Toronto Wolfpack and their Top Six games at Lamport Stadium

Toronto Wolfpack and their Top Six games at Lamport Stadium

Lamport Stadium has held all but one of the Wolfpack’s home games in Canada. Also, some of the biggest moments in the Toronto Wolfpack’s history have happened at their home ground.

Most importantly, all these home games on this list took place in Canada, not the United Kingdom. Because of the cold weather, the Wolfpack were forced to play some of their home games in the UK; which are not be included in this list. Yet it is on the field at Lamport, where many of the side found their place within the ‘pack.

Significantly, this is an opinion piece and everyone’s top six home games for the Wolfpack are different. Indeed, express your own opinions on LWOS Boards.

Top Six Toronto Wolfpack games at Lamport Stadium

Counting from six backward, let us start with a memorable game up against the team just recently promoted to the 2021 Super League.

6. Toronto Wolfpack vs. Leigh Centurions – Championship (2018)

In 2018, the Toronto Wolfpack had a rivalry with the Leigh Centurions. This was mentioned previously in the Wolfpack’s top six road games article. This is because many of the Wolfpack players at that time were former Centurions players.

Also, a lot of experts predicted both these teams to finish in the top two of the championship. The Centurions were expected to finish first in the league, but the Wolfpack defeated the Leigh Centurions on two occasions, once on the road at Leigh Sports Village on February 4th. The Toronto Wolfpack would then win again at a neutral venue at Bloomfield Road against the Leigh Centurions on the 26th of May. The official attendance for this match was 6,844 fans.

Lastly, on the 30th of June, the Wolfpack won the game 46-28 at Lamport Stadium. This is thanks to a positive start, where they led 24-0 at the end of the first half. Blake Wallace played very well and scored three tries in the game. The Centurions did make a rally in the second half, but it was too late. As a result, Toronto won all three matches against their rival Leigh in 2018.

5. Wolfpack vs. Widnes Vikings: Super 8’s Qualifiers (2018)

The Toronto Wolfpack faced Super League side, the Widnes Vikings in the Super 8’s: Qualifiers. In the qualifiers, the top four teams from the Championship and the bottom four teams from Super League would face each other. On the 22nd of September, the Vikings came to Toronto looking to win to keep their Super League hopes alive. Widnes had already lost to Championship sides the London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique XIII. The Wolfpack also beat the Vikings thanks to their great defence according to the Toronto Wolfpack.

There was a large attendance of 8,281 people at the stands. It was also an exciting game that went back and forth. Joseph Mellor of Widnes scored the first try of the game in the 13th minute. The Wolfpack would tie it a few minutes later with a Cory Patterson try. The game went back and forth as the Wolfpack lead 10-8 after halftime. Like in the first half, Widnes would score first. However, the Wolfpack would bounce back scoring two tries to give Toronto the 20-12 win over Widnes.

While it was an exciting game, the Widnes Vikings were really struggling to find their form in their 2018 season campaign. It is a big reason why this game is not higher on this list. However, this game is still important as it represents the only time the Wolfpack had won against a Super League side in Canada.

4. Wolfpack vs. Toulouse Olympique XIII – playoff (2019)

The Wolfpack were even more dominant in 2019 than the 2018 Championship season. In the 2019 Championship season, Toronto finished with 26 wins and one loss. Their only loss in the season came against Toulouse Olympique XIII. This game occurred at Stade Ernest-Argelès in Toulouse, France on March 9. The Wolfpack lost badly 46-16. However, Toronto would then close the season with 21 straight wins including two against Toulouse.

Toronto’s game against Toulouse was competitive. However, the Wolfpack were in control most of the game. When Ricky Leutele and Joe Mellor scored one try each past the 10-minute mark of the game, Toronto would never relinquish the lead.

Mark Kheirallah of Toulouse would score a try and convert a kick from a Wolfpack mistake to keep his team in the game. Toulouse was only trailing by four points at that point. The Wolfpack would then score three tries in the next five minutes and they would end up winning comfortably 40-24. As a result, the Wolfpack would make the Championship playoff final. What was even more impressive was the official attendance of 9,325 fans. This is the third-highest attendance the Wolfpack has ever had at Lamport Stadium.

