Sonny Bill Williams rues losing Super League bow

LONDON (AFP) – Sonny Bill Williams admitted his return to rugby league was a damp squib as Toronto Wolfpack slumped to a 28-10 defeat against Castleford at Headingley in their first-ever Super League match last Sunday.

Former All Black Williams ended his six-year absence from the 13-man code when he was introduced from the bench 26 minutes into his new club’s opening match of the season.

But Toronto were trailing 10-6 at the time and Williams was unable to improve their fortunes.

The 34-year-old, who converted to Islam in 2009, has signed a two-year deal with Toronto and expects better days with the Canadian team in the future.

“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,” Williams said.

“It didn’t go our way but if I look at it from an individual point of view then I know I worked hard and if I continue to do that then the rest will come.

“It’s a long season and I’m just happy to be here.”

There was much hype about Williams’ debut and an agreement was reached ahead of the opening game to ensure he did not have to wear the Super League sponsors’ betting logo due to his opposition to the activity.

But in the end, the ‘home’ game for Toronto, who are not due to stage fixtures in Canada until April, was bossed by Castleford, with new half-back pair Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson the architects of an impressive victory.