Leigh 12 – 34 Toronto

Toronto Wolfpack marked their first appearance at LSV with a stunning opening day victory in Round One of the Betfred Championship.

With ten former Leigh players in their ranks the Wolfpack came from 12-0 down to post 34 unanswered points and stun the bumper 5,000 plus crowd.

Leigh had ten players on debut earning their heritage numbers and started in sensational fashion with two converted tries in the opening exchanges through captain Harrison Hansen and winger Matty Dawson Jones, both converted by Ben Reynolds.

But Adam Sidlow ploughed under the Leigh sticks midway through the first half to spark the Wolfpack revival and despite Adam Higson spending time in the sin bin the ex-Leigh contingent then took over.

Liam Kay scored the first of his hat-trick in the corner to leave his new side trailing by just two points at the break.

Cory Paterson stretched high to collect a kick and race 70 metres for a stunning individual try nine minutes after the resumption.

Kay, Ryan Brierley and Kay again added further tries in front of the North Stand with Brierley kicking five goals as ex-Leigh players accounted for 30 of their new side’s 34 points.

After a promising pre season that included fine performances in Warm Up games against Wigan and St Helens this was a bitterly disappointing start for the Centurions head coach Neil Jukes.

Jukes said: “It’s really disappointing. I expected a real tough game, I expected them to challenge us but we probably got caught up in the emotion overall and after 15 minutes we stopped playing .

“We didn’t maintain the intensity that we intended to. It was a real stop-start game throughout with 20-odd penalties, more than we’ve seen in the last two games overall, and on the back of that became slow and scruffy and probably played into their hands I thought.

“We had ten guys earning heritage numbers today, so two-thirds who’ve not been caught up in the history of it. We expected their players to produce their best games, as you always do against your former club and that’s what they did.

“We’re massively disappointed. We were incredible in our first two games against good opposition but today we let ourselves down.

“We looked like we had no energy with the ball but discipline was hurting us as well. We were our own worst enemies at the back end of the game.

“Four months ago I sat in that changing room having lost the Million Pound Game and that was a horrendous feeling.

“Two years ago I sat in the Batley changing room and that was a horrendous feeling. But in 2016 we didn’t lose another game.

“We let ourselves down and we let the fans down who turned out in great numbers but win or lose we were always going to come in tomorrow and work hard. There has got to be some accountability across the board and we will look to address it and get better next week. ”

Leigh Centurions:
1 Craig Hall; 2 Matty Dawson Jones, 3 Ben Crooks, 4 Peter Mata’utia, 19 Jack Owens; 6 Ben Reynolds, 7 Drew Hutchison; 8 Paterika Vaivai, 14 Liam Hood, 10 Jamie Acton, 13 Harrison Hansen (captain), 12 Bodene Thompson, 15 Jordan Thompson. Interchange: 9 Daniel Mortimer, 16 Larne Patrick, 18 Nathan Mason, 17 Kyle Lovett.

Tries: Hansen (2), Dawson Jones (8);
Goals: Reynolds 2/ 2.

Toronto Wolfpack:
1 Quentin Laula-Togaga’e; 19 Adam Higson, 23 Nick Rawsthorne, 3 Greg Worthington, 5 Liam Kay; 6 Josh McCrone, 7 Ryan Brierley; 29 Jake Emmitt, 9 Bob Beswick, 28 Sam Hopkins, 11 Andrew Dixon, 24 Cory Paterson, 12 Joe Westerman. Interchange: 14 Andy Ackers, 15 Adam Sidlow, 8 Jack Buchanan, 13 Jack Bussey.

Tries: Sidlow (20), Kay (31, 54, 80), Paterson (49), Brierley (57);
Goals: Brierley 5/ 7. Referee: Liam Moore;

Attendance: 5,452;
Half-time: 12-10;
Penalty count: 9-13.

Main match sponsor: Spire Construction Services;
Associate sponsor: Ascot Services;
Matchball sponsor: Fastflow;
Programme sponsor: Orford Investments Ltd.
Mascot: Jacob Joseph Dick-Roberts.
Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Paterika Vaivai.

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