NWML English Lionhearts 38
The North West English Lionhearts have come away victorious 38-6 in the first game of their two match tour to Canada, but were made to work hard by a committed Ontario State representative side. The game, a very important first step for Ontario Rugby League was played in testing weather conditions with an Ontario team boasting many debutant players. Despite the loss, much was worth celebrating as the boys were gallant in defeat and persevered to the end.
In a game with more positives than negatives the English team with their relentlessness, experience, fluidity and calmness under pressure proved to be the difference. Lion hearts Coach
Mick Blakeley said of the game “Our lads played well considering the number of changes we made throughout the game, and we can take nothing away from the Canadians who gave a great account of themselves, played in the right spirit and took their chance well. Our little bit of experience though showed through in the second half.” Joint Coach John Ellis added, “The game itself really shook things up for how we plan to approach Saturday, some players made us stand up and take notice. It certainly hasn’t made picking the Test side any easier.”
Canadian coaches Ben Fleming and Jamie Lester said of the match, “A gutsy effort, unfortunately we lacked a bit of cohesion in attack due to our inexperience in the halves. This was to be expected due to the busy Canadian representative schedule”. “To their credit the boys played hard and never gave up”. The Canadians sustained one injury to Hooker Michael Cregg, who will unfortunately more than likely miss out on his chance for redemption when the Wolverines play the Lionhearts on Saturday.
Of the game itself, A first half hat trick from Lionhearts’ Matthew Norton was the difference in a close first period, before the Lionhearts found their form in a second half shortened due to rapidly deteriorating light at Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club.
The tone has been set for a gruelling encounter this Saturday when the Canadian Wolverines, fresh off their victory against Jamaica in the Americas Cup, play the mighty NWML English Lionhearts at Lamport stadium.
It is not too late to get your tickets! Visit www.torontoticket.ca to book now!