Toulouse unlucky as Toronto benefit from dubious calls
Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique provided Saturday evening TV viewers with some great entertainment at the weekend.
The Canadian side won the game 13-12, thanks to a late Gareth O’Brien drop goal, but they found it tough work.
Some great tries were scored, particularly by Paul Marcon for Toulouse, and the result was in doubt right until the end.
Whatever the detractors and whingers say, occasions like this are really good for the sport of rugby league.
Toronto versus Toulouse has a cosmopolitan and wide ranging appeal that fixtures between struggling heartland clubs just do not possess.
The pre-match build-up was brilliant too. Simply having the teams line up for the national anthems of France and Canada helped increase the expectation and emotion around the game, especially as part of the Canadian anthem is sung is French.
The connections between the two countries are surely something that needs to be built on, from a marketing and development perspective.
There was plenty of controversy, though. Toronto forward Jack Bussey appeared to bit the ear of Toulouse’s Bastien Ader after 12 minutes of the game.
The RFL are set to look more closely at the incident this week.
Mason Caton-Brown’s try was also clearly shown not to have been a try by television replays, with the former Wakefield winger dropping the ball.
If the Million Pound Game is played in Toronto, then we will have to have a video referee in attendance. It would be inconsistent and unfair if they were not in place.
The idea that the RFL are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to help Toronto into Super League is absurd, though. The RFL aren’t competent enough to do that.
Conspiracies only work when everyone is on the same page too, and that is not something that you can say of rugby league, ever.
(It is quite interesting, from a psychological point of view, that many of the same people who continually slate the RFL for being rubbish, simultaneously think that the governing body is capable of running not one, but several, conspiracies at all times – but that’s for another article.)
Toulouse were the victims of a glaring refereeing error, and that is how sport bites you sometimes.
What the French club have shown over the season, though, is that they have a resilient team who can handle such setbacks.
They have some genuine quality in the side, and still have a good chance of reaching the Million Pound Game.
Their next match is at home to Hull Kingston Rovers, a team who have just about secured their Super League future.
Playing in France is never easy, and Rovers should expect a tough game.
If Toulouse win it, we could yet see a rematch against Toronto – and that really would be a game worth watching.
Follow the writer: Zack Wilson
Source: Everything Rugby League