Batley Bulldogs battled hard but were defeated 28-20 against Toulouse Olympique at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. After a poor display against Dewsbury Rams at the Summer Bash, the Bulldogs responded well but came up short against a Toulouse side who have bolstered their chances of a top four finish.
The visitors opened the scoring through half-back Stan Robin who dotted down underneath the sticks. Mark Kheirallah added the extras but it didn’t take long for Batley to answer back. Wayne Reittie picked up a Dom Brambani kick to cross the whitewash, with the latter converting to level the scores after 22 minutes. Batley went ahead for the first time in the match after Alex Rowe won a penalty for a dangerous tackle. Brambani opted to take the two and he was successful. Shaun Ainscough made a great break for the Bulldogs but was stopped short, however minutes later saw Reittie double his tally for the game. The winger scored on the last tackle of the half to give the hosts a boost heading into the sheds. Brambani’s third goal, this time from the touchline, extended the lead to two scores.
Shortly after the restart, Toulouse regained their lead with two quick-fire tries. Paul Marcon was the beneficiary of a long pass and the winger capitalised. Kheirallah couldn’t convert but he added the extras to the next try which came courtesy of Anthony Marion. Their two point advantage was relinquished in the final quarter when Shaun Ainscough powered over to put Batley ahead. Brambani converted but his side’s celebrations were abruptly cut short as Toulouse hit back. Con Mika finished off a move which levelled the game before Robin converted. With six minutes remaining, Sylvain Houles’ men sealed the win when Kane Bentley notched for the French club. The conversion from Kheirallah was successful.