Toulouse Olympique XIII 56-16 Rochdale Hornets
Saturday 10th June 2017, 18:30pm
Championship - Round: 17
Constantine Mika, Bastien Ader 3, Stanislas Robin, Mark Kheirallah, Clement Boyer, Anthony Marion, Paul Marcon, Rhys Curran,
Mark Kheirallah 8,
Rob Massam, Declan Kay, Miles Greenwood,
Tyler Whittaker 2,
Toulouse Olympique XIII
As the thermometers ticked over 30 an injury hit Hornets side, shored up by youngsters on dual registration and two debutants faced a difficult task in the blistering French heat.
Hornets kicked the game off with a short, teasing start that was just out of reach for the on rushing Lewis Galbraith. From the possession Toulouse found their way into the middle before the Toulouse man passed the ball into Gavin Bennion who was stood in an offside position. Despite this being outlawed earlier in the season, referee Gareth Hewer awarded the Toulouse penalty.
From the penalty it was Constantine Mika who blasted through the Hornets defence to touch down. Mark Kheirallah knocked over his first of eight conversions. Nine minutes later he would have the ball on the tee again as the stand out, Rhys Curran fed Bastien Ader through a gap in the Hornets line to gallop away for his first score of the day.
Despite the early score it looked as though it wasn’t going to be as easy as first thought for the Frenchmen with Hornets probing the Olympique line. But for some slack last play efforts Hornets could, and possibly should, have clawed their way level.
First it was debutant half back Tyler Whittaker who slotted a teasing chip over but it was too high for Greenwood to gather on the right flank. Moments later it would be Jordan Case who was overexcited with the boot, stabbing a grubber kick dead on the last.
The visitor’s persistence paid off however, as a sweeping move saw the ball go through hands to the left edge. Lewis Galbraith teased his opposite number and bust the line to feed Rob Massam who touched down in the corner for his 15th try of the season. The kick was too much for Whittaker off the whitewash.
On the half hour mark it was Stanislas Robin who scooped the ball up on the last tackle and bamboozled six Hornets defenders with his electrifying footwork to score. Kheirallah again good for the two.
With Ben Moores and Gavin Bennion off the field the home side ran riot with a nine-minute patch yielding five tries before the break. Ader crossed twice for his hat trick and Kheirallah touched down twice to put Olympique out of reach at the break.
Alan Kilshaw opted to keep his men out of the dressing rooms at half time with the mercury touching 32 degrees before an inspirational rallying cry from Greenwood readied the boys for the second period but it couldn’t have started worse with Clement Boyer pushing his way over to the left of the sticks before Anthony Marion crossed with Kheirallah converting both tries to make it 46-4.
Strangely with Toulouse looking to be in full control the pendulum swung and Hornets had their best spell of the game as the alert Declan Kay who was filling in at fullback eyed up Curran’s slack pass to intercept and race 50 metres to dot down under the sticks.
Moments later, Miles Greenwood waltzed through the Toulouse defence to muscle over for a try with Whittaker goaling both.
Toulouse responded late in the day with tries from Paul Marcon and Curran with Kheirallah converting the latter.
Despite the heavy defeat, Alan Kilshaw was proud of his men: “We were beaten by a very good side, but I am proud of the lads.”
Toulouse Olympique: Mark Kheirallah, Kuni Minga, Bastien Ader, Sebastien Planas, Paul Marcon, Anthony Marion, Stanislas Robin, Clement Boyer, Mourad Kriouache, Bastien Canet, Constantine Mika, Rhys Curran, Andrew Bentley, Maxime Puech, Kalausa Leha, Levi Nzoungou, Charles Bouzinac
Rochdale Hornets: Declan Kay, Miles Greenwood, Jake Eccleston, Lewis Galbraith, Rob Massam, Tyler Whittaker, Danny Yates, Matty Hadden, Ben Moores, Gavin Bennion, Josh Crowley, Jordan Case, Lewis Hatton, Lewis Foster, Danny Rasool, Luke Fowden, Jack Holmes
Hornets MOM: Matty Hadden
Penalty count: 5-6
Referee: Gareth Hewer