Halifax Panthers battled hard in the South of France but eventually came up short against their full time opposition in Toulouse Olympique 28-22. Fax battled back from 0-10 down inside 10 minutes to lead at half time 10-18 but TO’s recent Super League experience told in the end as they came back to grab an important victory back on home soil.
Once more Simon Grix had to ring the changes, Kyle Wood brought into halfback instead of Tom Inman who dropped to the bench as run on hooker. Ben Kavanagh forced out after failing his Head Injury Assessment the previous week against Batley with Alex Sutcliffe joining on dual-registration from Castleford Tigers and Jacob Fairbank starting his three game ban.

Toulouse hadn’t played in the South of France for several weeks and home comforts served them well early doors. Firstly, Anthony Marion walking through a huge gap in goalline defence and Guy Armitage powering over on the left after great Gallic flair in the build up. Shorrocks converting 1 from 2 but TO were scoring more than a point a minute at 10-0 up with 9 on the clock. 

But back came the Panthers to roar into a 10-18 halftime lead. Firstly, Zack McComb squeezed over in the right hand corner. Jouffret converted from wide out and he was converting from close range shortly after as James Woodburn-Hall’s perfectly placed grubber kick was claimed by Kyle Wood who scored his first try of the season.

If the first 2 tries were about skill and timing, Fax’s third was about brute strength and determination with Brandon Moore scoring from a typical barge over from dummy half. Jouffret converted once more to make it a 10-18 half time and 2 score lead for the visitors. 

After holding out for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, Toulouse wiped out that 2 score lead with back to back tries. Pierre-Jean Lima profiting from the referee not giving what seemed a blatant knock on from TO and then Maxime Stefani strolling through a gap left by Jake Maizen racing out of the line. Shorrocks converting both to give Toulouse a 22-18 lead.

But Fax wouldn’t go away, Lachlan Walmsley somehow squeezing over in the corner from Ben Tibbs’ ricocheted kick. Jouffret missed from the tee for a 22-22 score line with 15 minutes left to play. Shorrocks was unsuccessful with a penalty shot at goal but it mattered not as Guy Armitage made it a brace of tries as he shook off uncharacteristically soft Zack McComb defence to power over for the decisive score. Shorrocks kicked the goal this time and even though Fax threatened and toiled until the very end, they couldn’t get the all important score with Toulouse holding out for a 28-22 victory.

Toulouse Olympique
Brochon, Marcon, Jussaume, Rennie, Armitage, Ralph, Shorrocks, Biscarro, Gahan, Hansen, Lima, Stefani, Marion
Subs: Richards, Chan, Silva, Bretherton

Tries: Marion (4), Armitage (8), Lima (51), Stefani (54), Armitage (67)
Goals: Shorrocks 4/5

Halifax Panthers
Woodburn-Hall, Walmsley, Tibbs, Maizen, McComb, Jouffret, Wood, Calcott, Moore, Murray, Sutcliffe, Gee, Tangata
Subs: Inman, Lannon, Larroyer, Pickersgill

Tries: McComb (13), Wood (27), Moore (34), Walmsley (59)
Goals: Jouffret 3/4

#FAX150 #MatchReport

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