Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Wolfpack Bash Barrow in Top-of-the-Table Rugby League Showdown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Wolfpack Bash Barrow in Top-of-the-Table Rugby League Showdown

Article excerpt

Toronto Wolfpack bash Barrow Raiders

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TORONTO - The Toronto Wolfpack improved to 8-0-0 Saturday, reeling off 70 unanswered points to bash the previously unbeaten Barrow Raiders 70-2 in a top-of-the-table rugby league showdown short on drama.

Barrow (7-1-0) fielded a depleted side with four players unable to make the trip to Canada due to visa issues and another injured. Unlike the fully professional Toronto team, the Raiders are a semi-pro side.

Still it was an impressive performance by the fledgling Wolfpack, who were missing four players themselves through injury and suspension, before an announced crowd of 7,144 at Lamport Stadium.

Barrow went ahead 2-0 on a fifth-minute penalty kick, but Toronto scored seven tries -- four in the last nine minutes of the half -- to lead 40-2 at the end of a first half that saw the Wolfpack make three goal-line stands to stave off the visitors.

Toronto continued with its stingy defence and added 30 points -- though five more converted tries -- in the second half.

"It was an all-round complete performance," said a satisfied Toronto coach Paul Rowley, who danced with his players in the locker-room as they sang their victory song "Wolfpack's on Fire."

Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e scored three tries and Ryan Brierley had two for Toronto. Blake Wallace, Ryan Bailey, Andrew Dixon, Gary Wheeler, Greg Worthington, Sean Penkywicz and Shaun Pick added singles. Wolfpack captain Craig Hall kicked 11 conversions.

Lewis Charnock kicked a penalty for Barrow, who despite the lopsided score managed some decent defence.

Barrow's last competitive defeat was a 32-22 loss in the promotion playoff final at Toulouse on Oct. 1.

Barrow coach Paul Crarey paid tribute to the Wolfpack's quality.

"It's just a shame for the game that we couldn't have brought our best 17, because we'd have probably have hung in the game a little bit longer," said Crarey, an independent roofing contractor when not coaching. "We might not have won the contest but the first 20 minutes we were good and then they started picking us to pieces a little bit."

The first-year Wolfpack, rugby's first transatlantic team, have started life in the Kingstone Press League 1 -- the third tier of English rugby league. …

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