The Toronto Wolfpack has booked its ticket to the Super League Qualifiers. Now it’s a waiting game to see who will join the party.
So while there are still three Saturdays of regular-season business still to take care of, starting with this week’s encounter with the Batley Bulldogs at Lamport Stadium (4:30 p.m., Game TV), we can start looking ahead to the competition that will decide Toronto’s 2019 fate.
“It will be interesting to see who we get, what combination we get, and where we get them,” Wolfpack head coach Paul Rowley said. “Because some clubs have incredible home advantages and some not so much.”
The Wolfpack, with the clinching of the Championship Leaders’ Shield last week, will play four matches at Lamport and three overseas. Three of the opponents will be rivals from the Championship where five teams are still in the hunt for the remaining spots with just three points separating them. The Toulouse Olympique are tied with the surprising Halifax side at 14-5-1. Featherstone Rovers, who still have a trip to Lamport Stadium to make later in the month, are next at 14-6. On their tail are the London Broncos (13-6-1) and the Leigh Centurions (13-7). The second-place team will also have four home games.
Marquee matches amongst the teams include this weekend’s clash between the Broncos and Halifax, and two major matches next week pitting Featherstone vs. London and Halifax against Toulouse.
And while the Championship teams want to be in the completion also known as the middle eights, obviously the Super League teams don’t. The Widnes Vikings (3-17) and the Salford Red Devils (6-14) already know they will be fighting for another season in rugby league’s top rung. The Hull Kingston Rovers (6-13-1) will join them with a loss or a win by eighth-place team Wakefield Trinity. The Leeds Rhinos (7-12-1) will likely need to run the table to stay out of the bottom four. Other teams that can still fall into the mix include Wakefield (9-11), Huddersfield Giants (9-11-1) and Catalans Dragons (9-11-1). Widnes has clinched last place meaning four road matches for them.
The Wolfpack (18-1-1) will try to extend its 16-match league win streak, a seven-match competitive streak, and its perfect home record against Batley (7-13). Toronto beat Batley 26-18 earlier in the season and come off a 68-4 win over the Sheffield Eagles last Saturday. But right now, the club’s main focus is having a full squad ready for when the real work begins.
“The position in the league affords us to manage players,” Rowley said. “I’m more interested in my teams’ health going into the middle eights.”
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies