After last weekends loss at the London Broncos, Toronto Wolfpack ventured into Lions den to take on a Swinton side who were still looking for their first league victory of 2018. Haywood Road in Sale was the venue for what looked, on paper, like an away banker.


In one of just two Championship fixtures to survive the weather, the other being at Leigh Sports Village, it was bitingly cold as Swinton returned to Sale after their opening home fixtures this season had been played at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.


With ninety seconds on the clock Jake Butler-Fleming picked up a bounce pass and outpaced the Swinton defence on the angle to dive over for his first try for his new side. Ryan Brierley added the conversion.


The Lions struck back on nine minutes when Mike Butt took a pass wide from Gabriel Fell to round under the sticks. Josh Woods added the conversion to square the game at 6-6 to cheers from the home support.


Brierley scored a nineteen the minute try picking up a perfectly placed Joe Westerman grubber to go behind the sticks to ground. Brierley added the extras. Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e took a short pass to dance through the Lions defence on twenty-three and when Brierley added the extras it was 18-6. The visitors were starting to dominate.


On the half hour Blake Wallace took a pass from Andy Ackers to go ten metres for Toronto’s fourth of the afternoon. Brierley added his fourth conversion against a Swinton side who already looked tired.


Benefiting from a penalty close to the Lions line, Ackers scooted from acting half-back on the first play the ball and found a gap in the Swinton defence. Brierley added the extras for a 30-6 lead at the interval with Toronto in total control.


On forty six Brierley supported Wallace as he broke the Swinton line and went to the ten before finding his scrum-half to complete the score. Brierley added the conversion. A floated pass from Brierley fifty minutes later allowed Jonny Pownall to cross in the right corner. Brierley failed with his most difficult conversion of the afternoon.


Another step from Wallace on the hour saw the Wolfpack stand-off go over for his second of the afternoon and when Brierley added the extras it was 46-6 with the Lions having no answer to the Toronto onslaught.


Within a minute Liam Kay broke down the left wing and found Butler-Fleming in support to go over for his second of the afternoon to bring up the fifty for the visitors. Brierley was again accurate with the boot.


A seventy-eighth minute Luke Waterworth try, stepping off both feet from acting half back, was late consolation. Woods added the extras for double figures for the home side at 12-52.


It was a brave effort by Swinton who kept going until the final whistle but who were dominated by the professional side from Canada who got their campaign back on track with a thumping victory. Brierley was the Wolfpack’s inspiration, devastating with the kicks in play, grabbing a couple of tries and kicking eight out of nine conversion attempts.


Lions: Fell, Butt (T), Lloyd, Tyson, Caine, Woods (2G), Hansen J, Bracek, Waterworth (T), Bennion, Nicholson, Sarsfield, Shelford. Subs Austin, Barlow, Hansen H, Navarette.


Wolfpack: Laulu-Togaga’e (T), Pownall (T), Worthington, Butler-Fleming (2T), Kay, Wallace (2T), Brierley (2T, 8G), Buchanan, Beswick, Sims, Dixon, Matua, Westerman. Subs: Sidlow, Laithwaite, Krasniqi, Ackers (T).


Half Time: 6-30.


Full Time: 12-52.


Referee: Jack Smith


Attendance: .  


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