Rowley delighted with Toronto’s character… but win comes at a cost

Toronto head coach Paul Rowley praised his side’s willingness to fight for each other after getting off to a winning start in the Qualifiers.

The Wolfpack defeated Halifax 14-0 in a full-blooded encounter that saw neither side take a backwards step.

For Rowley, the ability to keep Halifax scoreless, despite enduring large spells near their own line and with a makeshift backline due to injuries to Liam Kay and Matty Russell, was the most pleasing aspect of the performance.

“To get two points on the board is really important to get the table looking favourable for ourselves,” he said.

“We really had to work hard for it, that’s for sure. To reshuffle and put people out of position and ask them to work long minutes is a testament to the character. I know Halifax have spoken a lot about their character and how close they are and I thought we brought that in abundance as well today.

“We saw two committed sides who brought character and thought they could win and came up with a pretty brutal battle that could have probably gone either way.

“To have a good defence you need an honest team and we have that.”

Unfortunately for Rowley, the defeat came at a cost, with Kay’s injury in particular looking ominous.

Toronto’s all-time leading try-scorer was seen on crutches after the game, and Rowley admitted his season is most probably over.

“He needs an x-ray. It’s going to be ligaments or a break. It doesn’t sound good. I would suspect that’s him done.

“We’ve got Nick Rawsthorne and Mason (Caton-Brown) obviously who has joined us. Straight away we’re stretched. We’ve got a quick turnaround to play arguably one of the best two teams in the eights in Hull KR. We’re at home and we’re confident.”

Rowley dismissed suggestions that Caton-Brown would not be able to play after reports surfaced in the media that Wakefield were trying to block his registration going through due to not receiving a payment.

The winger was seen on the pitch before the game in Toronto attire, and when asked if he was available for selection Rowley said: “Absolutely, why would he not be able to play?

“He’s only on loan so I don’t know about that.”