Toulouse Olympique have been relegated from Super League following their 24-14 home defeat in the French derby against Catalans at Stade Ernest Wallon.
A first-half hat-trick of tries from Catalans’ French international winger Fouad Yaha effectively sealed the fate of Toulouse, who drop back into the Championship after winning just five of their 25 matches in their first season in the top flight.
The defeat leaves Sylvain Houles’ team eight points adrift of Wakefield, who were 18-6 winners over Hull KR, with two rounds left of the regular season.
In their final two fixtures, the French outfit will travel to Hull before heading to St Helens.
Toulouse Olympique were without captain Tony Gigot who had been dropped after a disappointing display in the previous game against Wigan.
Catalans were desperate for points in their play-off push and in no mood to do Toulouse a favour as Sam Tomkins and Matt Whitley returned to bolster the side that was humbled at home the previous week to Salford.
The Dragons were first to score in the seventh minute when a Tomkins kick to the Toulouse defence was patted into the arms of Whitley who put winger Fouad Yaha in at the left corner, Josh Drinkwater unable to convert from the touchline.
Yaha doubled his tally five minutes later thanks to a 10-metre rocket pass from Tomkins to touchdown in the same corner, Drinkwater again failing to find the mark with the kick from wide.
The hat-trick was secured for Yaha in the 25th minute when Whitley again was provider with the final pass and the Dragons were 12-0 ahead.
Toulouse hit back in the 34th minute when Chris Hankinson needed video referee approval for grounding his try to put the hosts back in the contest. Hankinson converted his own score for 12-6.
A sin-binning for Drinkwater on the stroke of half-time and the resulting penalty conversion by Hankinson made it 12-8 to the Dragons at the interval.
HT: Toulouse 8-12 Catalans
Dragons’ prop Gil Dudson put Les Dracs back on track with a 50th-minute try, converted by Tyrone May in the absence of Drinkwater, then May scored a try of his own, kicking to the posts and collecting the rebound to touch down and adding the conversion himself.
At 24-8, time was running out for Toulouse but despite some promising attacking moves they could not turn possession into points.
Paul Seguier and Daniel Alvaro squared up as the pressure mounted in the final minutes and Tomkins received a yellow card for a shoulder charge on Olly Ashall-Bott.
Ashall-Bott, though, then sprinted 40 metres for the final try of the game, converted by Hankinson but it was not enough to keep the flame of Super League survival alive for Toulouse.