Toulouse expecting Batley to raise their game

Toulouse half back Mourad Kriouache is expecting Challenge Cup opponents Batley to raise their game for Saturday’s meeting in the Stade Arnaune Minimes.

Kriouache is gradually returning to full fitness having missed the start of the season, and he sat out the 44-6 opening day victory over the Bulldogs in the Championship.

The newly-promoted side have enjoyed a promising start to life in the second tier, winning four of their first six games.

The Frenchman said: “It will not be simple. We have already gauged their level in the league. It is very good and it seems that the English teams have greatly increased motivation when they play in the Challenge Cup.

“It’s a play-off type game. The Challenge Cup is a very important competition in England, and we experienced some great things in the cup last season.

“Batley will want to avenge the first defeat. It will be a completely different game this time.

“We have a positive start to the season and I hope we can keep this momentum throughout the season.”

Toulouse have a great pedigree in the Challenge Cup having memorably reached the semi-finals of the competition back in 2005 under the stewardship of Justin Morgan.

They romped to the League 1 title last season to book a second spell in the Championship.

They previously played in the competition from 2009-2011, winning just four games in their final season.

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