This could have been a seismic French derby with massive repercussions on the relegation battle, however the recent rise of Wakefield Trinity and Toulouse’s inability to add further wins to their name has sapped it of most of its drama.
It is a chance however for the French side to have one last hoorah in the top league at the expense of their French rivals who are struggling at present.
Catalans’ top four status is now under serious threat and they need a win here to get their season back on track.
Toulouse welcome back two key players in Olly Ashall-Bott from a ban and Andrew Dixon from injury. However, the likes of Joseph Paulo are still injured. Meanwhile Tony Gigot and Matty Russell have dropped out from the side who lost to Wigan last week.
Catalans have lost Michael McIlorum to a ban whilst Arthur Mourgue has been lost to injury with Sam Tomkins set to return. Meanwhile, Matt Whitley and Taki Chan both return to the squads.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Matty Russell vs Tom Davies: A pair of really powerful wingers are set to battle it out in this French derby. Expect both to end up on the scoresheet and cause defences problems with their strength and speed.
Chris Hankinson vs Samisoni Langi: Chris Hankinson has been a real success story this season and has been a key figure for Toulouse. They’ll need his class if they’re to defeat their rivals this week and he’ll have a tough job on his hands outperforming the powerful and elusive Samisoni Langi.
Daniel Alvaro vs Dylan Napa: A pair of former NRL forwards will lock horns in the middle of this French derby and the one who has more joy in the middle of the field may be the one who leads his side to victory.
Where the game will be won and lost:
It should be interesting to see whether Toulouse come out of their shell a bit more now that they’ve all but conceded relegation. This could make them a dangerous opponent but the Dragons – though low on confidence – should have the tools to shut their opponents down and grind out a win.
Score Prediction: Toulouse Olympique 10-18 Catalans Dragons