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Eagles downed by Toulouse

Eagles downed by Toulouse

16/02/2020

Despite an improved performance, Sheffield Eagles succumbed to a third loss in a row as Toulouse Olympique triumphed 26-14 at Castle Park.

The Eagles were 20-0 down during the first half before fighting back to within two scores of their full-time opposition.

Toulouse managed to keep Sheffield at bay as Mark Aston's men pushed for a comeback.

The visitors opened the scoring on six minutes as former loan Eagle Stan Robin crossed the whitewash from a James Bell pass. Mark Kheirallah was on target for 6-0.

After breaking the deadlock, Toulouse piled on the pressure and broke through again as Robin completed his brace. Kheirallah added the extras.

Sylvain Houles’ side extended their advantage thanks to a Kheirallah penalty goal on 23 minutes.

The Eagles almost had their first try of the contest on two separate occasions. Firstly, Anthony Thackeray’s pass went into touch before another move was halted; this time with the ball going to ground.

The missed opportunities came back to bite them. Toulouse stretched their lead through Bell and Kheirallah kept his 100% success rate with the boot.

Sheffield did get on the board in the final stages of the first period.

Ireland international Zack McComb finished a swift short side play.

Josh Guzdek could not convert, leaving the Eagles 20-4 down at the break.

Sheffield were first on the scoresheet in the second half as the hour mark approached.

Moments after Rob Worrincy went close, the Eagles breached Toulouse’s rearguard courtesy of Joel Farrell. Guzdek fired wide with the conversion.

Toulouse fired back in the final quarter as rangy winger Paul Marcon crossed. Kheirallah once again on target with the conversion.

The visitors’ last contribution to the game was a yellow card for Harrison Hansen with three minutes to go.

Sheffield made use of their numerical advantage with Worrincy scoring on the hooter and Guzdek converting.

It was certainly an improved second half from the Eagles but they will be looking to string together an 80-minute performance against Halifax in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman