|Halifax (0) 0|
|Toronto Wolfpack (6) 14|
|Tries: Ackers, Dixon Goals: O’Brien 3|
Toronto Wolfpack director of rugby Brian Noble criticised their schedule for the Qualifiers as the Canadian side opened with victory at Halifax.
The Wolfpack, who finished top of the Championship, were 6-0 ahead at the break after Andy Ackers burrowed over and Gareth O’Brien added the extras.
An O’Brien penalty stretched their lead and Andrew Dixon’s late try sealed it.
“Fear that we may just come up is even overruling potential duty of care for our players,” Noble said.
“No other sport would do that.”
Toronto played their regular season fixtures in blocks of home and away games, but accepted a similar arrangement for the play-offs for Super League would be seen as an advantage.
As a result Noble claims it will cost the club almost an extra £300,000 to take part in the Qualifiers, with up to seven flights between Toronto and Europe.
He says an alternative proposal which would have meant a maximum of five trips to Toronto, including a potential Million Pound Game, was rejected by the Rugby Football League.
“The powers that be can’t head us off,” he said in his column for Forty 20 magazine. “If we do the business on the field, they can’t stop us.”
Toronto, who are bankrolled by Australian mining tycoon David Argyle, ran out winners at The Shay as their defensive resolve proved a major factor in their success.
Halfiax came close to levelling the scores early in the second half following a 40-20 kick from skipper Scott Murrell, but a knock-on from Elliot Morris denied the hosts a try and they could not find a way back into the game.
Halifax: Moss, Saltonstall, Tyrer, Heaton, Sharp, Murrell, Johnston, Maher, Kaye, Fairbank, Grady, Butler, Barber.
Interchanges: Wood, Moore, Morris, Baldwinson.
Toronto: O’Brien, Russell, Stanley, Wheeler, Kay, McCrone, Wallace, Sims, Beswick, Lussick, Dixon, Paterson, Emmitt.
Interchanges: Buchanan, Bussey, Ackers, Sidlow.
Referee: Christopher Kendall.