Huddersfield spoil Toulouse’s Super League welcome- Report & Talking Points

Steven Hughes
Olly Russell Huddersfield SWpix

Photo: Will Palmer / SWpix

Huddersfield overturned an early deficit to beat Super League newcomers Toulouse 42-14 at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

Tries from Matty Russell and Ilias Bergal had put Toulouse 10-0 up after 20 minutes. But Huddersfield ran in 42 unanswered points, as the hosts faded in the second half.

Guy Armitage got the final word for the French side, but they fall to a heavy defeat in round one.

Match Report

It was a dream start for the hosts, as they took the lead with a few minutes on the clock. They worked the ball out wide, and Matty Russell found space and managed to mark his debut with a try. Chris Hankinson was unable to add the touchline conversion, meaning their lead stood at four points.

Huddersfield then built some pressure on the Toulouse line, but ultimately could not make the territory count.

Just past the 20-minute mark, things got even better for Toulouse. Tony Gigot put in a clever kick towards the corner, and it was grounded by Ilias Bergal out wide. Hankinson converted to put Toulouse into double figures.

Soon after, Huddersfield were able to respond. Luke Yates came onto a short ball, and was able to barge his way over the line. Oliver Russell kicked the conversion to bring Huddersfield back within four points.

Just before the break, the Giants were able to level the scores. Tui Lolohea threw a cut-out pass out to Innes Senior, who scored in the corner. Russell could not add the conversion.

The Giants then had the opportunity to take the lead a minute later. Gigot failed to deal with a kick to the corner, and Jake Wardle got in and got the ball down. However, it was disallowed as Lolohea was offside from the kick.

However, they would not be denied with the final play of the half. Louis Senior kicked ahead, which was collected by Lolohea, who then gave it back to Senior to complete the run to the corner. Russell scored the conversion to give the Giants a six-point half-time lead.

HT- Toulouse 10-16 Huddersfield

The first try of the second half felt like it was going to be crucial, and it was Huddersfield who got it. A kick across the in-goal area by Theo Fages was allowed to travel by the Toulouse defence, and Wardle was able to touch down for the Giants. Russell added the conversion to make it a 12-point lead.

Just a few minutes later, Huddersfield almost scored again. Sebastine Ikahihifo went for the line, but good defence from Toulouse stopped him from getting the ball down.

The Giants were soon able to stretch their lead, with Russell kicking a penalty after a dangerous tackle from Joseph Paulo.

Just past the hour, Huddersfield were able to make it 30 unanswered points for them. Wardle got the ball and was able to evade the tackle attempts of Guy Armitage and Bergal to score his second try. Russell added the conversion from the touchline.

Huddersfield then made it two tries in a couple of minutes, as they took advantage of a tiring Toulouse defence. Chris McQueen got the ball and was able to get through the defence to score. Russell was able to convert from in front for his sixth goal of the night.

With less than 10 minutes to go, Huddersfield racked up 40 points. Lolohea’s delayed pass put Olly Ashall-Bott through, who went through the gap to get his name on the scoresheet. Russell maintained his good record with the boot.

In a second half that brought Toulouse little joy, they were still able to get a try with three minutes to go. Following a set restart, Guy Armitage was able to barge over. Hankinson pulled the conversion wide.

That rounded off the scoring, and Toulouse were taught a lesson about the realities of life in the Super League. They travel to Salford next Sunday. Meanwhile, Huddersfield welcome Hull KR on Saturday.

FT- Toulouse 14-42 Huddersfield

Team News

Toulouse: Gigot, Bergal, Armitage, Vaivai, Russell, Hankinson, Albert, Bretherton, White, Navarrete, Peyroux, Dixon, Cunningham. Subs: Pelissier, Puech, Sangare, Paulo

T: Russell, Bergal, Armitage

G: Hankinson 1/3

Huddersfield: Lolohea, I.Senior, Wardle, Cudjoe, L.Senior, Russell, Fages, Hill, Levy, English, McQueen, Jones, Yates. Subs: Ashall-Bott, Greenwood, Trout, Ikahihifo.

T: Yates, I.Senior, L.Senior, Wardle (2), McQueen, Ashall-Bott

G:Russell 7/8

Talking Points

The good, the bad and the ugly of Tony Gigot

Tony Gigot showed in the first half alone both the good and bad side of his game. His pinpoint kick found Ilias Bergal for Toulouse’s second try. Not long after, his failure to deal with a kick to the corner almost led to a try for Jake Wardle, and would have done had Tui Lolohea not been in an offside position from the initial kick.

Toulouse tire after fast start

Toulouse started the match well, were full of energy, and were the better side for much of the first half. But the tries Huddersfield managed to get before the break seemed to knock the stuffing out of Toulouse.

Danny Levi looks a good find for Huddersfield

Danny Levi made his first appearance for Huddersfield since his move from NRL side Brisbane. His quick play-the-balls often put Toulouse on the back foot, and was a constant threat. He will be a very good player if he can keep that form up.

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