Toulouse preparing for potential Super League showdown

TOULOUSE Olympique has advanced through to the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup but may be without playmaker Danny Hulme.

They potentially could draw last year’s finalists First Utility Super League side Hull Kingston Rovers, who will join Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Widnes Vikings in the fifth round after finishing in the bottom four of the Super League in 2015.

Along with Toulouse and the four Super League clubs, the fifth round of the Challenge Cup will feature Oldham, Rochdale Hornets, York City Knights, community club Lock Lane, Halifax, Batley Bulldogs, Sheffield Eagles, Leigh Centurions and Featherstone Rovers.

Toulouse cruised to a 62-28 fourth round win over fellow League 1 side Gloucester All Golds at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac on Saturday afternoon.

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Toulouse Olympique hooker Kane Bentley makes a run during the fourth round Challenge Cup match against Gloucester All Golds. Photo Pamisire

Hulme suffered a lower leg injury in a tackle in the 45th minute and was forced off the field moments before Kuni Minga scored his second try of the match.

Hulme was expected to have scans on his leg on Monday.

Fullback Mark Kheirallah scored three tries and kicked nine goals in the win, and has now scored 14 tries in the club’s opening four matches of 2016.

Toulouse raced out to a 24-0 lead after as many minutes through tries down their left edge to Kheirallah, five-eighth Johnathon Ford, Minga and centre Gregory White.

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Toulouse Olympique fullback Mark Kheirallah slices his way through the defence during a fourth round Challenge Cup match against Gloucester All Golds. Photo Pamisire

Gloucester hit back shortly after when front rower Alex Davidson found some tired Toulouse defenders napping around the ruck to post the club’s first points.

But tries to dummy-half Mourad Kriouache and winger Tony Maurel moments before half-time helped Toulouse to a 32-6 lead at the break.

The All Golds were first to trouble the scoreboard attendant in the second half when hooker Steve Parry burrowed over to score. Courtney Davis added the extras to reduce the deficit to 20.

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Toulouse Olympique hooker Mourad Kriouache spots an opening during a fourth round Challenge Cup match against Gloucester All Golds. Photo Pamisire

Three late tries to Kheirallah, Ford and Clement Boyer put the result beyond doubt shortly before Parry scored his third try of the afternoon in the 75th minute to take the score to 62-28.

Toulouse Olympique 62 (Kheirallah 3, Ford 2, Minga 2, White, Maurel, Kriouache, Boyer tries; Kheirallah 9 goals) def Gloucester All Gold 28 (Parry 3, Davison, Leather tries; Davis 4 goals) at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac on Saturday.

To see more photos of the match head to photographers, Pamisire’s Facebook page.

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