Twitter Talk: Toronto trouncings a turn off?

You just can’t win in rugby league.

It’s taken just four league games for criticisms of Toronto Wolfpack to emerge, their latest win an 80-0 thrashing of North Wales Crusaders.

And the Wolfpack haven’t even played in Canada yet.

Clearly, their expensively assembled squad is superior, on paper and so far on the pitch, than any other in League 1.

While critics may say that the salary cap was changed to accommodate their arrival, there is nothing stopping other teams investing to that level.

Toronto are a unique case, a first for rugby league. They would have been criticised had they been fast-tracked to the Championship.

Now they’re getting criticised for working their way up.

Ultimately, they can only beat what’s in front of them. Barrow have won four out of four too, and have conceded less points than Toronto in those games.

The full-time v part-time divide has always been tough for rugby league to handle, and that dates back plenty of years in the Championship too.

The worry is that the scorelines could get even more one-sided when part-time players have to make the trip to Canada.

But Toronto’s presence in League 1 is bringing greater attention to the division, and clubs like London Skolars and Keighley have stepped up their marketing around their game with the Wolfpack, which benefits them too in the long run.

Here’s what you’ve been saying on Twitter:

Photo courtesy of Richard Long.

What do you make of Toronto Wolfpack so far? Let us know in the comments below.

7 Comments

  1. What concerns me more will it become a switch off to the Canadian TV audiences? yesterday 0 – 18 up in 10 minutes, and as some say when the home games start will it be even worse?

    • It’s starting to turn this Canadian off. I’d have thought that they’d wish to back up Eric Perez’s statement about RL being the most Canadian game not known to Canadians by bringing some Canadian recruits through, and playing in the third tier they’re at the right level for that. So far they’re still just another team of transient foreigners like the Blue Jays and Raptors. 🙁

  2. I expect continued blowouts to lead to a temporary ebb in viewership, but people will tune in again as the team pursues a perfect record for the season (or other marks such as most points scored in a season) and moves toward securing promotion. There is little better than a clean path to a trophy to grab the attention of front runners, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when trying to build up a supporter base from scratch.

    Working their way up was the safest choice, so I can’t fault that decision. The RFL had an opportunity to justify bumping Toronto up during the Bradford debacle (i.e., Bradford shouldn’t have stayed with the -12, and Toronto had clearly put together a squad capable of competing in the Championship), but they failed to set deadlines and a corresponding narrative to make that happen with sufficient time to reset the fixtures.

    It can’t be a huge surprise that Toronto keep winning by a margin of about one point per person in the stands; this result seems inevitable, given the quality of the side and the limitations of most of the competition. The more important test, in my opinion, will be how the team, crowds and viewers respond when Toronto are in the Championship.

  3. It is hard to watch such one-sided matches. I wandered off to do some gardening last match. But, I still think starting at the bottom and working yo is the way forward. How they go in the cup will be interesting.

  4. I guess we will know for sure how far ahead of other teams the Wolfpack are when they meet Barrow. They have hit the ground running.

    Had they gone to the Championship and been out of their depth, then people would have said, why didn’t they start in League 1? OK’s it’s one season then on to the Championship. The Wolfpack are better prepared for the step up next year because of the run in League 1 this year.

  5. In 1994 when Keighley Cougars were pushing for promotion just before superleague came in. With the execption of Huddersfield and 1 or 2 other clubs, we were reegularly white washing teams as we were a full time club in a mainly part time division and Cougar Park was full every week and we took large numbers of supporters away every week. The game in which we clinched the league title that year we won 104 – 4 against Highfield, and the game had to be moved to Rochdale due to the number of fans we were taking. Point being whilst some may get bored with the blow out scorelines people will still come to watch and next season will be a different story with more full time teams in the championship and middle 8s.

    They are doing it the right way starting in Championship 1, the massive 1 sided results were a given i don’t understand why people are making such a song and dance about it

  6. Grow the game is only right as isToronto startingredients where they have would just like to question if sorting the game out at home first should have taken priority first? I have seen it on here that other clubs in the same league could have also spent more on salaries , how could they when most are only just surviving in the first place ?

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