Match Preview - Toulouse Olympique (H)
Sheffield Eagles will look to rip up the form book on Sunday as they welcome Toulouse Olympique to the Mobile Rocket Stadium in Wakefield.
The game is being played at Wakefield Trinity’s ground due to pitch maintenance at the Keepmoat Stadium, where the Eagles are playing their home games in 2021.
Sheffield come into this contest against the table-topping Olympique following defeat at Widnes Vikings.
Toulouse have won seven from seven in the Championship and are top of the table due to having a better points percentage than Featherstone.
Last Time Out
Sheffield were licking their wounds after a 30-20 defeat at Widnes. A ten-minute purple patch for the hosts during the second half, in which they scored three tries, helped Simon Finnigan’s men seal victory.
Only three tries were scored in the first period, two going the way of Widnes thanks to Shane Grady and Joe Lyons and the Eagles’ lone effort came courtesy of Ryan Millar. The Vikings went into half-time 12-6 up.
James Glover cut the deficit to two points with another try to add to his ever-growing collection but this was to be overshadowed by Widnes’ response.
Danny Craven supported a Vikings break to touch down before Adam Lawton crossed twice.
Glover completed his brace prior to Lawton being sent off for an off-the-ball collision.
The last play of the game ended in a try for Sheffield as Travis Corion got his first for the club with a well-taken score.
In Toulouse’s last game, it proved to be the Silence of the Rams as the French side piled on the points against Dewsbury.
Olympique got another win on the board in convincing fashion, 12-56 the final score at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Toulouse were 22-0 up at the break as Mathieu Jussaume, Jy Hitchcox, Eloi Pellisier and Mitch Garbutt helped themselves to four-pointers.
Alex Smith got Dewsbury on the board in the second half before another Toulouse onslaught arrived.
Justin Sangare, Jussaume, Pelissier, Hitchcox (twice) and Hugo Pezet brought the visitors over the 50-point mark.
The final say went to Will Oakes as Dewsbury found a consolation.
Finding a weakness in the Toulouse side is certainly a hard thing to do but the Eagles coaching staff will have tried in the lead-up to this game.
They’ve scored over 40 points in their last five matches which is quite a feat in what has been a competitive division in recent times.
The Eagles will be looking to slow Toulouse’s ruck speed as they can roll teams downfield at exceptional pace.
Stopping their forward pack, featuring ex-NRL and Super League talent such as Harrison Hansen, Joseph Paulo and Mitch Garbutt, is easier said than done though.
However, Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston came away from Widnes with a sense of optimism about his side’s performance in defeat.
Barring a ten-minute spell where Widnes pulled away, Sheffield showed a bit of character and they’ll need that by the bucketload on Sunday.
Bobby Tyson-Wilson has been a highlight for the coaching staff and fans alike in recent weeks, while local talent Blake Broadbent and Paddy Burns will be wanting to get stuck into Olympique as Sheffield try to hand them their first loss of 2021.
How To Watch
You have until 12pm today (Saturday) to get your tickets for tomorrow’s match.
After this point, no tickets will be sold online or at the ground.
Get your tickets from https://eagles.mysportstickets.co.uk/events/home/Toulouse_Olympique_750
Match day information can be found here: https://www.sheffieldeagles.com/Eagles-News/article/match-day-information-toulouse-at-wakefield/
The game will not be streamed on Our League.
By Dan Fowler, graphic by Alex Coleman