TOULOUSE RALLY LATE TO DEFEAT SWINTON

06 February 2018

Five tries in the final fifteen minutes sent the Lions home with the tail between their legs in the opening round of the Championship.

TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE 46-14 SWINTON LIONS

Five tries in the final fifteen minutes put an end to any hopes of the Lions getting anything out of this game as the home side ran away with the game.

Toulouse took the lead after only seven minutes when the Lions were pressing on the home side line, but a wild pass saw William Barthau intercept and race ninety metres to score before and Mark Kheirallah added the extras. This was swiftly followed by a second try three minutes later, when Tony Maurel scored an unconverted try in the left corner. The early dominance continued as Aussie Rhys Curran went in by the posts to add the third try on seventeen minutes and a conversion to put the home side ahead by 16.

The Lions finally saw some of the ball midway through the half and Kyle Shelford capitalised on some good pressure to score his first Lions try, as he chased a kick to score under the posts with Chris Hankinson added the simple conversion.

On the half hour mark a good passing movement saw Mike Butt score in the right corner but sadly Hankinson was unable to add the extras. Stan Robin then then created a try for Paul Marcon who scored in the corner but again no conversion for the French side. As the hooter blew Hankinson added a penalty goal after Josh Barlow had been obstructed.

Hankinson kicked another penalty just after the start of the second half, following a lot of pressure on the Toulouse line to put his side within six points. However the Lions failed to act on their opportunities and paid the price when Robin spotted a gap in the defence from twenty metres to race away and score on the left with the conversion being missed.

The Lions were still having good chances late in the second half but poor ball work allowed Maurel to sweep up a loose ball to race eighty metres to score an uncoverted try. As the Lions then went for the short kick, they were caught out again as Kheirallah claimed the ball and broke through the Swinton defence to send Gavin Marguerite away to score by the posts, with the conversion finally on target for the home side. There was still time for two more tries from Bastien Ader and Kheirallah as they found holes in the Lions defence and both were converted to maybe flatter the scoreline a little sending the large band of Lions fans back home disappointed.

Ian Rigg reporting at Stade Ernest Argeles

REACTION

Teams

Lions: Fell, Butt, Hankinson, Tyson, Worthington, Ansell, J.Hansen, Bracek, H.Hansen, Shelford, Lloyd, Sarsfield, Barlow. Subs:- Davies, Partington, Worrall, Taylor.

Tries: Shelford (22), Butt (30)   Goals: Hankinson ¾

Toulouse: Kheirallah, Maurel, Ader, Marguerite, Marcon, Barthau, Robin, Puech, Marion, Canet, Mika, Curran, A.Bentley. Subs:- Planas, Kriouache, Hepi, Sangare.

Tries: Barthau (7), Maurel (10,70), Curran (17), Marcon (37), Robin (65), Marguerite (73), Ader (75), Kheirallah (79).   Goals: Kheirallah 5/9

Referee: Tom Grant   Pens: 9-9   Attendance: 1740   H-T: 20-12

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