3. Wolfpack vs. Barrow Raiders – League One Super 8’s (2017)

In the inaugural year of Canada’s first-ever professional rugby team, they had incredibly accomplished the franchise goal. In their second last game on September 9 against the Barrow Raiders, the Wolfpack won the 2017 RFL League One title. The first of many hardware ]trophies] the Wolfpack would win in their short history.

They won the game 26-2. This was thanks to two tries from Wallace and one each from Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Richard Whiting. More importantly, the Wolfpack won their first-ever trophy, the RFL League 1 title. While it was widely expected, it took the Wolfpack the entire League 1 season and almost the entire League 1 Super 8’s to clinch their first-ever hardware. The attendance for this game was 7,972 fans.

2. Wolfpack vs. Featherstone Rovers – Championship Grand Final (2019)

The Wolfpack were on a 22-game winning streak at the time and were the favourites to win the Championship Grand Final. However, the Rovers scored the first try of the game and ended up winning the game 4-6 after the first half. Even so, there was no panic with the Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott according to CiK Rugby as he knew how competitive Featherstone was against Toronto. “We knew it was going to be the same again, so at half-time, after we were down, nothing was wrong.”

The Wolfpack faced the Rovers twice. The first win came at Post Office Road 14-23 on April 22. Toronto also won at home against the Featherstone Rovers on 13 July, but by only four points, 22-18. So, the Wolfpack knew the Rovers were not going to lose without a fight.

Surprisingly, in the second half, the momentum changed. Wallace was able to breakthrough with a try in the 57th minute and take the lead for the first time. As a result, Toronto led throughout the rest of the game. The Wolfpack would add two more tries from Bodene Thompson and Joe Mellor and four conversions in the second half. This along with Featherstone not scoring a try gave the Wolfpack an impressive 24-6 win over the Rovers.

1. Wolfpack vs. Oxford RLFC – First-ever home game at Lamport Stadium (2017)

The first-ever home game for the Wolfpack at Lamport Stadium should be the most significant. On May 6, 2017, the Toronto Wolfpack had their first-ever home game against Oxford. They would win this game 62-12.

They would score an impressive 12 tries and dominated the game from beginning to end. Wallace scored the first-ever try in Canada for the Wolfpack on May 6. He was one of eight players who scored a try for the Wolfpack.

There were also 11 other tries in the game. Ryan Brierley, Andrew Dixon, Jonathan Pownall, and Richard Whiting all scored two tries each. Also, Greg Worthington, Ryan Burroughs, and then captain Craig Hall scored one try each.

However, what was more important was the occasion of the game. The Wolfpack drew 6,281 fans in their first-ever Canadian home opener at Lamport Stadium. And more significantly it was the first-ever pro rugby game in Canada. This is what Alex Simmons of Rugby AM said about the Toronto Wolfpack in their first-ever home game in Toronto:

“Welcome to Toronto, an international powerhouse home of some of the biggest sporting brands in the world. The Blue Jays, the Raptors, the Maple Leafs. We have travelled three and a half thousand miles to create history to be here as the first-ever professional sports transatlantic fixture takes place right here in Toronto.”

This was a significant event as it was the first time in the 21st century that a transatlantic team was born. There were talks of an NFL, NBA, and PRO12 (now PRO14) transatlantic team(s), but none yet has come to fruition.

 

Overview: Top Six Toronto Wolfpack games at Lamport Stadium

The writer of this article did consider putting the Toronto Wolfpack vs. Swinton Lions Championship home opener in 2018. The game took place at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, Ontario, and almost made the top six Toronto Wolfpack home games.

The top four games on this list were landmarks in Toronto Wolfpack’s history. It also showed how popular rugby league is in Toronto with the first and third-highest rugby league attendances ever in Canada. Most significantly, the first home game in Canada against Oxford RLFC is the most significant game in Canadian club rugby history.

Lastly, it has been a hard time for Toronto Wolfpack fans after their team was not accepted back into Super League. As a result, their future is uncertain. However, in their short time, they were able to breakthrough with big attendances in the Canadian market.

 

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