Tit makes reading at the bottom of the Super League table a thrilling read for those of us who hoped Toulouse Olympique would survive or thrive this season. But we have to look at 2024: that is, when Toulouse needs to work for a place at the top of the table, it is ready to take its place when any new format of competition is approved.
With just two wins from their first 15 games in the Super League, you can guess that Toulouse has already fallen. Not so, though their fate is likely to be determined in July. Even if they lose to Wigan on Friday night, they will only be six points behind to go to their next game at home against Hull KR. This is followed by consecutive meetings with three of the four teams directly above: Wakefield at the Magic weekend, and Leeds and Salford at home.
Toulouse could have won three of them and returned for the following trips to Hull KR and Warrington. The club hopes local public opinion will back them up in the month of need – spectators can buy tickets to all four home games in July for just € 25 – knowing they need to win because they’s with Wigan, The Catalans and St Helens face off. , in his last four games of the campaign.
Coach Sylain Houles makes all the right voices: yes, it was hard but, no, we did not give up. Even if they finish below, the perceived Houles will complete an amazing achievement: His Toulouse teams will complete the highest RFL rankings in all nine of their responsible seasons. Few coaches in the world of sports can say that. Toulouse will no doubt be investigating for the 40-year-old if he is fired.
Their season could easily have been different. If Toulouse had lost by a few points instead of scoring the last goal against Wigan and Huddersfield, or if one of their relegation rivals had lost by a few points instead of St Helens, they would have won only one, not three.
Obviously they have not won the game enough, but they are not executed every week. Their points difference in each game is only -11.9, and eight of their 13 defeats were by 12 points or less. If they make one more effort and one less, their season will change.
Another problem is that they have competed against leading teams, in addition to their struggling teammates. They gave Wigan, the Catalans and Huddersfield all the way but one of their five toughest defeats against four teams was still (only) in their hands. When you are comfortably beaten by people around you expectations of recovery do not help to beat the better sides.
The holiday season in western France last week seemed a natural time to read Stormy Sixties, Roger Grime’s book about the French national rugby league team in the decade in which France played 50 international players. They won half of their 20 Tests against Great Britain, defeated Australia three times, and their domestic game was interesting enough to have top-flight clubs at St-ientienne, Roanne and Mulhouse on the German border.
But the media coverage of the French league’s top 14 matches was shocking to a British league spectator: Perpignan fans waved Catalan flags in the square after standing up; 18,000 at Ernest Wallon Stadium just hours after 3,300 saw Castleford hit TO there; 27,000 inside the historic Stade du Parc Lescure in Bordeaux, the scene of many magical rugby league matches, including France defeating Australia in 1963; clubs from the land rugby league Tarn and Provence on the main TV and front page of the sports daily L’Équipe when the Dragons’ latest victory was given only two sentences, the defeat of Toulouse only one and a picture of Matty Russell. It was hard not to be jealous.
At least the presence of Toulouse Olympique means that dozens of French players gain Super League experience. Not only will this not be a big help when France face England and Samoa in the World Cup, but their federation aims to win at home in 2025 and, after their six World Cup matches lost the latter, those responsible understand that the defeat of Greece in October will be the beginning of their recovery. How France spends these next two years will have a significant impact on where the IRL ranks them ahead of the 2025 World Cup, where they will automatically qualify as hosts.
Sunday’s defeat to Wales was a 34-10 start. While there were dozens of Dragons next to France, only two Toulouse players started, with two more on the face. The existence of a national team consisting of players from only two clubs brings problems: just look at the rugby union in Italy and Scotland. In Stormy Sixties, Grime writes: “Too many elite players were wanted.” It was now as real as it was then. At least with Toulouse in the Super League, the pool of full-time skills expands, though only until September.
However, it is still rare for an in-house player to be selected by Dragons or Olympique on one of their foreign imports, especially in creative positions. With the Dragons spending full-back on England captain Sam Tomkins and the highly influential Australian half-back Josh Drinkwater and Mitchell Pearce (and before him James Maloney), Arthur Mourgue needs to be smarter and more talented. wherever possible. Sometime this spring, Toulouse’s injury problems were such, Houles appeared to be picking up his half-back partner by removing the names from the flower. Now he sits in Lucas Albert with NRL veteran Corey Norman, with volunteer Tony Gigot.
Although Huddersfield’s Theo Fages was injured, French coach Laurent Frayssinous and director Trent Robinson on Sunday replaced young Albert Cesar Rouge as his 23-year-old club partner Mourgue. With so few chances at the Dragons, another Rouge game will be owed to Whitehaven on Sunday. Frayssinous and Robinson are clearly looking to the future with the neglect of a 31-year-old international (Gigot, Stan Robin and Dane Chisholm). When Mourgue suffered a serious leg injury on Sunday, supporter Morgan Escare fell in half.
Salford Escare’s coach was the only English player on the French team, a role that Jerome Guissett took on another day in June at Albi 22 years ago, when Houles and Frayssinous contributed 56 points that France put on Ireland’s side who were captured by a captain. . hot and cold Barrie McDermott. The rest of that French team came from eight French clubs, such as when France defeated Wales in 1963 and 1969.
The presence of Toulouse in the Super League is not an elixir to all the problems of the French rugby league. The French sports public opinion would do well to be aware of this, as so far only two Olympique games have been shown on live TV. But their presence gives the code a great opportunity.
If they are going down this fall, Toulouse needs to get on their nerves. It is likely that he will be replaced by Leigh, meaning Toulouse will likely face Featherstone’s competition in 2023. It may then be that the format of the elite competition is changing.
The Super League needs a second French club if new IMG partners hope to cash in on the Catalans ’success to take advantage of the whole game. Houles has said it several times. But whether the finish is extended or not, Toulouse knows that their best chance of returning will be immediate.
Watch the World Cup
Wales with six debutants could be satisfied with their performance last Sunday in the breath of Albi. Without Regan Grace and Gil Dudson, John Kear’s only regular-season Super League player was Salford-backed Rhys Williams, whose record of 31st appearances is even more impressive since Wales had not played an international game in 31 months.
This weekend, only Australia, Greece, Ireland and Italy from the 16 men’s teams in this year’s World Cup will still not play here from November 2019. However, Italy have confirmed a new star management team for the World Cup. : head coach Leo Epifania – one-time York leader – will meet with World Cup winner Tim Sheens as technical director, former Hull FC locker Tony Grimaldi on strength and condition, former international dual Terry Campese as assistant coach, and Tas. Baitieri as team manager.
Among the yellow pages of the famous French rugby Midi-Olympique was a report on the Pia Donkeys’ golden point victory over Baho in the Elite 2 final, which was watched by 3,000 people in Brute. Pia must now confirm that they are ready to become the 10th team in Elite 1, after the competition passed with only nine sides last season following the collapse of the Palau Broncos. While some may ridicule another Catalan village club that ranks in the top tier, Pia are four-time national champions, the last time just ten years ago, shortly after years of perfect signing from abroad. finally fell with them and they fell into the belly. with jorve. Their return should be welcomed.
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