1st July 2018, 20:10
Battling Eagles downed by Toulouse
Sheffield Eagles suffered a 46-24 defeat to Toulouse Olympique at the Olympic Legacy Park this afternoon.
Toulouse held a 30-4 half-time lead but Sheffield certainly showed their ability in the second period, outscoring their full-time opponents and giving supporters optimism ahead of the club's trip to Toronto.
Both Ryan Millar and Adam Swift notched braces for the Eagles while Johnathon Ford and Mark Kheirallah were instrumental for Olympique.
Toulouse opened the scoring in the sixth minute as William Barthau capitalised on a loose pass from the Eagles to go 60 metres to the whitewash. Kheirallah converted.
Sheffield almost responded with a nice move to the right flank but Jake Spedding’s pass to Swift was deemed forward.
Toulouse were let off the hook and they took control of the match with three tries in eight minutes.
Tony Maurel, Joe Bretherton and Rhys Curran all found their way over and Kheirallah was on target with three conversions, taking the score to 0-24.
The hosts got on the scoresheet themselves in the 29th minute. Menzie Yere went on a typical barnstorming run and his pass was patted down by a Toulouse defender, with Millar there to pick up the pieces and touch down. Cory Aston couldn’t convert.
The final try of the first half went the way of Kheirallah, who converted his own effort.
Mark Aston’s men were fast out of the blocks in the second period and Swift registered his first try of the afternoon with a fine acrobatic move. Aston was off target with the goal.
Kheirallah and Gavin Marguerite both crossed for Toulouse before the final quarter, where Sheffield came into their element with three scores.
Joshua Toole showed his strength as he muscled over for a four-pointer, despite Toulouse defenders in the vicinity. Aston added the extras.
Try-scorers Millar and Toole laid the foundations for Sheffield’s next score, as both made half-breaks. The Eagles spread the ball right and Swift found a gap which he exploited perfectly for his second try of the day. Aston missed the following conversion attempt.
Christopher Centrone bagged Toulouse’s final try eight minutes from time but there was still time for Millar to complete his brace, as he went airborne following a Yere offload. Aston goaled from the corner.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman