Batley Bulldogs produced their best performance of the season to inflict a crushing victory on full-time opponents Toulouse Olympique yesterday afternoon.
The Bulldogs were superb as they recovered from falling behind inside two minutes and produced some superb rugby to run in eight tries and leave the French high fliers shellshocked.
There was a stoppage in play after just three seconds when William Barthau received treatment following the first tackle of the match.
When play resumed Toulouse moved swiftly up the slope. Jonathon Ford broke through and fed Mark Kheirallah and he slipped a pass out to send Bastien Ader over for the opening try which Kheirallah converted.
Batley hit back brilliantly. Dane Manning fed Lewis Galbraith and he drove for the line. The ball came loose and Jason Crookes scooped it up to score wide out.
Pierre-Jean Lima then knocked on a Bulldogs kick and after Batley had taken play close to the line, hooker Alistair Leak darted over from acting half-back and Izaac Farrell converted.
Toulouse hit back to draw level in the 24th minute when Barthau kicked left and Tony Maurel leapt to palm the ball back inside for Ader to grab his second try.
Batley resumed their supremacy on the back of another Lima knock on.
Manning came within inches of grounding Dominic Brambani’s neat kick to the in-goal area, with a Toulouse defender judged to have touched it first.
On the back of the resulting drop out, Shaun Ainscough was held close to the line before Batley moved play quickly left.
Izaac Farrell fed Galbraith and he sent Crookes storming over for his second try, which Farrell converted.
Brambani then kicked behind the Toulouse defence and although the ball bounced awkwardly, Ainscough scooped it up and crossed in the right corner as Batley led 20-10 at half-time.
The Bulldogs added a fifth try six minutes after the re-start when Michael Ward collected Leak’s short pass and crashed between the posts, with Farrell converting.
Lima was having a torrid time and although he collected a high hanging kick, Crookes clattered him behind the try line for another Toulouse drop out.
Toulouse reduced the arrears when Kheirallah gathered Ford’s kick through to touch down unchallenged and the full-back converted.
Batley upped the tempo and produced some champagne rugby in the final quarter.
They looked to have scored again when Izaac Farrell’s kick to the in-goal area was dropped by Lima and Galbraith looked to have touched down only to have it chalked off.
Batley attacked again from the resulting drop out and Brad Day stormed through and barged over a defender to score. Farrell converted and hammered over a penalty goal soon after to stretch the Bulldogs lead to 18 points.
Barthau produced a lovely side step to skip between the posts and he converted his own try but it was the Bulldogs who finished the stronger.
Galbraith broke up the left touchline and drew the last defender before slipping a pass inside to Crookes and he stormed away to dive between the posts for his hat-trick try, which Farrell converted.
Another break up the left saw Galbraith again feed Crookes and he produced a brilliant kick inside which Day caught on the full to storm over to the delight of his teammates and the Bulldogs fans gathered behind the posts. Farrell converted as Batley completed a comprehensive victory.
Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Ainscough, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes; I Farrell, Brambani; Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Day, Manning. Subs: Davey Brown, J Farrell, Ward.
Toulouse Olympique: Kheirallah; Lima, Planas, Ader, Maurel; Ford, Barthau; Boyer, Kriouache, Rapira, Mika, Curran, Bentley. Subs: Robin, Peuch, Hepi, Marion.
Referee: L Moore.