After banishing all thoughts of the loss to York with last weekends win over Workington, the Toronto Wolfpack were on the road again, this time to Keighley Cougars who themselves beat York last weekend.
Both sides came into the game without some key players. The Cougars were without Nicholson and Lynam while the visitors are missing the services of Dixon, Wheeler, Bailey and Penkywicz who are all injured.
The bookies unsurprisingly had the Wolfpack as big favourites and they won 48-21 when the two sides met earlier in the season, but the Cougars were looking for their fourth consecutive victory.
The Cougars had a creditable opening seven minutes but after giving the Wolfpack a second set in their own twenty Jonathan Pownall found himself on the overlap to go over wide. Craig Hall was unable to convert from wide.
Keighley struck back on twelve when Hamish Barnes shows the determination to push through three Toronto defenders to ground on the line. Matty Beharrell added the extras for a 6-4 lead.
The Cougars extended their lead on eighteen when a long pass from Brendan Rawlings found Vinny Finigan in acres of space to go over in the corner. Beharrell kicked the touchline conversion for 12-4.
On twenty-seven Whiting found a gap in the Keighley defence and passed outside to the supporting Quentin Laulu-Togagae who rounded behind the sticks for a four-pointer. Hall added the extras and his side now trailed by just two points.
On thirty-two a Laulu-Togagae break got Toronto into great position and one play later Blake Wallace stepped and broke the line before offloading to Liam Kay took picked up brilliantly off his bootlaces to go behind the Keighley defence to score. Hall added the extras for 12-16.
A minute before the interval and Richard Whiting had a ten metre unopposed run off a Ryan Brierley pass to score by the left upright. Hall kicked the two for a 22-12 half time lead.
Eight minutes into the second half, and with Keighley now playing down the slope, Adam Brook ran superbly on the angle and outpaced the Toronto tacklers to go through the defence and pass to Richie Hawkyard for the Cougars full-back to go over. Beharrell kicked the extras to reduce the arrears to four points.
On fifty-seven a ninety metre intercept break from Jonathan Pownall saw the winger hauled down just short but a fast play the ball allowed the ball to be moved quickly left and Greg Worthington went over on a massive overlap. Hall failed to add the extras from the touchline.
On seventy-five the Cougars scored another superb try, on the last, when Finigan took the pass on the Toronto twenty, broke to the ten and ten chipped forward, winning the race to ground the ball in the left corner. Beharrell added the extras and the lead was cut to just two points.
In the dying seconds Keighley were awarded a penalty after Beharrell was taken out when after kicking the ball. The Cougars scrum-half kept his nerve and kicked the goal to tie the teams at 26-26, just as the hooter sounded.
The Cougars fully deserved this point for the draw as they prevented Toronto getting on their usual roll and dug deep when they did go behind. Keighley never took a backward step and stifled the Wolfpack in attack and caused them concerns in defence. Toronto now have four games to play in Canada to make sure of promotion to the Championship for 2018, while the Cougars will take great heart from today's draw.
Cougars: Hawkyard (T), Dixon, Barnes (T), Ryder, Finigan (2T), Brook, Beharrell (5G), Law, Conroy, Bailey, Sagar, Rawlings, Emmett. Subs: Aaronson, Feather, O’Sullivan, Reed.
Wolfpack: Laulu-Togagae (T), Pownall (T), Worthington (T), Hall (3G), Kay (T), Wallace, Brierley, Moimoi, Beswick, Emmitt, Laithwaite, Whiting (T), Bussey. Subs: Jacks, Sidlow, Crossley, Fleming.
Referee: Andy Sweet.