Castleford Tigers proved to be too strong for the Toronto Wolfpack, who were making their Super League debut, winning 28-10 at Headingley in the first game of a double-header.
Toronto got off to a dream start after just three minutes, when they made a break down the right and Hakim Miloudi kicked to the line for Liam Kay to touch down.
Blake Wallace couldn’t convert, and the Tigers responded quickly when Greg Eden picked up a loose ball from a long pass that Miloudi couldn’t catch and ran 90 metres to touch down under the posts, with Danny Richardson adding the goal for a 6-4 lead.
The Tigers then extended their lead in the 18th minute when Grant Millington reached out to touch down from a Danny Richardson pass, with Richardson unable to add the goal.
On 22 minutes the Tigers missed an opportunity when Jake Trueman gave what should have been a scoring pass to Millington, but Josh McCrone managed to intercept to avert the danger.
Sonny Bill Williams entered the field on 26 minutes and he made a solid if unspectacular contribution.
But the Tigers were the next to score when Adam Milner touched down a Jordan Rankin kick and Richardson goaled for a 16-4 lead. And they went further ahead on 35 minutes when captain Michael Shenton crossed for his 150th Castleford try and Richardson landed a penalty just before the interval for a 22-4 half-time lead.
The Tigers continued their scoring spree on 45 minutes when Peter Mata’utia crossed, with Richardson’s goal making it 28-4.
But on 60 minutes Miloudi intercepted a pass from Jordan Rankin in his own half and touched down at the other end, for Wallace’s conversion to reduce the gap to 18 points.
Toronto: Wallace, Russell, Leutele, Miloudi, Kay, Mellor, McCrone, Sidlow, Ackers, Mullally, Orbison, Dixon, Wilkin; Subs: Springer, Singleton, Cunningham, Williams.
Tries: Kay, Miloudi Goals: Wallace 1
Castleford: Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Griffin, Blair, Milner; Subs: Massey, Smith, O’Neill, Hepi.
Tries: Eden, Millington, Milner, Shenton, Mata’utia Goals: Richardson 4
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s issue of League Express