Toronto Wolfpack produced an impressive performance as they beat Toulouse 40-24 at the Lamport Stadium to make the Championship Grand Final.
After a very even start, it was the hosts who scored first as Joe Mellor finished off a break by Ricky Leutele to score. Gareth O’Brien converted to make it a six point lead just after the ten minute mark.
After being provider for the first try, Leutele grabbed a try of his own just a few minutes later, as he finished off a good move out wide. O’Brien missed the conversion this time, but the Wolfpack were in double figures.
But after a mistake from the kick off, Toulouse were able to hit back as Mark Kheirallah got over from short range. He then converted his own try to bring the French side back to within four points.
The next try was crucial and it fell for the Wolfpack just before the half hour as Leutele grabbed his second out wide. O’Brien missed the conversion from out wide again but the Wolfpack increased their lead to 10 points.
The Wolfpack were starting to have fun as they broke through again and this time it was Josh McCrone who finished it off. O’Brien was back on target to bring the hosts up to 20 points.
The hosts hit a real purple patch and grabbed their third try in four minutes as Mellor went over from dummy half for his second. O’Brien scored the conversion to put the Wolfpack ahead by 20 points.
Any chance Toulouse had of getting back into the game faded quickly, as seven minutes into the second half, Liam Kay managed to get another try for the Wolfpack. O’Brien was again off target, but the hosts had reached 30 points.
The French side needed to score next to have a chance, and they did as William Barthau burrowed his way under the defence to score. Kheirallah converted to bring them back to within 18 points.
That reprieve was short lived however, as once again Toronto found the overlap on the right hand side, leaving Chase Stanley to get in out wide. O’Brien nailed the touchline conversion to give the Wolfpack a 24 point advantage.
A fine personal performance from Leutele was completed ten minutes from time as he completed his hat trick after finishing off a break. O’Brien was again off target, but the Wolfpack had hit 40 points.
The last word would go to the visitors, as Kheirallah produced a moment of magic to chip and collect and go under the posts. He then converted his own try to add a little respectability to the score.
There was even time for Kheirallah to complete his hat trick as he finished off a fine break. He kept up his perfect record with the boot to take his personal tally to 20 points.
That result gives the Wolfpack the chance to avenge last years defeat to London Broncos, and earn promotion to the Super League at the second attempt. They have a week off, before hosting the winner of the penultimate playoff match.
As for Toulouse, they will be disappointed with the final result after a strong start, but they have another chance to make the Grand Final as they host Featherstone Rovers next week.