THE Toronto Wolfpack’s winning streak came to an end, along with their run in the 2018 Challenge Cup ,as the Championship leaders fell to a heavy defeat against a white hot Warrington Wolves.
After leading for much of the first half, thanks to an extremely strong and controlled opening half an hour, the Wolfpack, which featured Gerringong’s Ashton Sims, with Culburra Beach’s Jack Buchanan injured, were left to rue the dismissal of Andrew Dixon for punching just before the interval and had no answer to the primrose and blue onslaught in the second half.
Warrington found themselves under pressure and struggling to cope with the slickness of the Wolfpack to begin with but weathered the storm and made full use of the man advantage, scoring 12 tries in total to comfortably book their place in the quarter-finals.
It was a difficult afternoon for the Canadians, who saw their frustrations in the game amount to three individual sin binnings to go with the red card of Dixon and at one stage had just ten men on the field.
Despite winning their last eleven matches and coming into the game fully confident in producing an upset, the second half proved a step too far for Paul Rowley’s men, who could do very little to stop the Wolves racking up a big score line in an totally dominant second half display.
Coach Rowley was visibly disappointed after the game, admitting there was a lot to learn moving forward and was left frustrated by his side’s response to multiple setbacks.
“We wanted to put our best foot forward and I think we did that in the first half,” Rowley said.
“I think we perhaps deserved to be ahead at half time and the game was very evenly matched.
“That was a complete contrast to the second half.
“It was a bit shambolic really.
“You can’t play with three men in the bin and one red card against a team that is high on confidence and playing well on their own pitch.
“As the first half went on I think the pressure built on Warrington and they didn’t like that pressure.
“Having said that our reaction to the scuffle that resulted in the sending off was poor from our part and we deserved what we got there; we were our own worst enemies.
“I’m not going to shirk behind anything and we accept that we weren’t good enough in terms of our discipline and how we dealt with certain situations so we need to be better.”
Toronto must now draw a line through the game and will look to bounce back in quick fashion, with a mouth-watering clash with Toulouse at St James’ Park in Newcastle, as part of the Dacia Magic Weekend, the next destination.