After a week off it’s back to business with a bang for Toronto Wolfpack, as the Championship League Leaders get their postseason Super 8’s The Qualifiers campaign underway against Halifax RLFC.
A hugely successful regular season for the Wolfpack saw them drop only five competition points across 23 rounds, which resulted in them wrapping up silverware with three games remaining.
However, the ultimate prize is still very much in focus for Toronto and the side return to UK shores desperate to get their charge towards promotion off to the best possible start.
The final game before the postseason split saw the Wolfpack’s unbeaten record at Lamport Stadium come to an end on the back of a 30-12 defeat to Featherstone Rovers, which was a timely reminder of the challenge that faces the Canadians over the next seven weeks.
Nothing short of their best will do for Paul Rowley’s men across the Super 8’s The Qualifiers, with three Super League opponents as well as the cream of the crop of the Championship standing in their way of a Super League place for 2019.
The opening round against Fax is an extremely tough one first up. Following almost nine weeks in Toronto, the squad touched down in their Manchester base last week in preparation for a visit to the MBi Shay in West Yorkshire, a place where few sides have been successful this season.
Despite the setback from two weeks ago, the Wolfpack head into Sunday’s game in good form and confident of getting a result, having beaten Richard Marshall’s side twice already in 2018.
The Pack’s last visit to Halifax was a keenly fought and closely run contest back in round three. In exceptionally cold February conditions, Toronto came out 20-6 winners and were impressive in completing the regular season double over Fax with a resounding 42-10 win in the club’s ‘Home Away from Home’ fixture at New River Stadium in London, UK, in April.
Halifax have been terrific in what they have achieved this season. As the only part time team to participate in the Qualifiers, Richard Marshall’s men are extremely dangerous and will be out to set the record straight, to exact revenge on their fellow the Qualifiers rivals.
Victory over Fax would go a long way to maintaining the momentum Toronto have built so far in 2018, and would set them up well for a crunch match back in Toronto against Hull Kingston Rovers next weekend.
19 Man Squad:
4 Gary Wheeler
5 Liam Kay
6 Josh McCrone
7 Ryan Brierley
8 Jack Buchanan
9 Bob Beswick
10 Ashton Sims
11 Andrew Dixon
13 Jack Bussey
14 Andy Ackers
15 Adam Sidlow
17 Blake Wallace
24 Cory Paterson
28 Sam Hopkins
29 Jake Emmitt
30 Matty Russell
31 Gareth O’Brien
32 Darcy Lussick
33 Chase Stanley