Toulouse 20-6 Leeds: Toulouse secure third win in a row

Corey Norman Toulouse Olympique SWpix

Photo: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix

Toulouse moved off the foot of the Super League table after recording their third straight win with a hard-fought 20-6 victory over Leeds.

The battling French club climbed above Wakefield on points difference, although Trinity have the chance to respond when they play at Hull KR on Sunday.

Tries from Latrell Schaumkel, Matty Russell and Joe Bretherton did the damage, with Chris Hankinson converting all three and kicking a penalty, while Brad Dwyer grabbed the Rhinos’ lone score.

The game in the south of France was stopped regularly for water breaks as the temperature hit 40 degrees Celsius and the hosts coped better with the conditions to boost their hopes of survival in their first season in the top flight.

Leeds were already under-strength for their trip to France and suffered a further setback as Liam Sutcliffe dropped from the starting line-up to the bench ahead to kick-off because of illness and Toulouse took full advantage to clinch their fifth win of the season.

Hankinson got Toulouse up and running with a 12th-minute penalty before a bullet pass from captain Tony Gigot created the first try for winger Schaumkel five minutes later.

Hankinson was on target with the conversion to make it 8-0.

Olly Ashall-Bott spun a ball through Hankinson to opposite winger Russell 10 minutes later for a try in the left corner and, with Hankinson again successful with the kick from the touchline, Toulouse maintained their 14-0 advantage until the interval.

HT: Toulouse Olympique 14-0 Leeds Rhinos

Jarrod O'Connor Leeds Rhinos SWpix
Photo: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix

Leeds were boosted in the second half by the successful return of prop Mikolaj Oledzki from an earlier head-injury assessment and, when Ashall-Bott dropped a towering Richie Myler bomb, the Rhinos looked likely to score.

But Toulouse resisted and worked the ball to the other end of the pitch where they forced a goal-line drop-out, which led to a burst toward the posts by prop Daniel Alvaro that was bravely halted by James Bentley.

The hosts were in control as the sun thankfully went down and the temperatures began to ease. But, despite long periods of possession, with Gigot and fellow half-back Corey Norman dictating play, they could not add to their lead.

It took a cameo dummy-half short-range burst from Leeds hooker Dwyer to create the next try and earn Leeds their first points of the game, Rhyse Martin adding the conversion to make it 14-6 in the 69th minute.

But the visitors then suffered another blow when centre Max Simpson had to leave the field with an apparent ankle injury.

Dwyer almost scored a second three minutes from the end. But he fumbled the ball with the line at his mercy. Instead, Toulouse finished the job as Bretherton crossed in the 78th minute.

He split the defence with a powerful surge over the line, Hankinson converting for a final score of 20-6.

FT: Toulouse Olympique 20-6 Leeds Rhinos

Toulouse: Ashall-Bott; Schaumkel, Armitage, Hankinson, Russell; Norman, Gigot; Navarrete, Peats, Alvaro, Peyroux, Bretherton, Paulo. Subs: Albert, Belmas, Hansen, Sangare.

Tries: Schaumkel, Russell, Bretherton Goals: Hankinson 4

Leeds: Myler; Fusitu’a, Simpson, Martin, Handley; Johnson, Sinfield; Oledzki, O’Connor, Walters, Gannon, Bentley, Smith. Subs: Thompson, Dwyer, Donaldson, Tindall.

Tries: Dwyer Goals: Martin 1

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