In 2019, Toronto re-wrote the wrongs of the previous year and won the Million Pound Game finally securing promotion to Super League and it promised to be a bold step forward towards the future for our great game.
But then it all went wrongs for the Wolfpack. They lost all of their opening fixtures including a 66-12 annihilation at the hands of Leeds in what would prove to be their final Super League game. The pandemic hit at the worst possible time for Toronto and stirred up a series of financial issues which forced them to pull out of the league when it returned after five months of lockdown.
A number of teams subsequently battled to replace them but not in the way you’d expect. The battleground was not the rugby field but behind the scenes. Ultimately, Leigh won Super League’s vote of confidence and took the 12th spot in the top tier even beating out Featherstone – the team who lost to the Wolfpack in 2019’s Million Pound Game.
The Centurions have given it a good go this season in a difficult scenario in which they were unable to match the recruitment of other teams. They struggled to get a first win but eventually did at the expense of Salford before beating Wakefield yesterday. But it’s not enough and the Centurions will be relegated after their final fixture against Huddersfield on Sunday.
The team tipped to replace the Centurions is Toulouse. They sit unbeaten at the top of the Championship and are expected to claim a place in Super League alongside French powerhouse Catalans on the back of their success this term.
Featherstone could push them all the way but Toulouse are the odds-on favourites even if they have played fewer games than everyone else in the league due to travel problems created by the pandemic.
It’s hard to argue against them being deserving of a place in Super League if they go onto dominate in the play-offs yet it seems Leigh owner Derek Beaumont is going to challenge this after seeking out legal advice and will be challenging their promotion at his own expense according to a tweet he posted today in which he shared one fan’s views on the matter and vehemently agreed with them:
100 percent and will be including this at my cost with the high end legal advice I take tomorrow. Never fair injuries suspensions fatigue travel! Cannot possibly be eligible. Not to save leigh happy@come@down to winning team but Toulouse can’t figure IMO after playing only 10 https://t.co/eLZcus17Vk
— Derek john beaumont (@derek_beaumont) September 12, 2021
Some however have pointed out that his Leigh side had only played four games in 2020 before being promoted and perhaps were less deserving of promotion than the previous year’s runners-up Featherstone.
Your team was promoted off the back of 4 games played.
So, glass houses…
— Big Shep (@Shepardo35) September 13, 2021