Matt Diskin’s first game in charge of Batley ended in heavy defeat, as the Bulldogs were dispatched of 44-6 by newly promoted Toulouse.
The French side, cheered on by over 3,600 supporters, issued the first statement of intent in the Championship season with a dominant display over the Bulldogs, who finished in the top four last year.
The two clubs have been widely tipped to challenge for a place in the Qualifiers, but Toulouse’s performance was an early indicator that their aspirations could be somewhat higher, while early questions will be asked of the Bulldogs and the challenge ahead of Diskin in replacing John Kear.
It was, in fact, the Bulldogs who took the lead in the opening five minutes through Alistair Leak. But it was one-way traffic after that as a hat-trick of tries through League 1’s leading scorer in 2016, Kuni Minga, gave Toulouse an 18-6 lead at half-time.
Second-half tries through Tyla Hepi, Rhys Curran, Clement Boyer, Tony Maurel and Gavin Marguerite saw Sylvain Houles’ side run out comfortable winners, and assert their intentions to the rest of the division.
A full match report featuring teams and stats will be in the Monday edition of League Express.