Close behind Featherstone are Toulouse Olympique, who beat the Keighley Cougars 64-0 at the Stade Ernest Wallon.
Toulouse Olympique crushed the Keighley Cougars 64-0 on the 20th day of the Championship. In view of the heavy final score (64-0) and without comment, Keighley will certainly keep a very bitter memory of his first performance at Ernest-Wallon this Saturday, July 29.
First of all, the bus which was to take the “Cougars” to Sept-Deniers broke down, which delayed the kick-off by forty-five minutes. Throughout the encounter, let’s say the last League One champion was down in every sense of the word. Mark Foster’s team lacked offensive creativity, desire and especially in the defensive sector, they made it easier for Captain Hansen’s men who had fun crossing the opposing line eleven times.
As part of the Cougars’ traveling squad, Leeds strikers Joe Gibbons and Tom Nicholson-Watton have added more minutes to their name away from reserve competition.
Gibbons, who is on a season-long loan with Keighley, returned to the club after a short injury layoff while Nicholson-Watton got his first league minutes in his young career in defeat. Nicholson-Watton came off the bench, alongside former Leeds Academy team-mate Joe Hird, on the difficult trip to France as Toulouse.
Toulouse Olympique, unbeaten at home in the Betfred Championship all season, were heavy favorites to win, and they remained second by crushing the Cougars with an 11-try volley.
The Cougars remain one point from the drop zone, but will only exit on points difference (ahead of Swinton) if Barrow wins at Odsal tonight.
Keighley will certainly have a very bitter memory
The perfect start to the match for Toulouse Olympique, who took advantage of opposing fouls to open the scoring with Anthony Marion following a breakthrough by Harrison Hansen. Jake Shorrocks transforms and in the process, it is Josh Ralph who scores after a kick from Callum Gahan. Another successful transformation and the score is 12 to 0.
The Olympians score 4 tries in 10 minutes. The works of Anthony MARION, Maxime STEFANI, Benjamin LAGUERRE and Josh RALPH, 22-0. A hard blow for the Welsh international half who came out injured in the 20th minute of the game. The game was neutralized for ten minutes, until the Blues & Whites drove the point home with two new tries from Joe BRETHERTON and Maxime STEFANI who offers a double. The Toulouse defense bends Keighley who does not score in this first act. Score at the break 34-0.
As soon as they returned from the locker room, the English immediately took over the lightning and Guy Armitage took advantage of a dropped ball to score. Jake Shorrocks transforms then the rhythm calms down for a few minutes. Maxime Stefani scored a hat-trick just before the hour mark. The second row scored under the posts and it was converted, 46-0.
Zachary Santo then offers himself a huge festival but is caught before the line. In the process, Paul Marcon will flatten to score a new try. The doubles then followed for the TO XIII with first Anthony Marion, very good this Saturday, then Guy Armitage. The two transformations pass, 64 to 0 for Toulouse.
Again in the second half, the Toulouse public wasted no time in seeing the Olympians score, as evidenced by Guy ARMITAGE’s try in the 43rd minute. The score is 40-0. On the hour mark, Sylvain’s men put on a layer to make the score worse at 64-0! Thanks in particular to the 3rd personal test of Maxime STEFANI, to the respective doubles of Anthony MARION and Guy ARMITAGE. Added to this is the 100-meter test led by Zac SANTO and concluded by Paul MARCON. Jake SHORROCKS will not miss any transformation in the second half. Thanks to an offensive festival and a very organized defense, the TO won by a wide margin 64-0.
Shorrocks landed all five conversion attempts after the break. Keighley had shown some flickers in attack, but in truth they were outplayed by a much better side.
Their attention now turns to a whopping four-pointer against relegation rivals Swinton this coming Sunday.
Outside of the Club Reserves competition, players continued to earn valuable minutes away from the club through double signing and loan and last weekend Luke Hooley continued his spell with his former team Batley, the duo Joe Gibbons and Tom Nicholson-Watton have traveled to France with Keighley and Mackenzie Turner is making his debut for the Midlands Hurricanes in League One.
Thanks to this fourteenth victory, Olympic Toulouse consolidates its second place a little more. Also in the locker room, the Olympians learned of Batley’s defeat (28-8) at Featherstone.
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