brierley added the conversion for a 24-8 lead, the game was slipping from Featherstone.

On sixty-six a break from Liam Kay allowed him to supply Jonny Pownall who was hauled down a couple of metres short of the line thanks to a great chase and tackle by Briscoe. A penalty was conceeded but Brierley couldn’t push it between the uprights.

There was some consolation for Featherstone on seventy-five when Misi Tualapapa took a Harry Newman pass to go over in the corner. Ridyard was again unsuccessful with the boot and with three minutes remaining it was 12-24.

On seventy-eight Briscoe got his second of the game, now seventeen for the season, when he took a Ridyard pass to score wide right. Ridyard was unable to convert and the final margin was eight points at 16-24.

Rovers had a good start, and a decent finish to the game but were outplayed for majority by a Toronto side who had to dig deep to get the victory and lift themselves into second place in the table and set up another massive game against the league leaders Toulouse Olympique XIII on Easter Monday. Featherstone are a good enough side to make the middle eights and will look to get back on the horse when they travel to Rochdale.

Rovers: Hardman, Briscoe (2T), Hardcastle, Newman, Tualapapa (T), Ridyard (2G), Holmes, Lockwood, Davies, Farrell, Hock, Carlile, Knowles.  Subs: Wildie, Cooper, Brooks, Mariano.

Wolfpack: O’Brien, Pownall, Stanley, Worthington, Kay, McCrone, Brierley (2T, 4G), Emmitt, Ackers, Sims, Bussey, Whiting (2T), Hopkins.  Subs: Maitua, Wallance, Sidlow, Buchanan.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths.

Half-Time: 4-16.

Full-Time: 16-24.

Attendance: .



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 30th Mar 2018 7:59 PM | Views : 3172 | Replies : 2 | BACK TO STORIES
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