Toulouse marked their first competitive game in over a year with an eye-catching 21-6 win at York City Knights’ LNER Stadium.
The French outfit had won five league games from five before the season was suspended amidst the pandemic last year and, with no Challenge Cup games behind them this year, their match practice has been limited to a 40-28 defeat at Catalans Dragons on March 13.
Though they got off to a slow start which saw Ben Jones-Bishop’s interception try, converted by Kieran Dixon, put York 6-0 up after 13 minutes, Sylvain Houles’ men soon clicked into action.
Former St Helens man Dom Peyroux began the fightback on 19 minutes for the visitors, who played 75 minutes of the game with two available substitutes, with an unconverted score.
Toulouse’s stellar defence continued to keep York at bay in the first half, with two Athony Marion penalty goals leaving them 10-6 up at the break.
Mitch Garbutt then got on the scoresheet on 48 minutes, converted by Marion, before Joe Bretherton’s try on the hour stretched his side’s lead further.
— Toulouse Olympique XIII (@TOXIII) April 3, 2021
Marion kicked a penalty goal with 13 minutes to play as TO edged further in front, and Paul White added extra gloss to the scoreline with a drop goal on the hooter to round off the scoring.
Elsewhere, Matty Fleming scored twice as Dewsbury Rams came from behind to beat Whitehaven 17-8 on home turf.
The Rams had a score to settle after they were humbled 23-16 at Haven – who had 12 men for much of the game – in the Challenge Cup two weeks ago.
But things got off to s shaky start as the energetic Lachlan Walmsley got on the end of some slick handling to put the visitors ahead after 13 minutes.
But they remained undeterred and, led by one of the most experienced halfback partnerships around of Paul Sykes, 39, and Liam Finn, 37, they remained undeterred and would go into half time ahead.
Sam Day charged over from the play-the-ball for the Rams with three minutes left of the half and Sykes was able to convert from in front of the posts for a 6-4 advantage.
Then Fleming’s quickfire double, completed inside four minutes either side of the 50-minute mark, put the home side in pole position.
Sykes added one conversion to put the Rams 16-4 up with 26 minutes to play.
Though Haven were able to create their fair share of opportunities in the final quarter, it was either and error or some steely Dewsbury defence which stood in their way of adding more points.
And, with the clock ticking down, Finn booted a drop goal to establish a crucial three-score lead with six minutes remaining.
Though Jason Mossop’s try on 75 minutes kept the home side on their toes, it proved fruitless as home home side claimed the spoils.