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29 April 2018

Promotion-chasing Toulouse Olympique showed their strength as they beat the Lions in front of bumper crowd at Heywood Road.

Swinton Lions 8-62 Toulouse Olympique

A bumper crowd took up the opportunity to see Rugby League for free in the Manchester sunshine and they were treated to a super exhibition of finishing by the high flying French side, despite a bright start from the Lions who also produced some good touches in the first half hour before Sylvan Houle’s side cut free.

Toulouse got off to a good start when Jonathan Ford put his side ahead in the fifth minute, finishing off a good passing movement and Mark Kheirallah converted. However the Lions, spirited by a bumper crowd, hit back quickly when Jack Hansen slipped a pass to Will Hope for his first Lions try by the posts, which Chris Hankinson converted to level the score and score his 150th point for the club. The Lions centre would soon add a penalty goal on twenty minutes to put his side ahead as the Lions took the momentum..

Swinton were camped on the Toulouse line as the looked to add to their advantage but a wild pass to the left from Billsborough was intercepted by Stan Robin and he raced nearly the full length of the field to score in the corner with Kheirallah converted off the touchline.

Toulouse sensed a shift in the games momentum and ran in two more quick tries in a two minute period before the break with Kheirallah finishing off one move and then a four man move saw Anthony Marion score by the posts, with Kheirallah adding the conversion to one of them just before the half time hooter sounded.

It was more of the same in the second half and it took just four minutes for Robin to add his second try under the posts after a break down the middle and again it was converted. Tony Maurel added the next eight minutes later when he made the most of an overlap to score in the corner but no conversion this time. Toulouse were now throwing everything at the Lions line and Charles Bouzinac added the next when he went over from short range and again Kheirallah added the extras.

Sabastian Canet almost added another but some great defence fromLevy Nzoungou held him up on the line, but from the play the ball Toulouse went left and Mourad Kriouache scored by the posts with the conversion being landed again. An incident was placed on report with eight minutes left when it looked like Andrew Bentley was the victim of a crush tackle.

The visitors cut loose in the final seven minutes running in three more tackles when firstly Ford added his second after a break by Kriouache and then Marion added his second after Clement Boyer broke free to feed him to race away. Robin completed his hat trick just before the hooter after a break down the left with Kheirallah converting all three to keep the pressure on at the top of the table and leaving Swinton still looking to add to their one point this season.


LIONS: 1. Gabriel Fell, 16. Ilias Bergal, 3. Chris Hankinson, 11. Rhodri Lloyd, 5. Mike Butt, 6. Brad Billsborough, 7. Jack Hansen, 8. Andy Bracek, 9. Luke Waterworth, 10. Andy Thornley, 12. Matt Sarsfield, 25. Will Hope, 35. Levy Nzoungou

Subs (All Used): 15. Ben Austin, 14. Hayden Hansen, 17. Kyle Shelford, 24. Aaron Hall

Tries: Hope (10)   Goals: Hankinson 2/2

On Report: (72) Potential Crush Tackle


TOULOUSE: 1, Mark Kheirallah, 20. Paul Marcon, 4. Gavin Marguerite, 3. Bastien Ader, 2. Tony Maurel, 6. Jonathan Ford, 7. Stanislas Robin, 8. Clement Boyer, 14. Mourad Kriouache, 18. Sam Rapira, 11. Sebastien Planas, 12. Rhys Curran, 13. Andrew Bentley

Subs (All Used): 19. Charles Bouzinac, 10. Bastien Canet, 16. Tyla Hepi, 9. Anthony Marion

Tries: Ford (5,73), Robin (29,44,77), Kheirallah (34), Marion (36,75), Maurel (52), Bouzinac (57), Kriouache (67).

Goals: Kheirallah 9/11


Penalty Count: 5-2   Half Time: 8-22   Referee: Greg Dolan  


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