Whatever the formula is to compete with the Toronto Wolfpack, the Featherstone Rovers have it.
And though the Wolfpack managed to pull out a 23-14 win in West Yorkshire, England, on Monday, they know Featherstone will try to be a significant roadblock to their quest to advance to English rugby league’s top rung.
Meeting at LD Nutrition Stadium for the first time since last July, when Featherstone became the first road team to win to defeat Toronto at home, the Rovers clawed back from an early deficit and took the lead midway through the second half before conceding late.
Toronto built a 13-6 halftime lead on a 50-metre run from Gareth O’Brien and two of Matty Russell’s three corner tries. Featherstone scored when Maka Makatoa and former Wolfpack forward Jack Bussey helped Josh Walters get a score. Josh McCrone kicked a drop goal with one second left to make it a two-score game.
Both teams had numerous chances to score but try-saving tackles and drops inside the try line kept the game close.
The Rovers delighted a good Easter Monday crowd with a spectacular try by Conor Carey, touching the ball right on the edge of the end line after a brilliant run and kick from Dane Chisholm. Then Chisholm gave the home side its lead with a penalty kick from 40 metres out.
Toronto regained the lead when McCrone found Andrew Dixon in space, with Dixon clear for the final 30 metres. Russell finished the scoring and his hat trick in the final minute.
The Wolfpack, now 10-1, will make the trip overseas to open its home schedule against the Swinton Lions this Sunday at Lamport Stadium.
A 60-metre try by Kainoa Lloyd sealed a 35-21 win by the Toronto Arrows over the Houston Sabercats at York Alumni Stadium on Sunday.
Mike Sheppard, Theo Sauder, Andrew Quattrin and Kolby Francis also found the line as the Arrows scored their first victory on home soil and moved to 5-5 in their inaugural Major League Rugby season. Their 29 points keep them in sixth place in the league standings. Houston fell to 2-8.
The Arrows face the defending champion Seattle Seawolves at York this Sunday. The club has also rescheduled its game against Austin Elite Rugby for May 9 at 7 p.m. at York. The match, which had been scheduled for April 14, was postponed after bad weather forced flight cancellations for the Texas-based side.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019