TORONTO — The fledgling Wolfpack have brought more than a few rugby league firsts to Toronto this year. On Saturday they found themselves in the midst of a scoring snafu by match officials.
It didn't affect the outcome in a Wolfpack blowout win but it did result in a scoring error, albeit one corrected within an hour of the game's final whistle as what was initially deemed a 56-12 Toronto victory was changed to 54-12.
Hosting the Coventry Bears in Kingstone Press League 1 play, the Wolfpack led 24-6 at the half. Or so the 7,236 at Lamport Stadium and those watching on TV — on Premium Sports in Britain and Game TV in Canada — thought.
After Toronto added 12 points via two converted tries early in the second half, the Wolfpack lead was 36-6. But an off-field match official relayed a message to the press box that the score should be 38-6.
The half-dozen reporters in the press box disagreed but the match official, apparently ruling Toronto was owed another two-point first-half conversion, insisted and won the day. Two points were added to the Toronto total on the scoreboard and on the TV broadcast as the game continued.
After the game, reporters asked a Toronto official to confirm the 56-point score with match officials. They stuck by that number.
But after the Wolfpack post-game news conference, a team spokesman said the match officials had changed their mind and Toronto should have 54 points.
Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley, who had noticed another scoreboard error that saw an extra Toronto point go up and then quickly get taken down late in the first half, charitably called it part of the "learning curve" of the sport here.
A review of the game tape confirmed the score at the half was indeed 24-6, with Toronto scoring five tries (20 points) and Wolfpack captain Craig Hall kicking two of five conversions (four points). The on-field officials correctly ruled three of the kicks were no good.
Toronto added five converted tries (30 points) in the second half.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press