Dewsbury Rams slipped to their second defeat to a full-time side in the Betfred Championship as Toulouse Olympique recorded a 40-20 victory at Tetley’s Stadium to maintain their place as joint leaders.
The final scoreline was somewhat harsh on the Rams, who produced a determined effort in a bruising encounter.
The opening stages were a little scrappy but came to life in the 12th minute when Constantine Mika was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on a Rams attacker, although the card easily could have been red.
Dewsbury took immediate advantage as the resulting penalty took them close and Robbie Ward darted over from acting half-back, with Paul Sykes converting.
Toulouse hit back when Dewsbury spilled possession on their next attack and Rhys Curran gathered a short pass to crash over. Mark Kheirallah converted to level.
With Dewsbury in a dangerous attacking position, scrum half Stan Robin intercepted a pass and raced 80 metres unopposed to score as 12-man Toulouse turned the game to lead.
Dewsbury were unlucky when a Sykes kick on the last tackle bounced up and struck Toby Everett’s shoulder on the tryline and Matty English gathered the rebound to dive over but the ball was judged to have gone forward.
Toulouse grabbed two late first half tries to take a grip on the game as the visitors launched a swift counter attack when a Rams move broke down and Tyla Hepi spun out of a tackle and stretched over to score, with Kheirallah converting.
A Rams error from the kick off gifted Toulouse a penalty and Hepi crashed over to the right of the posts for his second try in as many minutes, with Kheirallah’s conversion stretching the interval lead to 22-6.
Dewsbury stunned the high fliers with two quickfire tries at the start of the second half as Toulouse were guilty of indiscipline,
Back-to-back penalties put the Rams on attack and when play was moved left, winger Dale Morton did well to force his way over the line and did well to get the ball down despite the attention of three Toulouse defenders. Sykes’s conversion attempt hit the right post and bounced out.
Another Rams penalty put them back on attack and Rob Spicer drove over to score wide on the left with Sykes adding a fine goal to reduce the arrears to six points.
Dewsbury were penalised for not playing the ball, despite claims of interference from Toulouse and Kheirallah slotted over the simple goal.
Another Toulouse penalty put them back on attack and Tony Maurel strolled over in the left corner to extend their lead to 28-16.
Dewsbury hit back when Michael Knowles dived over from acting half-back and Sykes converted.
Dewsbury had real hope but a controversial decision from the resulting kick off resulted in them having to drop out when the Rams were convinced they should have had a 25 metre re-start.
Sykes sent the drop out into touch on the full and Toulouse moved left for Curran to grab his second try and Kheirallah converted to give his side breathing space.
Toulouse grabbed a seventh try in the final minute when Kheirallah rounded off a long range move to score between the posts and give himself an easy conversion, although the final scoreline was somewhat harsh on the Rams.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Simpson, Glover, Hallett, Morton; Sykes, Knowles; Sheriffe, Ward, Teanby, Crowther, Spicer, Brown. Subs: Speakman, Walshaw, English, Everett.
Toulouse Olympique: Kheirallah; Marcon, Planas, Ader, Maurel; Ford, Robin; Rapira, Marion, Canet, Mika, Curran, Bentley. Subs: Barthau, Boyer, Hepi, Sangare.
Referee: Jack Smith.