GARETH WALKER, the Championship correspondent of League Express, looks at how the Toronto Wolfpack, who play Leigh Centurions today in the Summer Bash, restored their reputation last week at the Magic Weekend.
IT’S fair to say there were even more eyes than usual on Toronto Wolfpack in Newcastle last weekend.
The Canadian club was the centre of unwanted attention when they crashed out of the Challenge Cup 66-10 at Warrington, having had one man sent off, three sin-binned and playing with ten men at one stage.
But last Saturday they presented a much better version of their Super League credentials in beating Toulouse 43-30 in the Magic Weekend opener.
“We got back on track from the previous week and had a better character and attitude towards the game,” coach Paul Rowley said.
“If anything, when things didn’t go our way we were a lot less petulant in our reaction to adversity and it was a step in the right direction.
“To knock off the second placed team gives us a nice little cushion and I was happy with the outcome and the attitude of the players.”
Asked about whether his side were conscious of creating a better impression in Newcastle, Rowley said: “We reviewed the first half against Warrington because everybody said they thought we’d done alright.
“But we weren’t happy with the first half, and the second half was a reflection of that.
“We were really honest and hard on ourselves in the review, and weren’t happy at all. That’s not the way we want to portray ourselves.
“Newcastle was an opportunity to not right the wrong, but certainly to put our best foot forward and show what we are about as sportsmen.
“Fate dealt us a good hand with the Toulouse goal kick that was allowed but clearly missed. It was a good test for how we responded – this time last week we threw our toys out of the pram and it was how we kick on from those situations.
“We came out with a really good attitude and as luck would have it we then had a try go in our favour. We were rewarded for our attitude and got away with one.”
Rowley believes the best is still to come from his side as they head towards the business end of the season.
“That win put us five points clear at the top of the league after just one home game and that’s not a bad achievement from these boys, who we’ve recruited as the season’s gone on,” he added.
“We’re yet to play a prolonged period together, but the signs are there.
“That’s why I’m more about the attitude and commitment, and how we go about our business, because I know the performances will come with practise and togetherness.”