Ahead of their maiden campaign in The Qualifiers, Toronto Wolfpack – one of the favourites to reach Super League out of the eight teams involved – are said to be unhappy with the schedule they will have to contend with as they aim to earn promotion.
In fact, the club have even suggested that the ‘bigger’ clubs are so keen to hinder their quest for promotion that they have pressured the RFL to give them a more challenging schedule. The Wolfpack were keen to play their three away matches in The Qualifiers in a row before returning to Canada to close with their four home matches and said as much in a request to the RFL before the fixture list was finalised. Playing matches in blocks of home and away fixtures has been how the Wolfpack have played out their first two seasons but the RFL refused that request. Instead – like every other club in the competition – they will have alternating matches between home and away.
That is, of course, a general rule as there are instances where teams have two home matches in a row – indeed, the Wolfpack are one of them where, either side of the Challenge Cup final weekend, they play host to Hull KR and London Broncos. However, despite the fact that they are operating under pretty much the same schedule as every other club in either the Super League top eight, The Qualifiers or the Championship Shield, the Canadians view this as unfair treatment.
It perhaps gives an indication as to how Toronto – should they reach Super League – will hope to see their fixtures play out. It is believed, though, that alternating home and away fixtures beckon for the Canadians if they reach the top tier which, really, is only fair. After all, they shouldn’t be given any different treatment to the other clubs in their competition – if they didn’t want to have to commute from North America to the UK each fortnight, perhaps entering a predominantly English league structure wasn’t a great idea for the team.