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While the loser of todays Betfred Championship play off match between Toulouse Olympique XIII and the York City Knights would get a second bite of the cherry, the winners would go to Toronto knowing that a victory would see them into the Championship Play Off Final and a 50:50 chance of making Super League.

Just one league point separated these two teams at the end of twenty-seven regular rounds but Toulouse won both encounters in 2019, albeit by close scorelines. Both sides came into the game with just one defeat each in their last nine outings and despite the weather conditions favouring the home side the stage was set for a battle royal between two sides who wanted to earn that trip to Toronto.

Three minutes in Toulouse accepted the invitation to kick a penalty goal through the boot of Mark Kheirallah from just twenty metres out.

Paul Marcon was the beneficiary on fourteen when he took a looping pass from Kheirallah to bust through the York line and get the ball on the ground. Kheirallah was unable to add the extra two points, the home side six points ahead but York were putting up a decent fight.

A Johnathon Ford chip over the top was collected and grounded by Kheirallah for the second Toulouse try of the afternoon. Kheirallah added the conversion to push his side out to a 12-0 lead after twenty-two minutes.

Returning the kick-off the home side ran in a third try with Kheirallah completing a flowing passing move to score under the sticks. He added the conversion for 18-0, York already starting to tire in the high temperatures.

York responded immediately when from the back of a scrum Matt Chilton found some space to push away the Toulouse defender and stretch to ground the ball, one-handed. Connor Robinson kicked brilliantly from the touchline to reduce the arrears to twelve points.

A fantastic break from Kheirallah saw two long passes before the ball ended up in the hands of Gavin Marguerite for him to leap over and score in the corner with just seconds left in the first half. Kheirallah was unable to add the conversion on the hooter, his side going into the sheds with a 22-6 lead.

After deadlock for the opening fourteen minutes of the second half it was Kheirallah who unlocked the York defence again when an inside pass put Anthony Marion over from five metres. Kheirallah added the conversion for 28-6, Toulouse had one foot on the plane to Toronto for next weeks semi-final.

A 40-20 earned Tououse great field position on sixty-five and gave Mathiou Jassaume the chance to get a score though a broken York defence. Kheirallah was again accurate with the boot for a 34-6 lead.

Ford added Toulouse’s seventh try of the afternoon with a lunge for the line from close in with just a couple of minutes left on the clock. Kheirallah added the conversion to bring up the forty, a mighty win for the French side despite the two sides being very evenly matched on paper.

The icing on the cake came thanks to a solo effort from Robin as he stepped through a broken York defence to go over for the eighth try of the afternoon. Kheirallah missed the conversion, Toulouse Olympique XIII winning by 44-6.

It’s Toulouse Olympique who will make the long trip to Toronto to face them in the first semi-final next weekend for a chance to make the final and a shot at Super League. York live to fight another day and will have a home game next weekend against the winnner of tomorrow nights clash between Leigh and Featherstone.

Olympique: Kheirallah (2T, 6G), Marguerite (T), Jassaume (T), Ader, Marcon (T), Robin (T), Ford (T), Vaivai, Marion (T), Puech, Mika, Curran, Bell.  Subs: Barthau, Hepi, Evans, Bretherton.

City Knights: Marsh, Chilton (T), Hey, Salter, Oakes, Harris, Robinson (G), Baldwinson, Jubb, Stock, Kelly, Spears.   Subs: Dixon, Teanby, Jordan-Roberts, Blagbrough.

Referee: Greg Dolan.

Half-Time: 22-6.

Full-Time: 44-6.

Attendance: .



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 14th Sep 2019 3:46 PM | Views : 7675 | Replies : 2 | BACK TO STORIES
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