Saturday 24th March 2012
Story in brief:
North Wales Crusaders 28-10 Toulouse Olympique XIII
Carnegie Challenge Cup – Round Three
By Ryan Gould at the Racecourse Ground
North Wales Crusaders hit back after the humiliation against the London Skolars with a gutsy performance against Toulouse Olymique, sealing the win and enabling them to sail into the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.
The first half was slow and was built more around the defencive capabilities of both sides and ill discipline didn’t allow either to gain any momentum. It took until nineteen minutes for anyone to record any points. The opening ten minutes saw Toulouse in complete dominance and it took stern defence to keep them out.
The opening score came through second row, Anthony Morrison. Toulouse gifted them the field position, knocking on within their own 30 metres. The ball was then shifted to the left wing from the resulting scrum and Morrison powered his way through.
The next points came just after the half hour mark, with Danny Hulme scoring the first out of his hat-trick of tries. It was a nice move from the full back, as he shimmied across the line and found a gap to go over the whitewash.
The French side then hit back with two quick-fire tries just before the interval. Both of them involved Toulouse’s influential stand off, Jonathan Ford with Sylvain Houles grabbing the plaudits for both. The Australian born Ford darted at the line from ten metres and offloaded to Houles just as he looked to have been tackled for the first.
The next four-pointer came after he broke from deep. The field position was a perfect opportunity for Toulouse to capitalise and Houles sold a dummy to the Crusaders defence, as he ran in to complete his brace of tries.
As the game looked to be going into the interval at 12-10 to the visitors, Crusaders struck back in fine fashion. The hooter went and Nicolas Delgal kicked up field, only for his kick to be taken in by Hulme who raced 60 metres, seeing off several tackles to score his second.
The ill discipline off the two sides got too much for referee George Stokes as he sent Kevin Larroyer to the sin-bin, put Luke Fahy on report and had several words with the Crusaders captain Andy Moulsdale.
The Welsh side then went on to score four tries in the second half and claimed a much-deserved victory over the eighty minutes. Tommy Johnson laid Massam on in the corner to score his third try in 2012, before Moulsdale and Billy Sheen exchanged passes to send the Crusaders captain over.
The visitors were then disallowed a try for a forward pass, when Blackett’s pass to Didonne on the wing was deemed to be illegal. Impressive interchange Tommy Johnson was then sent over by stand off Andy Moulsdale, before Hulme claimed his hat-trick try being set up by Sheen to put a little more gloss on the victory.
North Wales Crusaders:
Tries: Morrison 19, Hulme 31, 40, 79, Massam 62, Moulsdale 64, Johnson 74
Toulouse Olympique XIII:
5. Antoine Reveillon
Tries: Houles 37, 39
Goals: Didonne 1/2
Referee: George Stokes
MOTM: Andy Moulsdale