Toulouse 20-14 Wakefield: French side’s survival hopes boosted

Olly Ashall-Bott Toulouse Olympique SWpix

Photo: Will Palmer/SWpix

Toulouse struck a blow in their battle for Super League survival with a nervy 20-14 victory over Wakefield in a game which went right to the wire.

Searing temperatures at Stade Ernest Wallon seemed to sap the energy from the Yorkshire side late in the second half as the Olympians coped better with the fierce sunshine and 30-degree heat.

Toulouse lost hooker Lloyd White to injury in the early exchanges. Chris Hankinson, returning from injury, put them ahead with a ninth-minute penalty.

Wakefield winger Lewis Murphy struck back in the 20th minute. Mason Lino was unable to convert from the touchline.

Olly Ashall-Bott mopped up some sloppy Toulouse handling 10 minutes later touch down from short-range, Although Hankinson was off-target with the conversion, Toulouse led 6-4.

Wakefield summoned David Fifita from the bench, and Toulouse immediately responded by giving fellow replacement Daniel Alvaro his debut since joining this week from the NRL.

Fifita made his mark with some powerful bursts forward. The ball was spun to the wing jut before half-time for winger Liam Kay to score in the right corner. Lino added an impressive conversion from touch to make it 10-6 to the visitors at the break.

Lino also missed a penalty from halfway as the hooter for the interval sounded and the two teams headed for the air-conditioned relief of the cool changing rooms.

HT: Toulouse Olympique 6-10 Wakefield Trinity

Daniel Alvaro Toulouse SWpix
Daniel Alvaro in action for Toulouse | Photo: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix

Toulouse started the second half strongly with a lightning strike down the left wing by Matty Russell. Hankinson converted from the touchline to put the Olympians ahead 12-10.

Hankinson extended the lead with a penalty in the 50th minute. However, Wakefield hit straight back with a sweeping move down the left flank where Lee Gaskell found Corey Hall to score in the corner and the scores were level again.

Fifita’s offloads were troubling Toulouse. The home team were forced into a series of drop-kicks from their own in-goal area but the French defence held on.

Tony Gigot’s 40-20 kick in the 73rd-minute led to Ashall-Bott scoring his second try of the game from a similar short range. Hankinson again converting to make it 20-14 to the hosts.

Wakefield tried their best to respond in the closing stages. However, Toulouse hung on for their second win of the season and a crucial two points in their quest for survival.

FT: Toulouse Olympique 20-14 Wakefield Trinity

Toulouse: Ashall-Bott; Marcon, Jussaume, Hankinson, Russell; Gigot, Albert, Navarrete, White, Puech, Stefani, Dixon, Marion. Subs: Cunningham, Hansen, Sangare, Alvaro.

Tries: Ashall-Bott (2), Russell Goals: Hankinson 4

Wakefield: Jowitt; Murphy, Lyne, Hall, Kay; Gaskell, Lino; Tanginoa, Hood, Arona, Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor. Subs: Bowes, Whitbread, Crowther, Fifita.

Tries: Murphy, Kay, Hall Goals: Lino

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