Rochdale expecting war with Toulouse

Rochdale are bracing themselves for a war with Toulouse Olympique this weekend when the the two top sides in League 1 meet.

Unbeaten Toulouse are leading the ladder with 33 points, while the Hornets are second with 29. Both clubs are chasing promotion into the Championship.

The last time the two teams met it was a spiteful 28-28 draw at Spotland Stadium.

“It will be tough out there in France,” Rochdale coach Alan Kilshaw told Love Rugby League.

“There were a lot of feelings before and after the game.

“We need to make sure we are aggressive in our approach but disciplined at the same time.

“To be fair to Toulouse they have adapted well to the competition. A lot of the lifting tackles seem to have gone from their game.”

There were allegations of biting after the draw in April and Toulouse centre Bastien Ader was banned for four games for the offence.

Kilshaw has insisted a strong performance from the referee for the game, Jamie Bloem, is key.

“Jamie has got to be resolute around the ruck,” he said.

“The ruck is an area which has been very inconsistent this season and it’s something which a lot of other League 1 coaches are finding as well.

“He also needs to make sure he is not intimidated by the home crowd and those players.”

A win this week for the Hornets would keep a two-point cushion between themselves and Barrow Raiders, but Kilshaw doesn’t think this game is more significant than any other.

“I don’t think match is more important than any other,” he said.

“Every game is massive. We are coming off the back of a loss and a bit of a dip in form so it is important that we perform and go over there and put a marker down.”

Toulouse have not lost a single game at the Stades des Minimes this season and not lost in League 1 at all.

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