Rochdale Hornets 0-68 Toulouse Olympique XIII
Saturday 13th July 2019, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 21
Ilias Bergal (6), Taioalo Vaivai, Constantine Mika, Anthony Marion, Mark Kheirallah (2), Paterika Vaivai,
Mark Kheirallah (10),
Toulouse Olympique XIII
Illias Bergal was the star man in an emphatic Toulouse Olympique victory which compounded Hornets problems at the foot of the Betfred Championship.
The winger crossed the whitewash six times for the visitors and was part of a left sided attack that picked apart the Hornets defence time after time.
On a freshly laid Crown Oil Arena meadow, an upset could have been on the cards with Toulouse struggling in recent weeks but what was to come showed they are still a force to be reckoned with as we head deep into the season.
The first 10 minutes was a balanced affair with committed defence on show for both sides and when Joe Bretherton went through on Pierre Bourell with a late shoulder charge the onlooking support were expecting a penalty at the very least.
In turn, referee Matt Rossleigh placed the Wiganer on report and declined a Hornets penalty. From the next play, Bergal crossed for his first of six scores at the corner and the first of a rapid fire French treble with Taiolo Vaivai benefitting from a Kevin Brown error minutes later. Bergal then weighed in with his second, galloping down the touch line and bumping off two defenders on his way.
Flawless from Kheirallah, the visitors didn’t look back at 0-18.
Physically, Toulouse dominated the contest and Hornets couldn’t stand up to their size and strength and that told in the 25th minute when Kyle Shelford was forced into touch and moments later Bergal would touch down for his fourth of the afternoon for 0-28.
Hornets looked to have found their feet somewhat as the half time hooter approached. Aidy Gleeson was canny in defence to pat down a Toulouse ball as they looked to surge up the field and Jordan Case was also putting a shift in defensively, leaving his mark on the Olympique attack.
In the 38th minute, Toulouse turned defence into attack. Izaac Farrell sent Brandon Wood in for what should have been a walk over with a beautiful ball out to the edge but Wood couldn’t take it in, spilling it into the onrushing defence who broke up the field and two minutes later, experienced big man Con Mika barged over to bring up 0-32 at half time.
With the cue firmly in the rack the hosts had the better of the opening exchanges in the second half with Olympique showing a chink in their armour. Some sloppy handling allowed Hornets a rare foothold but they couldn’t make it count.
The visitors would go on to register a further three tries in 13 minutes to close the game out. Anthony Marion on the back of a rapid play the ball close to the line, was followed by Bergal crossing for his fifth before the evergreen Mark Kheirallah crossed for his first of a double to reach the half century.
Three tries in the final seven minutes added to an already woeful negative points difference for Hornets. Kheirallah added his second while Paterika Vaivai bludgeoned his way over from close range.
Fittingly, it was Bergal who capped off the afternoon with his sixth and final score on the hooter finishing off a classy sweeping move at the flag. Kheirallah again faultless for 0-68 at full time.