Wakefield Trinity 26-38 Toulouse Olympique: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Toulouse have picked up their first win in Super League on UK soil to open up the battle for survival well and truly.

Now just two points separate them and Wakefield at the bottom. Can they find a way to stay in Super League as the season unfolds?

Highlights:

Ducking and darting Hood
In a game of this magnitude, holding your nerve is vital as is taking your chances. It was the French side who had the first look at the tryline and threw some nice shapes at the Trinity defence but execution let them down. Then when Wakefield went up the other end on the back of a six again call Liam Hood caught out a sluggish Toulouse defence with a dummy, duck and dart to score the opening try of the Magic Weekend.

Miller creates mayhem
Another necessity in winning games like this is your big players conjuring up big plays. So the pressure was on Jacob Miller especially in the absence of Mason Lino. It was his kick which caused mayhem in the Toulouse defence leading to Matty Ashurst’s try.

Toulouse shape finally unravels Trinity
For the entirety of the first half, Toulouse played with good shape but couldn’t unlock Trinity’s defence due to poor execution and sold Wakefield defence. However, eventually this paid off for the French side with Tony Gigot’s no look pass starting a left sided play finished by Corey Norman putting Joe Bretherton over for their opening try.

Miller masterful
We’ve already spoken about his touch of class but Jacob Miller came up with another lovely assist to press home Wakefield’s advantage. His delayed pass created just enough space for David Fifita to rampage over.

Toulouse treble gets them back in the game
In such a pressure game, momentum of the negative kind can have a telling impact. That was the case for Wakefield who saw their dominance unravelled just six minutes into the second half as they were caught out by the speed at which Toulouse played. They scored three back-to-back tries through Lambert Belmas and Matty Russell taking advantage of their man advantage to get them back into the game before Nathan Peats – who has to be credited for speeding up the ruck – scrambled over to give Toulouse the lead for the first time.

Controversy reigns
After a slough of harsh penalties in the Wakefield half, Trinity then conceded a fourth try of the second half when Guy Armitage seemingly lost the ball only for Latrell Schaumkel to ground it. The video referee would then over turn the on field decision awarding the try with the ball seemingly stripped. All of these decisions were fair but Wakefield will also feel hard done by.

Five tries in 20 minutes
After another 50/50 call went Toulouse’s way with a very messy scramble for a loose ball, the French side would again make Trinity pay with a slick move seeing Matty Russell go in for a second.

Unusual try seals win
Wakefield had given themselves a chance of forcing the game into extra point with a late try making it six points the difference with six seconds left. However, as they threw the ball about on their own line, Guy Armitage intercepted and scored.

Talking Points:

Trinity’s fast start reveals why Toulouse struggle away from home
There’s definite quality in Toulouse’s side and that shines when they’re at home. However, for a team with such attacking flair, they were surprisingly sluggish in Newcastle today taking an age to get into the contest with Wakefield playing the game at a pace in the first half that the French side simply couldn’t handle perhaps due to the constant need to travel far to away games including this event. As soon as they shook off those cobwebs, they wrestled control back. Perhaps they’d have won more games in the UK had they gotten used to the travel earlier.

Sin bin turns game
Everything was going Trinity’s way until a yellow card on the stroke of halftime. David Fifita opted to hold down Toulouse in the hope that the halftime hooter would sound, it didn’t and he was sin binned for holding down presumably with the thinking behind the dismissal being that he was striving to exploit the six again rule. It seemed to matter little at the time but within the 10 minutes he spent on the sidelines, Toulouse turned the game on its head scoring three tries to take the lead. Making matters worse, as soon as that sin bin concluded Rob Butler was shown a yellow card. The first five of Toulouse’s second half tries came when Wakefield were down to 12 men.

Good news for Leeds Rhinos
Yes that sin bin helped turn the game but a future Leeds Rhinos player also played his part in Justin Sangare. The big prop tormented Trinity’s middles near the tryline helping create the space for Lambert Belmas’ try and was a constant threat with his power.

Battle for survival well and truly on
The battle for survival is well and truly on after today’s result. Toulouse are only two points behind the pack with a slough of home games to come where they will no doubt excel. Wakefield need to find some form and fast whilst the likes of Warrington may also begin to sweat.

Player Ratings

Wakefield Trinity
1 Max Jowitt – 5
36 Kyle Evans – 7
20 Jack Croft – 6
30 Corey Hall – 5
27 Lewis Murphy – 5
6 Jacob Miller – 7
21 Brad Walker – 6
10 Tinrau Arona – 5
9 Liam Hood – 6
15 Jai Whitbread – 5
13 Jay Pitts – 6
11 Matty Ashurst – 7
16 James Batchelor – 6
Substitutes
35 David Fifita – 6
34 Rob Butler – 5
14 Jordy Crowther – 5
12 Kelepi Tanginao – 5

Toulouse Olympique
27 Olly Ashall-Bott – 8
2 Latrell Schaumkel – 7
24 Guy Armitage – 7
21 Chris Hankinson – 7
25 Matty Russell – 8
6 Corey Norman – 8
31 Tony Gigot – 7
8 Romain Navarrate – 7
28 Nathan Peats 8
35 Daniel Alvaro – 7
12 Dom Peyroux – 7
16 Joe Bretherton – 7
17 Joseph Paulo – 7
Substitutes
7 Lucas Albert – 6
10 Harrison Hansen – 6
29 Lamber Belmas – 7
23 Justin Sangare – 7

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