An outstanding performance from Matt Diskin’s men saw them run out 46-22 victors against a top quality, full time Toulouse Olympique. Pic © Neville Wright

Match report by Luke Winner.

Batley Bulldogs hosted Toulouse Olympique in what was a hard-fought win against the top four favourites in the Betfred Rugby League Championship, winning 46 – 22.

Batley were the ones who got the game underway, with Toulouse gaining a penalty straight after kick off; putting early pressure on the Bulldogs. Bastien Ader opened the scoring for the hosts after collecting a shooting pass to score in the far left. Kheirallah converted. Batley 0 – 6 Toulouse.

Jason Crookes, soon replied to the visitor’s early efforts, scoring a beautiful try after passing from right to left saw him over. Alistair Leak followed moments later, crashing through multiple Toulouse defenders to score from close range. Izaac Farrell converted one out of the two. 10 – 6

It was a tough set for the hosts as Toulouse showed their strength and agility, creeping up on the Bulldogs making great yards up the slope. Bastien Ader once again, took in a swooping ball play move to race over on the far side. Kheirallah missed the conversion.

Jason Crookes soon took his second of the afternoon, after a fast pass came flooding in from Isaac Farrell creating a clear overlap. Farrell slotted over the kick.

Dominic Brambani was soon back at his kicking game tactics after a nice kick from left to right reached the hands of Ainscough for him to touch down. Farrell couldn’t convert.

HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 20 – 10 Toulouse Olympique

The second half went off with a bang as a Michael Ward made himself truly known to the opposition, barging his way through an immense opposition defence to score. Farrell converted.
26 – 10.

Mark Kheirallah came to close the gap, crossing the line during some intense pressure after a forced goal line drop out. Barthau converted. 26 – 16.

Leak, Ward and Izaac, caused conflict against the visitor’s line, claiming the vital metres needed. Joel Farrell sent Brad Day over the line swiftly from point blank; with Izaac Farrell adding the extras.

Toulouse slowly collapsed under the Batley pressure seeing them leak a penalty, enabling Izaac Farrell to dig a deeper hole for the visitors to get out of. Toulouse responded 10 minutes later with a superb try from Barthau and looked to be getting the better of The Bulldogs but the home side dug deep and Jason Crookes completed his hat-trick attempt, after a flurry of passes saw him sprint over to score, taking a pass from Galbraith near the end. Farrell converted.

Brad Day secured the final try of the day crowning Batley the winners’, after a sweeping move, Crookes kept the ball alive with a brilliant kick to set it up. Farrell converted.

FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 46 – 22 Toulouse Olympique.

Batley Xlll – Scott, Ainscough, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes, I Farrell, Brambani, Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Day and Manning.

Interchanges – Davey, Brown, J Farrell and Ward.

Toulouse – Kheirallah, Lima, Planas, Ader, Maurel, Ford, Barthau, Boyer, Kriouache, Rapira, Mika, Curran and Bentley.

Interchanges – Robin, Peuch, Hepi and Marion.