Match report by Luke Winner.
History was made with the newest club travelling to the games oldest stadium. Batley ran their visitors close, losing slightly 18 – 26 against newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.
The game started off brilliantly from the Bulldogs’ stomping on Rowley’s men early doors. Once again the hosts showed their impressive fast flowing ball play, frustrating their opponent’s defensive efforts.
Toronto began the scoring with Captain Josh McCrone collecting a wide pass from Andy Ackers to reach over the try line. Brierley added the extras.
Despite the Wolfpacks early lead Batley soon hit back hard, as James Harrison danced around multiple defenders to complete a swift move. Walker converted. Batley 6 – 6 Toronto.
Alex Rowe, Joel Farrell and Tommy Holland landed Batley some valuable well-earned yards, causing massive disruption barging through a strong forward pack.
Just before half-time the tension in the ground rose once more, with both teams wanting to head inside leading before the second half. Wayne Reittie added more to the scoresheet, sweeping up an interception to run almost full length diving over into the right hand corner. However, his try came at price coming off injured after touching down. Walker added the conversion, seconds before the hooter.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 6 Toronto Wolfpack
As the second half got underway Gareth O’Brien brought Toronto back into some breathing space after going over in the corner. Brierley struggled to make the conversion.
Toronto extended their lead with Gareth O’Brien managing to complete his hat-trick scoring twice more and Jack Bussey also going over, putting the visitors within a healthy position. Brierley converted two out of the three. Batley 12 – 26 Toronto.
A moment of weakness from Sam Hopkins saw him given the yellow card from Referee Tom Grant for a dangerous tackle. With a penalty being sent in Batley’s favour and only mili-seconds left on the clock, it became a frenzy on the pitch. Brad Day scored the Bulldogs final try of the afternoon, diving over in corner, sporting yet another superman dive on the hooter! Walker slotted over the conversion.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 26 Toronto Wolfpack.
Bulldogs Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Tommy Holland, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Brad Day and Joel Farrell.
Interchanges – James Davey, James Brown, Dane Manning and Michael Ward.
Toronto Xlll – Gareth O’Brien, Jonathan Pownall, Chase Stanley, Greg Worthington, Liam Kay, Josh McCrone, Ryan Brierley, Jacom Emmitt, Andrew Ackers, Ashton Simz, Jack Bussey, Richard Whiting and Jack Buchanan.
Interchanges- Reni Maitua, Adam Sidlow, Sam Hopkins and Blake Wallace.