Toronto Wolfpack impress in pre-season loss to Hull FC.
Last Updated: 24/01/17 10:33am
Toronto coach Paul Rowley will be delighted with the efforts of his fledgling outfit as they pushed Hull FC all the way before losing 26-20 in a pre-season friendly.
Canada's first professional trans-Atlantic sports team began their march towards Super League in promising fashion against the Challenge Cup winners at the KCOM Stadium.
Comprising a cosmopolitan mix of players from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, as well as England's Super League and Championship, Rowley's men did more than enough to suggest they should have little difficulty gaining promotion at the first attempt from Kingstone Press League 1, which gets underway in March.
Wolfpack can boast eight players with Super League experience, including former Warrington back rower James Laithwaite - who played his first game for 18 months after recovering from a broken leg.
However, two players plucked from the Championship - classy full-back Quentin Togaga'e and storming prop Fuifui Moimoi - are the ones who look guaranteed to become crowd favourites for the Canadians.
Rowley used all 21 senior players for their first run-out while Hull coach Lee Radford showed his intention to take the Canadian side seriously by starting the game with all but three members of his likely first-choice team, before gradually introducing his back-up options from a 12-man bench.
Australian stand-off Blake Wallace had the distinction of scoring the Wolfpack's first try, gliding over after 11 minutes to open the scoring, while Moimoi crashed over for another and skipper Craig Hall added both conversions as they trailed 20-12 at half-time.
Powerful winger Mahe Fonua went over for two tries and new signing Albert Kelly and full-back Jamie Shaul also touched down twice in the first half for Hull, with Marc Sneyd kicking two goals.
Tries from former Leigh wingers Jonny Pownall and Liam Kay within 10 minutes of the restart enabled Toronto to draw level but they were sunk on the hour when Hull winger Nick Rawsthorne capitalised on a handling error to score his side's fifth try and seal their fate.