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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Toronto Wolfpack can make history with win over London Broncos

Kickers should play a key role in high-pressure clash

London Broncos goalkicker Jarrod Sammut
1 of 1

Toronto Wolfpack v London Broncos
Sky Sports Arena, 7pm Sunday

Two years ago Toronto Wolfpack didn’t exist and any idea of a transatlantic rugby league team competing in the Betfred Super League appeared to be a pipe dream.

However, it will be reality if Toronto defeat London in the Million Pound Game to secure the final spot in the 2019 top flight.

Bankrolled by Australian mining tycoon David Argyle, the Wolfpack were promoted from League One in 2016 and topped the Betfred Championship this season before securing fourth spot in the Qualifiers.

That earned Paul Rowley’s team home advantage in this winner-takes-all showdown and bookmakers make them 1-3 to reach the promised land.

That’s not surprising given that Toronto have lost only twice at home in their history and have already beaten the Broncos twice at Lamport Stadium this season.

The Wolfpack won 32-12 in the regular season and 34-22 (after leading 32-0) in the Qualifiers.

The Canadians' other four victories in the mini-league came by 14 and eight points and by a solitary point on two occasions.

Backing the hosts to win narrowly again looks a good move with 21-10 on offer about Toronto getting home by a dozen points or fewer.

Wolfpack half-back Gareth O’Brien has already kicked two game-winning drop goals in the Qualifiers to evoke memories of his one-pointer that won the Million Pound Game for Salford at Hull KR in 2016.

In a match of this importance, he won’t hesitate to take the opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking over and the 5-2 about a drop goal being kicked looks a big price.

The same goes for the 13-2 about the home side opening the scoring with a penalty. O'Brien has booted eight in the Qualifiers while London goal-kicker Jarrod Sammut has knocked over five penalties in their seven games.

The visitors are 15-2 to start the scoring with a two-pointer.

The stats also support a wager on the London wingers to get on the scoresheet. Toronto have conceded to an opposition winger in five of their last six games including to the Broncos' Rhys Williams last month. Williams and Kieran Dixon are the wide men in the London line-up.

Toronto to win by one to 12 points
2pts 21-10 Betfair, Paddy Power
Drop goal to be kicked
2pts 5-2 Hills
Toronto penalty first scoring play
1pt 13-2 Betfair, Paddy Power
London penalty first scoring play 
1pt 15-2 Betfair, Paddy Power
R Williams to score a try
1pt 9-5 Betfair
K Dixon to score a try
1pt 7-4 Sky Bet

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Toronto have lost only twice at home in their history and have beaten the Broncos twice at Lamport Stadium this season
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Sky bet