Relieved Toronto Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley paid Siddal the ultimate compliment after his side beat the top amateurs 14-6 in the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Rowley, whose high-profile newcomers had to dig deep to overturn a 6-4 deficit entering the final quarter at soggy Chevinedge, said Gareth Greenwood’s men would not be out of place playing paid opposition on a regular basis.
“It was a great leveller playing on a field at the top of the hill in those conditions but I don’t want to disrespect Siddal because I feel they could do well in League One against the professionals,” he said.
The Halifax village saw 1,000 arrive to see a typically unyielding, uncompromising display from the National Conference League champions.
Siddal, with their supporters roaring approval at their gritty efforts, had the temerity to take the lead with winger Gareth Blackburn’s 25-metre penalty.
The amateurs failed to get through to the interval with a lead thanks to a Ryan Burroughs try.
A Blackburn penalty was blown back from the posts shortly before Siddal regained the lead.
Shaun Garrod was well shackled by Toronto, but the stand-off’s last-tackle grubber kick undid the visitors. When Quentin Laulu Togagae failed to knock the ball dead, winger Ben West pounced for an unconverted try.
Having failed to crack Siddal down the middle, Toronto eventually created enough space out wide to force their way over twice in the closing 15 minutes through Greg Worthington and Adam Sidlow. Craig Hall converted Sidlow’s effort.
Toronto’s Fuifui Moimoi was red carded for a high tackle.
“I’ve got to be happy with that performance,” Greewood said.
“For a moment I thought we had a chance. It was a massive effort from my players.”
Siddal: Walker, Blackburn, McComb, Martin, West, Garrod, Ackroyd, Georgiou, Sanderson, Ambler, Garratt, Hinsley, Smith. Substitutes: McCormick, Smithies, Williams, Davies.
Tornoto Wolfpack: Laulu Togagae, Pownall, Hall, Worthington, Burroughs, Wallace, Jacks, Crossley, Beswick, Emmitt, Dixon, Whiting, Bussey. Substitutes: Moimoi. Laithwaite, Sidlow, Dick.