A historic season for French rugby league in both the Super League and Championship ended on a high this weekend despite Catalans’ Grand Final loss to St Helens on Saturday. Why? Because Toulouse won a superb Million Pound Game to secure their place in Super League for next season in a massive step forward in terms of expansion for our great game. Well that was my take, but what was yours? How did social media react to Toulouse’s promotion?
Some fans were instantly pleased believing that Toulouse are a better addition to the top flight than relegated Leigh already.
Yes. Should have been in SL and NOT Leigh this season
— Victor (@curtiz58) October 10, 2021
One supporter continued this argument stating that their squad is already stronger than Leigh’s this season. That said, they still expect Toulouse to poach a few of Leigh’s best players over the winter.
Theo Fages is looking for a new club and would be a good signing in saying that they are pretty well set in the halves with Ford/Gigot
Toulouse already have a better team then Leigh did this year IMO and normally promoted teams just pillage from relegated ones
— Connor Watson Stan Account (@Swandog90) October 11, 2021
In general, people were excited to welcome Toulouse into the competition.
— Sher&Lil (@SherAndLil) October 10, 2021
The main selling point for most was the prospect of a French derby in next year’s Super League.
— Gavin Wilson (@GavWilson) October 10, 2021
One fan implored Sky Sports to cover it at all costs.
Absolutely would be great if skysports will show it plus wouldn't it be great for French rugby league for two sell out crowds
— david taylor (@IcemanDavid2k10) October 10, 2021
One or two fans were pleased with their arrival but sat waiting for the inevitable negativity.
Mostly looking forward to how much it will annoy the traditionalists, with their marching cries of 'WHAT ABOUT THE CROWDS' and 'THIS IS ENGLAND'.
— Ms 'Wrench' (@thehatter6453) October 10, 2021
Instead o worrying about away fans why not try to fill your own place to the rafters instead
— Ottawa Aces Rugby League 2022(Alan Taylor). (@AlanTay06977777) October 10, 2021
It certainly came as the age old question of ‘why don’t they play in the French league’ was raised once again.
Why dont they join the french league then they can have a french derby every week?
— Phil Taylor. nearly a pensioner. (@Phil48James) October 10, 2021
One fan pushed against the criticism of Toulouse, suggesting they’ll bring just as much if not more to the league than the defeated Featherstone.
It’s making me laugh seeing some people would rather have Featherstone promoted than Toulouse because “Toulouse will never win Super League”
Maybe so but what makes them think Featherstone would win it?
— Michael Lavelle (@mikelavelle93) October 11, 2021
Another supporter turned to Bernard Guasch’s comments after his Catalans’ side were beaten in the Grand Final and jokingly suggested some French referees join Toulouse in Super League to appease the Catalans president.
After Bernard Guasch' comments, we may fare better if they brought some on field officials with them?
— Harvey Rabbet (@Harvey26021) October 10, 2021
Turning to the game itself, Remi Casty was excellent in his final game before retirement. He helped fire the French club to Super League as he cemented his status as French legend of rugby league and one French supporter was keen to tell the world.
Merci pour tout Rémi Casty ! Tu es une légende du XIII français.
Seul capitaine 🇫🇷 à avoir soulevé la Cup.
Seul 🇫🇷 vainqueur du World Club Challenge.
Recordman des matches joués pour les @DragonsOfficiel
Seul 🇫🇷 élu à deux reprises dans la Super League Dream Team.
Chapeau ! https://t.co/Y2ondwvcYO
— Professeur Tartan (@ProfTartan) October 10, 2021
The Tweet when translated reads: “Thank you for everything Rémi Casty! You are a legend of French rugby league. The only captain to have lifted the Cup, alone winner of the World Club Challenge, record holder of matches played for Catalans Dragons and twice selected in the Super League Dream Team.”