In what was labeled as the battle of the beasts, the Coventry Bears succumbed to the Wolfpack losing 54-12.
After a slow start to the match, the Wolfpack held an 8-4 lead after the opening 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of the first half, the Wolfpack cleaned up their ball distribution and cut out the penalties allowing them to score 3 tries in the final quarter of the first half.
Toronto(9-0-0) head coach Paul Rowley had to perform quite a lot of lineup shuffling in order to deal with his growing injured list. Wolfpack trialist Joe Eichner and Australian-born Canadian international Tom Dempsey made their debuts for the Wolfpack.
Blake Wallace, Jack Bussey, James Laithwaite and Gary Wheeler were out with injuries while Jake Emmitt was serving a suspension.
Dan Fleming and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e got to rest in order to allow Paul Rowley to field four North Americans.
In the second half, the Wolfpack cut out their mistakes while also managing to give a healthy amount of game time to Joe Eichner and Tom Dempsey. Both of the debutants came off the interchange being clean on the ball, brave in their runs and solid on defense.
Eichner discovered Rugby while walking past a group playing catch at his university in Florida. A few weeks later he was on a field playing a game. Considering that Eichner has had an unorthodox upbringing to the game of Rugby League. He didn’t look out of place in his debut. As the season wears on it will be interesting to see how Eichner performs with more game time.
Eichner was not able to make his mark on the score sheet. Liam Kay scored 3 tries, Andrew Dixon and Fuifui Moimoi scored two tries each while Bob Beswick, Ryan Brierly and Rhys Jacks added one try each.
The Coventry Bears 2017 tumultuous season continues. Giving up over 40 points a game does not coincide with winning. Their 1-8-0 record puts them 14th in the Kingston Press League 1.
The Bears were accepted into League 1 in 2015. With a squad that has an average age of 22, the future does look bright for Coventry.
The match was played in front of an announced crowd of 6,973 following crowds of 6,281 and 7,144 in the first two home games. The Wolfpack are 3-0 at home outscoring opponents 186-26.
Jamahl Hunte the Coventry winger looked lively and explosive throughout the match. He had a few impressive plays throughout the match. When Liam Kay broke through the Coventry lines he was caught by Jamahl Hunte after running 70 meters down the field. Even though Hunte had to work a lot on the defensive side of the game he was key in the Bears offensive moves. In the first half, Hunte outran three Wolfpack defenders to touch a ball down from a nicely weighted kick from Chris Barratt.
Liam Kay the former Leigh Centurian and Wakefield Trinity Wildcat has been a stand out contributor all season. On Saturday he showed his skill, speed and agility through the whole match. In the second half, Kay took a nice Sean Penkywicz pass before pirouetting and touching down the ball in the corner of the end zone. Unfortunately after scoring a hat-trick of tries on Saturday, Kay was seen on crutches due to a rolled ankle. Hopefully Kay doesn’t join the Wolfpack’s growing injury list.