Toulouse 56 Sheffield Eagles 18: Eagles' poor form on the continent continues
Sheffield Eagles continued their recent poor form on the continent after a 56-18 defeat against Toulouse.
Mark Aston’s side failed to make ground on the Championship play-off positions after an under strength outfit were well beaten by the full-timers.
The French side, who were beaten in the Steel City earlier in the campaign, were never in danger of another upset as the Eagles wilted in the intense heat, with a raft of mistakes which angered coach Aston.
The visitors competed well in the opening exchanges despite being behind to Paul Macron’s converted try in the corner.
Joe Bretherton’s converted try soon after had the hosts 12 points up, but ex-Eagle Stan Robin had a third score chalked off.
The Eagles halved the deficit after soaking up more Toulouse pressure through Anthony Thackeray’s try, converted by Pat Walker, but that was as good as it got in the first-half.
Toulouse plundered a glut of points in the final 10 minutes before the half-time hooter to move well clear. Constantine Mika’s try, converted by Mark Kheirallah, gave the French side breathing space. Soon after the Eagles coughed up possession as Kheirallah went 50 metres for another converted score.
There was still time for Mathieu Jussaume to touch down as Toulouse quickly opened up a 22-point lead at the break.
The tries flooded in after the interval too, as Dean Parata crossed for a converted score, closely followed by Illias Bergal’s try after he beat two Eagles defenders.
On 51 minutes, Macron was over for his second try following good work by Parata.
The Eagles bagged a consolation try on the hour mark through Joel Farrell, and managed to stem the flow of points for a period.
Inside the final 10 minutes and Toulouse sensed more points, as Robin’s converted try took the hosts past the 50 point mark.
The Eagles further reduced the gap with a late converted try from Oliver Davies with seven minutes remaining.
But the final word went to the French side as Kheirallah’s offload was touched down by Bergal for his second score , and Kheirallah converted on the hooter. Toulouse: Kheirallah; Bengal, J. Vaivai, Jussaume, Marcon; Robin, Ford; Boyer, Marion, P. Vaivai; Mika, Bretherton; Bell. Interchange: Parata, Sangare, Hepi, Dezaria. Scorers: Tries: Macron (9, 51), Bretherton (14), Mika (31), Kheirallah (34), Jussaume (39), Parata (41), Bergal (44, 79), Robin (71) Goals: Kheirallah 8/10 Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Esslemont, Ogden, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Pick, G. Burns, Knowles; Davies, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Dixon, Makelim, Broadbent, P. Burns.
Scorers: Tries: Thackeray (18), Farrell (59), Davies (73) Goals: Walker 3/3
Referee: James Child