Eagles vs Toulouse Preview
Sheffield Eagles will be looking to bounce back from their second defeat of the season, away to Leigh Centurions, when Toulouse Olympique visit Castle Park this Sunday.
Sheffield fell to a 58-10 defeat at the Leigh Sports Village, with Josh Guzdek and Lewis Taylor scoring the tries for the visitors.
The Eagles trailed 26-0 at half-time as Leigh winger Adam Higson scored a hat-trick alongside scores from Josh Woods and Iain Thornley.
Nick Glohe, Lewis Bienek, Matty Wildie, Alex Gerrard, Ben Hellewell and Liam Hood all added tries after the interval to give the hosts an emphatic win.
Toulouse Olympique come into the weekend in fine form, after starting their campaign with two wins from as many games.
Sylvain Houles’ side will definitely be aiming for promotion to Super League, something they could not achieve last term after losses to Toronto Wolfpack then Featherstone Rovers in the playoffs.
After a second-placed finish in 2019, Toulouse recruited four new players for 2020.
Former Widnes Vikings duo Harrison Hansen and Lloyd White linked up with the French club as well as Jy Hitchcox and Frank Winterstein from Bradford Bulls and Penrith Panthers respectively.
The Eagles are the first team to host Olympique this season, as Houles' men have won their opening two home fixtures.
They beat York City Knights 22-10 in the opening round but had to overcome a numerical disadvantage due to Lloyd White’s red card with half an hour to go.
Late tries from Patty Vaivai and Junior Vaivai sealed the win for Toulouse.
Oldham were next to visit Stade Ernest-Wallon and it was a much easier ride for the French club, compared to their round one outing.
Olympique ran out 58-6 winners which has put them in second-place, narrowly behind Leigh on points-difference.
One To Watch - Joe Bretherton
The former Wigan Warriors prop forward originally joined Toulouse on-loan in 2018 before joining permanently in 2019.
Since making the move to the south of France, Bretherton has been one of the stand-out forwards in the Championship.
Standing at 6'5, the front-rower scored a hat-trick in Olympique’s convincing victory against Oldham last week.
He completed the triple with a run from the wing, before chipping over the full-back to score.
That is the expansive rugby Championship fans have come to expect from Toulouse, and will be on show this Sunday if the weather is right.
By Lewis Coleman, graphic by Alex Coleman