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York Knights 14-20 Toulouse Olympique - Match Report

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York Knights fell to a 20-14 defeat at the LNER Community Stadium against last season’s Betfred Championship Grand Finalists Toulouse Olympique.

A Maxime Stefani double and a Guy Armitage try saw Toulouse take an 18-0 lead into the second half, having lost prop Harrison Hansen to a red card before the break.

A penalty goal from Robin Brochon nudged the visitors 20-0 in front before Toulouse went down to 11 men as Sitaleki Akauola was sent off.

Three tries in the final eight minutes from Joe Brown, Connor Bailey and Jesse Dee saw the Knights cut the gap to six points but their scores came too late for a dramatic fightback.

Toulouse made the brighter start, taking the lead on seven minutes when Guy Armitage beat Joe Brown in the air from a hanging kick from Jake Shorrocks before putting Maxime Stefani into the clear.

Brochon added the conversion, his first of two from three attempts, before slotting over a penalty goal minutes later.

Stefani then completed his brace midway through the half after Shorrocks put Lambert Belmas through a gap before the prop in turn sent Stefani over.

Minutes later however, Toulouse were reduced to 12 men when Harrison Hansen was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Myles Harrison.

The Knights pressed for their first points of the contest but failed to land a blow before the break and received a sucker-punch prior to half-time when Armitage crossed the whitewash after Calum Gahan had put Ryan Rivett into space before the half-back’s wide pass left to the ex-London Broncos man.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, York were unable to find a way through a determined Toulouse defence early in the second half and it was the visitors who in fact found the first points after the restart. 

Having won a series of second-half penalties, Brochon opted to go for goal on 55 minutes, putting Toulouse into a 20-0 lead.

Olympique found themselves down to just 11 men with a quarter of an hour to go when Sitaleki Akauola was shown a red card for the use of his elbow on Ronan Michael, who would not return to the fray, in a carry.

With eight minutes left, York were finally on the board when Joe Brown acrobatically leapt over in the right corner. 

Liam Harris’ touchline conversion attempt was wide of the posts.

Two further tries in the final four minutes followed for York who bid in vain to set up a dramatic finale. 

Josh Daley’s short pass put Connor Bailey over close to the sticks before the scorer sent an outside-of-the-boot kick to Dee who dived in by the right corner flag.

Harris converted the former conversion attempt while Myles Harrison was off target with the latter effort.

York: Harrison, Brown, Dee, Keinhorst, Lineham, Hingano, Harris, Ta’ai, Daley, Michael, Field, Severs, Bailey

Subs (all used): Fitzsimmons, Teanby, Reynolds, Nicholson-Watton 

18th Player: Jubb

Tries: Brown (72’), Bailey (76’), Dee (80’)

Goals: Harris (1/2), Harrison (0/1)

Toulouse: Brochon, Marcon, Jussaume, Armitage, Ulberg, Rivett, Shorrocks, Belmas, Gahan, Hansen, Peyroux, Stefani, Marion

Subs (all used): Akauola, Bretherton, Roumanos, Richards

18th Player: Lima

Tries: Stefani (7’, 23’), Armitage (37’)

Goals: Brochon (4/5)


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