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Qualifiers: Toronto Wolfpack beat Leeds 17-16 to close in on Super League aim

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Gareth O’Brien has form for kicking drop goals, and his could be crucial for Toronto
Betfred Qualifiers
Leeds (10) 16
Tries: T. Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Keinhorst Goals: Sutcliffe 2
Toronto (12) 17
Tries: Paterson, Rawsthorne, Russell Goals: O’Brien 2 Drop-goal: O’Brien

Gareth O’Brien’s late drop-goal moved Toronto closer to their Super League dream as they edged reigning champions Leeds Rhinos 17-16 at Headingley.

Toronto are in the top three on 10 points – behind Salford and Leeds on points difference – and could force Hull KR into the fourth v fifth automatic promotion Million Pound Game.

Rovers must now beat Widnes by a margin of 13 or more to avoid that fate.

Otherwise it is they who will face London or Toulouse in the shoot-out.

Toronto cannot finish any lower than fourth in the Qualifiers table, guaranteeing them home advantage if they are in next Sunday’s decider.

No one can catch Salford or Leeds with their points difference.

Paul Rowley’s side must now wait now for the result of Sunday’s game between Rovers and already-relegated Widnes.

“Hopefully Widnes do us a favour and we can go and celebrate on Sunday night and Monday, but we’re ready to play next week. That’s where we’re at mentally,” he said.

“We’ve not been short of statements about where the club is going and it’s fair to say we have been on a very steep incline since we started.

“To come to Leeds and win is fantastic, so we are very proud to come to this arena against such quality opposition.

“This was a monumental day and certainly our biggest victory.”

If Toronto are in action next weekend, they will have concerns over injuries to half-back Blake Wallace who played on with a bandaged ankle, and Cory Paterson who limped off in the second-half.

O’Brien set up Paterson with a huge break through the line to put Toronto in front, before Tom Briscoe dived on a Sutcliffe grubber to bring Leeds into the game.

Sutcliffe wrested the lead when he scored from a Richie Myler chip-kick but the Wolfpack roared back when Nick Rawsthorne finished off a try in the final seconds of the half which O’Brien converted for a 12-10 half-time lead.

Jimmy Keinhorst blasted over to again revive the Headingley atmosphere after the break but Toronto would not be quelled as Russell slipped across from Bob Beswick’s grubber.

With the scores tied Myler swung a drop goal shot wide, and O’Brien succeeded where he failed to seal an historic win at the famous old stadium.

Leeds: Golding; T Briscoe, Keinhorst, Moon, L Briscoe; L. Sutcliffe, Myler; Peteru, Parcell, Crosby, Jones-Buchanan, Ferres, Thompson.

Interchange: Dwyer, C Smith, C Smith, Mullally, Cuthbertson.

Toronto Wolfpack: O’Brien; Caton-Brown, Rawsthorne, Wheeler, Russell; McCrone, Wallace; Lussick, Beswick, Sims, Paterson, Dixon, Emmitt

Interchange: Buchanan, Sidlow, Krasniqi, Ackers.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL).



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