Leeds 66-12 Toronto: Rhinos run in 11 tries to destroy Brian McDermott’s Wolfpack

5th March 2020, Emerald Headingley, Leeds, England; Betfred Super League, Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolfpack : Adam Cuthbertson of Leeds Rhinos goes over for a late try.

Leeds made it a tough night for former coach Brian McDermott as they ran in 11 tries to go top of Super League for the first time since 20015 when he was in charge of them.

Half-backs Luke Gale and Rob Lui scored two tries apiece and Rhyse Martin kicked all 11 conversions in a 66-12 rout of Toronto that keeps McDermott’s current team bottom of the table without a win.

The Rhinos followed up their 36-0 hammering of Warrington with an equally impressive fourth successive win, their best run since 2017 when McDermott led them to a fourth Grand Final triumph.

This was a second defeat of the season at Headingley for the Wolfpack and a chastening experience for McDermott, whose under-manned side are doing it tough in the top flight.

Gale was Toronto’s chief tormentor, scoring his 1,500th point in Super League on the 300th appearance of his career.

5th March 2020, Emerald Headingley, Leeds, England; Betfred Super League, Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolfpack : Konrad Hurrell (4) of Leeds Rhinos goes over for a try

It was routine for the Rhinos from the moment hooker Brad Dwyer forced his way through the attempted tackle of props Gadwin Springer and Adam Sidlow for a soft try after only three minutes.

The Wolfpack attacked brightly and thought they had scored through left winger Matty Russell but slow-motion replays indicated he had been taken into touch by a flying Harry Newman.

Leeds immediately worked their way upfield and Richie Myler, once more revelling in his makeshift full-back role, finished off a sparkling move from deep inside his own half in which Gale handled twice.

It took a kick for Toronto to finally breach the Leeds defence, centre Hakim Miloudi palming the ball back from Tony Gigot for scrum-half Josh McCrone to touch down, and Gareth O’Brien added the conversion.

Normal service was quickly resumed when Gale started and finished another flowing move midway through the first half and Lui then got in on the act.

The former Salford playmaker jinked past a wrong-footed Jon Wilkin for one try and then got on the end of Newman’s break to grab another.

The Rhinos were full of invention and they got the bounce of the ball on the stroke of half-time when Newman regathered the ball from Martin’s delicate kick through the Toronto defence and left-winger Ash Handley popped up on the right to finish off with his side’s sixth try of the half.

Martin kicked his sixth conversion to make it 36-6 at the break and it was a similar story in the second half.

Substitute Jack Wells, playing his second game on loan from Wigan, managed to punch a hole in the Leeds defence for Toronto’s second try 11 minutes into the second half but it was little more than a consolation.

5th March 2020, Emerald Headingley, Leeds, England; Betfred Super League, Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolfpack : Richie Myler (16) of Leeds Rhinos celebrates his try

Leeds back-rower Cameron Smith gratefully accepted a pass out of the tackle from prop Adam Cuthbertson to force his way over and front-rower Mikolaj Oledzki bundled Sonny Bill Williams out of the way on his unstoppable run to the line.

The visitors had managed to keep Konrad Hurrell relatively quiet for most of the night but the big man broke clear after 63 minutes to get Gale away for his second try and rounded off the scoring in the last minute after another blockbusting run.

Toronto were down to 12 men by then with McCrone in the sin bin for preventing a quick play-the-ball by holding down Myler in the tackle and that summed up an unhappy night for the visitors.

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