Heartbreak for Wolfpack as Super League tilt goes begging
THE Toronto Wolfpack have been denied an historic Super League berth with a 4-2 loss to the London Broncos in the Million Pound Game in Canada.
A near-capacity crowd of 9,266 packed into the suburban Lamport Stadium for the fourth-versus-fifth play-off which affords the winner a promotion to England's Super League from the second-tier Championship.
The Broncos outlasted the fledgling Wolfpack, who were founded in 2016, to seal the fourth and final spot in the Super League for next season - as well as more than $1.85 million in funding.
In the first minute of the game, a disallowed try to Wolfpack skipper and former NRL playmaker Josh McCrone set the tone for a defensive and scrappy contest.
The Wolfpack balanced a litany of errors with solid defence in the first half as they withstood a series of attacks on their own line, which the Broncos squandered with poor fifth-tackle decisions.
Despite the Wolfpack being reduced to 12 men after a dangerous hit from their utility Andy Ackers, neither side managed to cross and the Broncos drew first blood with an early penalty conversion giving them a 2-0 lead at the break.
Midway through the second half, Toronto made an unusual decision to take the two points from a penalty 42 metres out, but ful-back Gareth O'Brien slotted it to level at 2-2.
But the Broncos responded in kind only a minute later to regain the lead at 4-2 and never looked back.