The Betfred Championship started today as Barrow Raiders hosted Toulouse Olympique as the road to Super League begins.
For Toulouse, they are hoping to make a u-turn back to the promised land in 2023 after relegation from Super League in 2022.
That said they have financial issues behind the scenes which reportedly has them concerned about potential bankruptcy.
They also only have a squad of 20 players but that didn’t stop the second favourites for Super League promotion coming away with a win at Craven Park.
It was of course Olly Ashall-Bott, Toulouse’s star man last season, who got the score board ticking finishing a move out wide.
It was two tries in six minutes to start the season for the French side as Reuben Remmie finished off the corner with yet another attacking move down the left.
After a brief spell of Barrow pressure, the French side were still at a point per minute when they made it 12-0 again heading down the left with Benjamin Laguerre going over this time. Another missed conversion left the score at 12-0 and Barrow with a chance and in the 23rd minute they gave themselves more hope.
Once more all the action was down the Barrow right only this time after probing they switched the ball across where former Hull KR winger Ryan Shaw as on hand to take a long pass to make it 12-4.
Crucially though, Toulouse scored again before the break this time former St Helens Grand Final winner getting over.
Another missed conversion left it at 16-4 at the interval.
If there was any doubt about the result, Toulouse stomped it out within the first 10 minutes of the second half as Laguerre got his second and guess what: again the kick was missed.
That could have given Barrow some hope but a sixth try, again unconverted, this time from new signing Jake Shorrocks bursting through to make it 24-4 however he again couldn’t convert.
The score line remained at 24-4 till the end as Toulouse started the season with a win.