Sylvain Houles struggling with Toulouse Olympique frustration as relegation beckons

Sylvain Houles is trying to keep a lid on simmering frustrations within his Toulouse Olympique squad, which are threatening to derail the finish to the club’s first-ever season in Super League.

A fourth defeat in a row at Warrington Wolves on Thursday night leaves the French club floundering at the foot of the table with just four fixtures remaining.

The Olympians fought back from behind to lead 18-14 at half-time, only for two second-half sin-binnings and a series of penalties and mistakes to see Houles’ side fly home pointless once again.

Houles said: “It’s not good enough. It is happening too many times where we can close out a game then it all goes wrong. 

“We have four games left and if we have any chance whatsoever of staying up, we have to address this problem immediately.”

Toulouse face Wigan Warriors, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC and St Helens – only the French derby is a home fixture – and Houles admits points will be hard to find unless his players pack up their frustrations and start playing without pressure.

He added: “It’s been an incredibly frustrating season for us, but the result against Warrington was the most frustrating of all.

“Some of the decisions made by the referee caused so much frustration among the players and we began to lose our discipline, which cost us the game.

“The penalty count was 11-2 against us and we were getting pulled for offside when Warrington were clearly offside too, but there was no penalty given.

“It seemed to be going only one way, so the frustration creeps in, but we have to deal with these situations in a more controlled way.

“You can see the effect it has on our performance; it builds pressure and results in mistakes and loose carries. You cannot afford to do this in Super League.

“We will make adjustments and focus on the things that we can control for the last four games of the season and see where it gets us.”

Looking ahead to their return to England this Friday, Houles said: “We will need to play a perfect game to compete with Wigan and we are going there to win.

“We’ve only got four games left, we are aware of what we are up against, but we will fight until the very end to stay in Super League.

“We talk about this all the time, making sure that we have no regrets at the end of a game or the end of the season.”

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