Toronto Wolfpack proved too much in their first visit to Heywood as the Lions continue to look for their first win in the Championship.
Swinton Lions 12-52 Toronto Wolfpack
A masterclass of half back play between both Blake Wallace and Ryan Brierley helped the Wolfpack return to winning ways in style.
Paul Rowley made some changes from last week’s loss at London and they were without Nick Rawsthorne, Jake Emmitt, Josh McCrone and Richard Whiting, but the players they brought in helped to put them back on the winning track.
Jake Butler-Fleming opened the visitors account in only the second minute when he found a gap on the left to score and Brierley converted but the Lions hit back quickly when a chip from Jack Hansen deflected off a Wolfpack defender and Gabe Fell collected the loose ball to send Mike Butt over. Josh Woods levelled the scores before Paul Rowley’s side cut loose.
Wallace scored the second after some good build up play by his forwards and again Brierley slotted the easy conversion. Three minutes later Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e cut through some poor defence to score by the posts and again the conversion was true.
Wallace then finished off another fine ball movement with his second try again by the posts and again another easy conversion as the Wolfpack were already running away with the game. This was capped off when former Lion Andy Ackers darted over from acting half back on stroke of half time and again the conversion was landed to give Wolfpack a huge 30-6 lead at the break.
Both teams had chances in the opening minutes of the second half with Pownall going close for Wolfpack and Elliott Caine having a good chance for the Lions but spilling the ball over the try line.
It wasn’t long before the Canadians got back into their stride when Wallace made a nice break to feed Brierley, who raced away to score by the posts and add the conversion to his own try. Pownall then scored one in the corner after a nice pass from Brierley but this time the conversion failed.
Then came two more tries in a two minute period with firstly Wallace completing his hat trick after another nice passing movement and then Liam Kay fed his centre partner Butler-Fleming, who raced a full fifty metres to score on the left. Brierley made no mistakes with the conversions as his side hit the half century mark.
The Lions had a rather flat day on the attack but showed some spark in the final ten minutes when firstly Jack Hansen made a nice break but ran out of support and then they had a chance near the posts but the lost the ball. They were though rewarded with four minutes left when Luke Waterworth spotted a gap in the Wolfpack defence to dive over and score under the posts from short range and Woods added the simple conversion as both sides held out until the end.
The Lions now face another tough game this weekend when the travel to play former coach John Duffy’s high flying Featherstone side.
Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road.
SWINTON:Gabe Fell, Mike Butt, Rhodri Lloyd, George Tyson, Elliott Caine, Josh Woods, Jack Hansen, Andy Bracek, Luke Waterworth, Gavin Bennion, Mark Nicholson, Matt Sarsfield, Kyle Shelford.
TORONTO: Quentin Laulu-Togagae, Jonathan Pownall, Greg Worthington, Jake Butler-Fleming, Liam Kay, Blake Wallace, Ryan Brierley, Jack Buchannan, Bob Beswick, Ashton Sims, Andrew Dixon, Reni Maitua, Joe Westerman.
Subs (all used): Adam Sidlow, James Laithwaite, Olsi Krasniqi, Andy Ackers