Toulouse made a stunning comeback to beat Hull KR and keep their promotion hopes alive. Here’s our verdict…
KR got off to the perfect start, leading 19-0 after just 25 minutes, but from then on Toulouse were irresistible as the game was turned on its head when Toulouse scored three tries in six minutes just before half-time.
Tries from Rhys Curran, Chris Centrone and Stan Robin made the match a one-point game at the break after Robbie Mulhern, Craig Hall and Chris Atkin had touched down for KR.
Gavin Marguerite’s crossing put the Championship club in total control of the second half before Bastien Ader made the points safe; thus showing Toulouse’s decisive movement in the final twenty.
The game was awash with controversy as referee Ben Thaler then brandished two yellow cards, one apiece, to Tyla Hepi and James Greenwood following an outbreak of fighting as the tension of such an important fixture rose higher and higher.
Rovers’ star man Hall’s second try of the game gave them a fighting chance of a comeback after withstanding heavy pressure, but the home side were too powerful in their attacking play and made their opportunities count.
After London Broncos defeating Salford in the early kick off, Toulouse’s win means the battle for the final Super League places for 2019 will go down to the last weekend of the season.
Toulouse travel to Salford at the AJ Bell Stadium in their last match on Thursday and will do so in high spirits after their tremendous triumph over Rovers.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Toulouse are capable
No one gave them a chance at the start of The Qualifiers, but Toulouse have hit form at precisely the right time. Stan Robin has now scored in five consecutive matches and, with every single player pulling together, we may well have a second French side in Super League next year.
KR can be careless
No matter who you play, at this level, you simply cannot afford to take your foot off the gas and that is exactly what Hull KR did against Toulouse. 19-0 up and crusing, they let their opponents back in the game and were punished for it. Yes, they should be in Super League again next season, but they need to stay focused and get the job done. Losing any game is never a good sign.
Man of the Match – Chris Centrone (Toulouse)
The Italian, who can play as centre or on the wing, put in a match-winning performance to ensure his side still have a chance of making the Million Pound Game in a fortnight’s time. Making lung-busting runs time after time, the Toulouse man more than earned the award and his teammates will be looking to him to provide inspiration once more when they travel to Salford in a game which will decide who plays in the all-important Million Pound game.
Tries: Centrone (2), Robin, Marguerte, Ader
Goals: Kheirallah (5)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR 23
Tries: Mulhern, Hall (2), Atkin
Goals: Tickle (3)
Drop Goals: McGuire
Toulouse: Kheirallah, Centrone, Ader, Marguerite, Marcon, Ford, Robin, Marion, Mika, Curran, Puech, Barthau, Bretherton
Interchanges: Boyer, Planas, Kriouache, Hepi
Hull KR: Atkin, Hall, Tomkins, Vaivai, Salter, McGuire, Carney, Masoe, Lee, Mulhern, Tickle, Greenwood, Clarkson
Interchanges: Scruton, Lunt, Kavanagh, Donaldson
Referee: Ben Thaler