The magic will happen insists Toronto Wolfpack star Sonny Bill Williams after opening-day Super League defeat to Castleford Tigers

Sonny Bill Williams insists the magic will come after making a low-key return to rugby league in Toronto Wolfpack’s 28-10 defeat by Castleford in their opening Super League match.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 7:52 pm
Toronto Wolfpack's Sonny Bill Williams in action against Castleford Tigers at Emerald Headingley. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
Toronto Wolfpack's Sonny Bill Williams in action against Castleford Tigers at Emerald Headingley. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

The former All Black was introduced from the bench with his side trailing 10-4 and went on to play the remaining 54 minutes but was unable to make his mark on the game. He said: “It didn’t go to plan but, at the end of the day, that’s the game of footy, you win some and you lose some.

“From a team point of view I am very disappointed but individually I’m just glad I got back out there and got a taste of it and started to get my rhythm. I’ve got something to work on, a good base. I am feeling really good. They were looking to play me for 20 or 30 minutes but I was feeling really good out there and it was an awesome atmosphere. I just prided myself on trying to do the little things well. Obviously it wasn’t magical but the foundations have been laid and I’ve just got to keep working on that.

“It’s a long season. The magic will come if I’m doing the little things well, the little one percenters.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Toronto Wolfpack's head coach Brian McDermott on familiar ground at Emerald Headingley. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Williams, who played right second row, knocked on with his first touch and repeated the error shortly afterwards but Toronto coach Brian McDermott insists his star signing will come good.

“I’m not really interested in trying to summarise it,” McDermott said. “We’ve been saying it since day one that this is going to take some time, take some transition.

“When he got his second wind he got through some tackles, got through some carries. It’s always good when you sign someone of his calibre, when you bring him out in front of a West Yorkshire crowd.

“They get excited by a certain aspect of life don’t they, a certain aspect of life that is usually on the negative side.

Castleford Tigers head coach, Daryl Powell. PIC: SimonWilkinson/

“But that’s part of the theatre, he got the biggest cheer of the day when he dropped the ball.”

McDermott added: “But he got some game-time under his belt which is valuable for him as he hasn’t played rugby league for five years.”

Castleford coach Daryl Powell is predicting great things from the former Sydney Roosters and Canterbury Bulldogs player.

“He’ll get better,” Powell said. “He passed the ball a lot.

“Obviously he’s an off-load threat but he hasn’t played rugby league for five years so it will take him time to bed in.

“And from what I’ve seen of him he’s a good guy and has brought a lot to the game in terms of column inches. He’ll bed in and he’ll be great.”

Tries from Greg Eden, Michael Shenton, Peter Mata’utia, Grant Millington and Adam Milner helped Castleford to a convincing round-one win.

Powell said: “Some of the individual performances pleased me most. Collectively we did some smart things but we were never really in a flow in the game.

“With the tries we gave away – the intercept and they got some bits off our errors. But other than that we’ve got to be pleased with it.”

Toronto briefly led through Liam Kay’s fourth-minute effort while France international Hakim Miloudi scored their only try in the second half.

McDermott added: “I’m reasonably encouraged. We’ll come good. It’s round one.

“We had a task today to give ourselves a foundation to play from and I think we’ve got that.