Toulouse Olympique XIII v Rochdale Hornets
Saturday 10th June 2017, 18:30pm
Championship - Round: 17
Stats over last 5 encounters
HORNETS RETURN TO FRANCE
Rochdale Hornets head to Toulouse for the first time since their League 1 Promotion Finals heroics this Saturday, as they take on the French outfit for the second time this season.
The last time the two clubs met was at the beginning of April, as the visitors romped to a 52-14 victory at the Crown Oil Arena.
On that day Ben Moores, Gary Middlehurst and Rob Massam all picked up consolation efforts, as Toulouse proved too strong.
The last time they met in France though sealed the Hornets’ promotion to the second tier, as against all odds they became the first team that season to defeat the French side in a 24-22 triumph.
It was their first league title in almost 100 years and they will be looking to repeat their victory in France this time out, but they will have to do so without as many as six of their first team members.
An injury crisis has gripped Rochdale Hornets ahead of their trip to the Midi-Pyrenees for a rendezvous with Toulouse Olympique on Saturday.
Gary Middlehurst has a reoccurrence of a hip injury he sustained in a dangerous tackle against Oldham at the Summer Bash while Lewis Palfrey is suffering with a long standing neck injury.
Chris Riley (calf), Miles Greenwood (knee) and Ryan Maneely (back) are also in doubt for the trip as Alan Kilshaw sets his sights on the run in.
Joe Taira will also be unable to travel due to visa issues but Alan Kilshaw has recalled Jay Lobwein from his loan spell at Coventry Bears to provide cover.
Head coach, Kilshaw said: “It’s frustrating but we need to look at the bigger picture and the run in.
“Gaz has been stand out for us all season and Lewis has carried this neck injury since the Toulouse home game when he had to go off.
“It has had an effect on his goal kicking as well but he hasn’t moaned and put his hand up every week but he struggled throughout the game on Sunday which has made us look at resting him this weekend to get some intensive rehab in him.
“Chris Riley is a doubt, as is Ryan. He had an operation on a back problem a few weeks ago and he felt a snag with that over the weekend so we’ll see if he gets through the week.
“We don’t have the biggest squad so when you get a few injuries like this it can hurt you – especially having to go to France.
“It’s a task in itself and it will be even more difficult now but these backs to the wall situations bring the best out in this group and we will have a strong 17 ready to perform on Saturday.
“It makes our dual registration agreement with Warrington all the more important as they can provide some light relief.”
In their last outing Rochdale travelled to Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue to take on Sheffield Eagles, where winger Garry Lo ran in for five tries in a 38-14 victory for the hosts.
It was a disappointing result as Jono Smith’s try on the stroke of half-time sent the visitors into the break just two points behind, however in the second period they were only able to cross for a couple of consolation efforts from Massam.
The club will be travelling to France on Friday, where they will take part in a training session, before facing their opponents on Saturday afternoon and travelling home the following day.
If you are unable to make the trip then exclusive updates and content will appear on the club’s official twitter and Instagram feeds.