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The French were in town for a fifth versus seventh clash as Toulouse Olympique looked for their second win of the season against the Bradford Bulls as both sides looked for some consistency in their 2024 campaigns.

There was just one change for the home side after last weeks stunning win over Featherstone Rovers with Jorge Taufua back in the starting line up after serving a two-match suspension against a Toulouse side looking to bounce back from last weeks loss to the Swinton Lions.

The Bulls were favourites with the bookies for the win and had been handicapped by four points on the coupon, but it was expected to be a close game between two evenly matched sides.

Rubenn Rennie opened the scoring with a long-range effort after Calum Gahan broke the Bulls line and found his centre for a long sprint to the line to dot down under the sticks to make it easy for Jake Shorrocks to add the conversion for an early 6-0 lead with four minutes on the clock.

Shorrocks added a two-point penalty on twenty to extend the lead to eight points.

Smith went close on twenty-five but was grounded a metre short but on the next play Kieran Gill collected a Jordan Lilley kick to the corner to ground spectacularly with a juggle and dive over the line. Lilley added the conversion with the boot for 6-8.

On twenty-eight Joe Arundel broke the Toulouse line before finding the supporting Zac Fulton who weaved his way through the broken defence for Bradford’s second. Lilley was wide with the conversion attempt from the touchline.

A late tackle on Lilley by Gahan gifted the Bulls another penalty and a simple two points for a 12-8 lead.

Connor Carr was hit high with the shoulder by Anthony Marion on thirty-nine as he carried the ball, the Toulouse man sent to the sinbin for a ten-minute rest, Bradford with a narrow four-point lead at the interval.

Toulouse were put on a team warning a couple of minutes into the second half after Jordan Lilley was hit off the ball.

Gill went in for his second of the afternoon after a nicely worked move on forty-eight minutes thanks to great work from Arundel and Chester Butler. Lilley was on target with the conversion for 18-8, the Bulls easing towards a third consecutive win.

Paul Ulberg edged Toulouse back into the game on fifty-nine when he found space to go down the line off a Rennie pass after swatting away his tackler. Shorrocks was wide with the touchline conversion attempt, the visitors still six adrift.

A Lilley drop goal on seventy-four sealed the win for the Bulls as they edged to a seven-point lead, the remainder of the game played out with no further points scored.

Bradford withstood the early Toulouse onslaught and showed their class once they started to find space to take the win and the point and in doing so condemn the French side to a third loss in their opening four Championship fixtures. Bradford lift themselves level with three other sides at the top of the table, a great Saturday afternoons’ work and continuing hope for the Bulls as they push for league position and IMG points towards the end of the season and the vital reckoning.

Bradford Bulls: McGowan, Taufua, Arundel, Gill (2T), Carr, Davies, Lilley (2G), Doro, Souter, Smith, Fulton (T), Butler, Hallas.  Subs: Appo, Wilson, Rogers, Ott. 18th Man: Peposhi.

Toulouse Olympique XIII: Brochon, Ulberg (T), Jussaume, Rennie (T), Marcon, Rivett, Shorrocks (2G), Hansen, Belmas, Gahan, Marion (SB on 39), Stefano, Lima. Subs: Akauola, Bretherton, Roumanos, Laguerre. 18th Man: Biscarro. 

Half-Time: 12-8.

Full-Time: 19-12.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 6-8, 10-8, 12-8, (SB): HT: 16-8, 18-8, 18-12, 19-12 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Toulouse – Bradford.

Referee: James Vella.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Apr 2024 5:01 PM | Views : 5852 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES