Victory in Toulouse, but far from perfect

Sheffield Eagles v Widnes......Pictured is all eyes on Eagles new boy Quentin Laulu-Togagae
Sheffield Eagles v Widnes......Pictured is all eyes on Eagles new boy Quentin Laulu-Togagae
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SHEFFIELD Eagles are snapping at the heels of the leaders in the Championship after a third straight win at struggling Toulouse Olympique.

SHEFFIELD Eagles are snapping at the heels of the leaders in the Championship after a third straight win at struggling Toulouse Olympique.

Two tries mid-way through the second half sealed the win yet it was a performance that failed to impress coach Mark Aston.

“I am disappointed. We were very poor for just about the full 80 minutes, I told the lads that,” he said.

“We didn’t make use of the possession and our completion rate was very poor.

“The lads dropped their guard and made too many mistakes.”

The Eagles have never lost to Toulouse and although they got an early wake up call at the Stade Arnauné that record rarely looked to be in danger.

Former Eagles players’ Craig Cook and Ged Corcoran couldn’t produce a shock result for the Championship strugglers.

Back row forward Sam Scott, playing only his second game for Eagles was outstanding after coming off the bench late in the first half.

Toulouse took advantage of having the extra man after Alex Szostak was sin binned for a late challenge with Australian second row forward Tim Wynn going in under the posts and Darren Nicholls adding the goal.

Handling mistakes slowed the Eagles until winger Tim Bergin squeezed in at the corner from Menzie Yere’s pass.

Eagles took the lead with hooker Andrew Henderson taking a kick from Simon Brown under the posts for the try.

Brown added the two points. Winger Greg White found a gap on the Eagles right to bring Olympique back level but the Eagles stepped up the pressure in the final minutes of the half.

Stand-off Quentin Laulu-Togagae won a race with Alex Rowe to touch down under the posts to take his try scoring run to 11 in 8 games. Brown added the goal for a 16-10 lead at the break.

Five minutes after the restart Toulouse edged level again when White went in at the corner for his second try and Nicholls added the goal.

Eagles then took control.

Full back Misi Taulapapa produced the finish to put them back ahead and Brown kicked the goal from the touchline.

There was no stopping Yere as he ran on to a pass from Laulu-Togagae to make it two tries in a four-minute burst that put the game beyond Toulouse.

With three minutes to play hard-working second rower Peter Green took a flat pass from substitute hooker Pat Smith and went in under the posts with Brown kicking his fourth goal from six attempts.

n Eagles: Taulapapa; Bergin, Yere, Hanson, Finigan; Laulu-Togagae, Brown; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Green, Hirst. Subs: Rowe, Hepworth, Smith, Scott.

n Tries: Bergin (17), Henderson (21), Laulu-Togagae (40), Taulapapa (57), Yere (61), Green (77).

n Goals: Brown 4/6.

n Toulouse: Bromley; Albert, Ormeno, Tisseyre, White, Nicholls, Villegas, Ancely, Cook, Corcoran, Wynn, Maria, Houles. Subs: Gout, Larroyer, Fauré, Gigord.

n Tries: Wynn (9), White (33,45).

n Goals: Nicholls 2/3.

n Attendance 1,200