If Toulouse are going to survive in Super League, this has become a must win game for the French side.
After surrendering a lead late on against Hull KR last week, Toulouse remain bottom and needing a win to rekindle their survival hopes which a month ago looked so promising.
A win for Toulouse would also drag Warrington into the thick of the relegation scrap as it would leave just two points between them and the bottom. Though a win would surely secure Warrington’s Super League status.
Despite the defeat to Wigan last week, Warrington have only made one change to their 21-man squad for this week’s must win game. It is a big one though as star signing Matt Dufty returns in place of Riley Dean who played for the reserves last week.
Toulouse’ injury list is just getting longer this week with the likes of Joseph Paulo and Andrew Dixon absent. It’ll be interesting to see if Tony Gigot returns to the mix after missing the defeat to Hull KR.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Josh Thewlis vs Olly Ashall-Bott: Two young fullbacks with the world at their feet collide on Friday. Both are similar players with great pace and footwork and both will look to devastate the opposition defence especially as bodies get tired.
George Williams vs Corey Norman: The success of the fullbacks may depend upon the platform they’re given by their halfbacks both of whom boast NRL experience. Top tier halves both at struggling clubs, it’ll be interesting to see whether they can steer their side away from danger.
Thomas Mikaele vs Daniel Alvaro: Another of Toulouse’s mid-season signings which helped give them a whiff of survival will also be key in this game up against a Warrington mid-season signing in Thomas Mikaele who looks more and more like a Super League player every week. Who gets on top here may lead their side to victory.
Where the game will be won and lost:
This will be a battle that begins with the mind. Both suffered damaging defeats last week and need to get back on the horse if they’re to save their season. Then it’ll be a case of building pressure through the middle and taking chances out wide as well as avoiding a late crumble which has been the hallmark of both recently.
Score Prediction: Warrington Wolves 16-10 Toulouse Olympique