This weekend saw the unbeaten Toronto Wolfpack take on the Gloucester All Golds, the only professional rugby league team owned by a British university. Unfortunately for the All Golds they weren’t able to halt Toronto’s inexorable march to the Championship, but they played well and showed bags of spirit on a very warm Canadian summer afternoon. Well done lads, and I hope the sprains heal soon!
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This year saw the start of a new franchise in Toronto, the first ever professional Transatlantic sports team. The Toronto Wolfpack rugby league team play in the English Kingstone Press Division 1 league. Drawing excited crowds of over 5,000 supporters, some of whom know the game and others who for the first time are encountering this fast, skillful and, at times, brutal sport, the Wolfpack play their home stands at Lamport Stadium here in Toronto, while playing their road matches in the North of England. Truly a radical move in the world of professional sports.
The beauty of Lamport Stadium, realistically a bit run down, with cold metal benches for seats, is that as a photographer you can get very close to the action without getting on the field. This is not like BMO Field, the Rogers Centre or, God knows, the ACC. This is accessible shooting and a great way to hone your action photography skills. Combine the attraction of being able to shoot with the passion of the game and the friendliness of the players – both teams come out to chat and drink a beer with the fans after the match – and you have an unbeatable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Try it. You’ll love it.