THERE were encouraging signs in the 46-30 defeat at Leigh Centurions, writes Raiders Review columnist Tony Colyer.

While the outcome was what many expected, the Raiders produced a number of encouraging moments, particularly with the ball in hand, although were let down by some disciplinary lapses.

The penalty target is six per game so 17 is unacceptable and this lack of discipline has been an issue all season. This must be a contributory factor to the position we find ourselves in?

We have no game this weekend due to our Challenge Cup exit, but on Good Friday it’s the visit of table-toppers Toronto Wolfpack followed by a trip to Odsal on Easter Monday to take on Bradford Bulls. It’s a daunting prospect as both opponents are beginning to build momentum in their quest for Super League status.

Toronto are now coached by ex-Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott, who has experience of winning Super League and slowly but surely his influence is beginning to reap the rewards. On paper this should be a comfortable victory for the Canadians, but their previous two visits to Craven Park have been very competitive affairs with an 8-8 draw and a 16-12 Challenge Cup success.

To be fair, the 8-8 draw was achieved in six inches of mud which won’t be the case on Friday – but the Barrow performance that day was magnificent. A similar performance is required in order to get anything from the game. Dewsbury should have beaten them the other week so there is hope.

Bradford will also take some beating, but they have weaknesses we can hopefully exploit.

On Thursday, there was a special meeting of Championship and League One clubs in Salford to assess the mood of investigating the feasibility of two separate bids for clubs in New York and Ottawa.

The clubs were in principle supportive, by a comfortable majority, of the proposals for both North American teams to join the competitions.

The RFL see the admission of these two new entities as part of their strategy to attract significant additional TV money when the current contract runs out in 2021.

I think this is all positive because if the RFL can’t attract sufficient investment into the professional game, the future will be bleak.

We have to elevate the international scene and provide enough funding for Super League clubs to attract the world’s best talent. The structure below requires review and I am still convinced formal partnerships with the elite is the way forward rather than current arrangements of dual-registration and loans.

Being part of a family would provide financial stability, removing the risks of administration witnessed this season with Widnes and Keighley.

Happy Easter.