Starstruck Toulouse look to four-pointers

Toulouse Olympique were starstruck in Wigan on Friday night as they tumbled to a heavy defeat but gained a tantalising glimpse of their potential future.

Coach Sylvain Houles was disappointed with the 40-6 result, his side’s 14th loss of the season, but said there were “so many positives” to gain from the experience.

He said: “This is the ultimate, this is what every club should aim for; there were over 14,000 supporters in a great stadium creating a fantastic atmosphere.

“I’m really disappointed that we couldn’t live with Wigan, especially in the first half, but not many teams could. They were red hot.

“This is the dream we all want; the players, coaches and staff of this club know that this is the ultimate goal. Wigan are the role models.”

Houles admitted his team was second best for 80 minutes last week, adding” “We knew how tough it was going to be, Wigan are on top form.

“It didn’t help losing two players in the warm-up and then our hooker was hurt early in the game.”

Andrew Dixon (groin) and winger Matty Russell (calf) had to withdraw during pre-match practice and substitute hooker Eloi Pelissier picked up a hip injury early in the match.

“This really affected our performance,” said Houles.

“We will have to regroup very quickly for our next run of games.”

Toulouse face a make-or-break July, with four home games (against Hull KR, Leeds, Salford and Hull FC) punctuated by a trip to Newcastle to face potential relegation rivals Wakefield Trinity at Magic Weekend.

“It’s no secret that next month is huge for us,” said Houles.

“We will be playing against every team that is close to us, they are all four-point games.

“We still believe, we know exactly what we need to do. Wigan were a bit too much for us but there is still a confidence and a trust in each other.

“We know we are good enough to do it and we have to start quickly, beginning this week.”

Houles will assess the three injuries sustained at Wigan but reported no further concerns from the match and expects centre Guy Armitage to return to action against Hull KR this Saturday following his recovery from a throat injury.

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