Toulouse Olympique Rugby League masterclass for Wath Brow Hornets

Report and Photographs by Robert Haile

Wath Brow Hornets beat Toulouse Olympique

Wath Brow Hornets on the attack against Toulouse Olympique

The third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup drew a crowd as French League 1 side Toulouse Olympique XIII faced Wath Brow Hornets.

The sides last faced each other 11 years ago in Toulouse in the fourth round of the then Power Gen Challenge Cup.

As the two side entered the field they past the Challenge Cup knowing it was the closest one of the teams was going to come to it.

Toulouse kicked off and as the first tackle went in the oomph was audible as Hornet met the opposition.

It was the Hornets that struck first after a brave defence of their own try line.

After a penalty put the Hornets in the Toulouse half and some hard running moved them into the Toulouse 20.

The Hornets then struck with a quick passing move that put Luke Davison over in the corner.

A missed conversion followed.

The lead didn’t last long as Toulouse went straight up the other end and Mark Kheirallah went over to tie the game up.

This quick reply did not dent the Hornets confidence as a kick was launched over the Toulouse defence, the pressure applied by the on rushing Hornets caused it to be spilled and the Hornets Karl Dixon put them back in the lead.

The teams then settled into a tough match before Johnathon Ford and Kuni Minga scoring with Khierallah converting Fords try.

This made the score 8 – 14 at half time.

The second half was a different story as within the first five minutes Toulouse had scored through Kheirallah who had burst through the Hornets defence to run half the pitch to score under the posts.

Facing an uphill battle the Hornets dug deep and pulled the game back to one try with Karl Dixon scoring his second and Fran King adding the conversion.

The game opened up with the Hornets needing to score and Toulouse wanting to make the game safe.

Sadly for the Hornets, Toulouse won out with two unanswered converted tries from Kheirallah.

The first was a nice passing move that put Kheirallah through while the second was a repeat of the opening try for the second half.

While the score line of 14 – 32 makes the game look easier for Toulouse than it was as both teams had to produce try saving tackles in equal number.

The Hornets start there League campaign at home with a local derby against Egremont Rangers on Saturday March 12.

After last season’s three victories over the Rangers it is a game not to be missed.