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Toronto Wolfpack will head to Canada for their first home game after eleven rounds of Championship rugby with a ten win record, and a four-point lead at the top of the table, after their 23-14 win over Featherstone Rovers., But the game was a lot tighter than the scoreline suggest, and for a period, Rovers looked in spitting distance of a famous win. They should have scored first on five minutes, but rooky winger Jack Broadbent put a foot in touch with an open tryline just feet away. The Wolfpack’s threat was on clear display as well though, with Bob Beswick was held up over the line twice before Gareth O’Brien opened the scoring, courtesy of a couple of outrageous dummies. He was followed minutes later by Matty Russell – the first of three for the winger – for an 8-0 lead. But Fev showed that they had no intention of just making up the number when Maka Makatoa crossed under the posts after a Jack Bussey break. Dane Chisolm’s conversion made the scoreline a more interesting 6-8. Russell’s second stretched the gap to 6-12. But the hosts pressed again and a Chisolm clean break saw him with just the full-back to beat. O’Brien stopped him – but with a high tackle that saw him sin-binned for the rest of the first half and the start of the second.  The resulting penalty saw the ball passed out to Broadbent with the line clear in front of him, but he couldn’t gather the ball. Seeing the pressure they were under it came as no surprise when Josh McCrone kicked a drop in the 39th minute for a 6-13 half-time lead. And Featherstone kept up the pressure after the break. Minutes after the restart, a Chisolm kick to the corner was gathered by Conor Carey who miraculously grounded the ball just millimetres from the dead ball line and on his tip-toes. Chisolm’s conversion took the score to 12-13. Toronto tried to open up the lead, but Adam Higson dropped the ball when trying to score in the corner and Russell stepped into touch on the opposite wing. With the scoring so tight, Rovers opted to kick for goal when they got a penalty 40m out on the 65th minute. Chisholm steered the ball between the uprights to give the home team the lead for the first time at 14-13. They could have extended that five minutes later, when a great break by Bussey got the ball to Chisholm, who kicked ahead only for Broadbent to lose the ball in the act of grounding. With five minutes to go, Andrew Dixon broke the Rovers line for a converted try to regain the lead at 14-19. And Russell sealed the win, and his hat-trick, with a 79th minute unconverted goal for a final score of 14-23. So for Toronto, it’s a case of 10 wins in 11 outings. For Rovers, a tale of what-might-have-beens. Featherstone Rovers 14 (6) Toronto Wolfpack 23 (13) Featherstone: Hardcastle, Carey (T), Wheeldon, Bussey, Day, Lockwood, Cooper, Maskill, Render, Walters, Sutcliffe, Broadbent, Chisholm (3G). Bench: King, Harrison, Makatoa (T), Ormondroyd. Toronto: O’Brien (T), Russell (3T), Leutele, McCrone (DG), Sidlow, Beswick, Sims, Dixon (T), Wilkin, Olbison Wallace (G), Higson Miloudi. Bench: Thompson, Ackers, Lussick, Mullally
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