TOULOUSE Olympique confirmed their place at the top of the Kingstone Press League 1 ladder with a 54-8 win over Oxford on Saturday.
The League 1 newcomers entered the match under a cloud of controversy after an alleged biting incident against centre Bastien Ader and allegations of foul play in their Round 4 28-28 draw with Rochdale Hornets last weekend.
Ader faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines if found guilty by the tribunal on May 3.
Toulouse showed no signs of concern as they scored 10 tries in their 46-point win over last-placed Oxford at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac despite spending the opening minutes with 12 men.
The win ensured Toulouse head into their Challenge Cup sixth round clash against Super League side Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday filled with confidence.
Teenage TO XIII centre Gavin Marguerite, who came into the side as a replacement for Ader, was sin binned after two minutes for tackling an Oxford player without the ball.
However it was Toulouse who opened the scoring when lock hooker Kane Bentley scored in the fourth minute.
Mark Kheirallah added the extras to open a 6-0 lead before Oxford’s James Bahrd scored the first of his side’s two tries for the day shortly after to close the gap to two.
Toulouse forward Clement Boyer, centre Gregory White, backrower Rhys Curran and Marguerite each scored tries in the space of 12 minutes to extend the home side’s lead to 28-4 at half-time.
TO XIII captain Sebastien Planas laid on his side’s first try in the second half, creating an opportunity for halfback Arthur Gonzales-Trique who scored to take the scores to 32-4.
Toulouse scored three more tries in the second half to extend their lead to 54-4 before Oxford’s Charlie Greene scored his side’s second of the day in the 74th minute.
League 1 – Round 5
Toulouse Olympique 54 (K Bentley, C Boyer, G White, R Curran, G Marguerite, A Gonzales-Trique, T Maurel, M Kriouache, S Masselot, P Marcon tries; M Kheirallah 7 goals) def Oxford 8 (J Bahrd, C Greene tries) at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac on Saturday.