Toronto Wolfpack are delighted to confirm their Super 8s The Qualifiers schedule. Having defended the Den admirably during the regular season, the hunt for Super League now begins, with the Wolfpack taking on Super League and Championship opposition in a bid to secure a place in the Rugby Football League (RFL) top division for 2019.
The Super 8s The Qualifiers format involves eight teams, the bottom four placed teams from the 2018 Super League and top four from the 2018 Championship. The 8 teams all face each other once, either home or away, in a round-robin format. At the end of the competition, the three teams with the best records will confirm their place in the 2019 Super League. The fourth and fifth-placed sides will compete in a one-off, winner-takes-all play-off dubbed the ‘Million Pound Game’, hosted by the team finishing in 4th place.
Toronto Wolfpack won the Betfred Championship League Leaders’ Shield meaning they will host four games at Lamport Stadium, including matches against Super League opposition Hull Kingston Rovers and Widnes Vikings. Paul Rowley’s side will also face London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique at home, with away games at Halifax RLFC, Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos. Scott Lidbury, Toronto Wolfpack General Manager – Commercial, commented:
“The Toronto Wolfpack have enjoyed a fantastic season, winning the League Leaders’ Shield with three games to spare. We’re very excited to be welcoming four teams to Lamport Stadium, three of whom will be playing in Canada for the first time.”
Postseason scheduling is organised between the RFL and Sky Sports Television to maximise broadcast exposure. This dictates that Super 8s The Qualifiers games in Toronto will begin at earlier kick off times (12:30pm EDT and 2:30pm EDT) compared to the majority of Wolfpack regular season games. Lidbury continued:
“We have enjoyed some terrific attendances already this season and urge all Wolfpack fans to turn out in force and get behind the team as we bid for promotion to the Super League. The Wolfpack Beer Garden, serving a range of local craft beers, will remain open after all postseason games, allowing both sets of fans to mingle alongside some new post-game entertainment.”
Visiting teams brought up to 350 travelling fans to Wolfpack matches in Toronto during the regular season. The Wolfpack expect the numbers visiting per game to increase significantly during the postseason given the calibre of the teams visiting Lamport Stadium, their sizeable fanbases and the significance of the games.
Single game ticket prices will remain on hold from the regular season (Adults from $25, Under 16’s / Over 65’s from $12.50 and Ages 16-21 from $18.75) while a four game multi pack will offer a 25% discount against individual game tickets. Both are expected to be on sale later this week.
Toronto Wolfpack – Full 2018 Super 8s The Qualifiers schedule:
Halifax RLFC (A) – Sunday, August 12 – 10:00am EDT / 3:00pm BST
Halifax performed terrifically to beat out the much-fancied Leigh Centurions and Featherstone Rovers to fourth spot in the Betfred Championship and a place in Super 8s The Qualifiers. The Wolfpack were 20-6 winners over Halifax in February and triumphed 42-10 in April at a game held at New River Stadium in London, UK.
Hull KR (H) – Saturday, August 18 – 2:30pm EDT / 7:30pm BST
Having been relegated to the Betfred Championship in the 2016 ‘Million Pound Game’, Hull Kingston Rovers (KR) won promotion back to Super League at the first time of asking. They finished 10th in Super League this season and were Challenge Cup winners in 1980.
London Broncos (H) – Saturday, September 1 – 12:30pm EDT / 5:30pm BST
One of just two teams to beat the Wolfpack in the Betfred Championship in 2018, London Broncos finished the regular season in second place, ahead of Toulouse in third. They fell to a 32-12 loss at Lamport Stadium. The Broncos will be looking to return to Super League following a three-year absence.
Salford Red Devils (A) – Saturday, September 8 – 10:15am EDT / 3:15pm BST
Salford Red Devils finished 11th in Super League, confirming their place in Super 8s The Qualifiers. They knocked Toronto out of the Challenge Cup during the Wolfpack’s inaugural 2017 season, winning 29-22 in the round of 16.
Toulouse Olympique (H) – Saturday, September 15 – 12:30pm EDT / 5:30pm BST
Despite having played against the Wolfpack twice in the Betfred Championship this season, Toulouse Olympique are yet to make the trip to Toronto. The Wolfpack won 24-22 in France earlier in the campaign before beating Toulouse 43-20 at the Dacia Magic Weekend at St James’ Park in Newcastle. Like Toronto, Toulouse were a late-comer to the RFL, originally joining the league in 2009.
Widnes Vikings (H) – Saturday, September 22 – 12:30pm EDT / 5:30pm BST
Another side that will be making its first trip to Toronto, Widnes Vikings, founded as Widnes Football Club, were one of the original 22 clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world’s first Rugby League teams. They have won seven Challenge Cups in their history.
Leeds Rhinos (A) – Friday, September 28 – 2:45pm EDT / 7:45pm BST
The reigning Super League champions, Leeds Rhinos, will host the Wolfpack on the final weekend of Super 8s The Qualifiers. One of the most decorated clubs in Rugby League, Leeds have won the First Division/Super League a total of 11 times and have claimed 13 Challenge Cups. A trip to Headingley Stadium will certainly be one of the highlights of the Wolfpack’s postseason.