Brave Hunslet Hawks came mighty close to lowering leaders Toulouse’s colours for the first time this season as they suffered an agonising 16-12 defeat.
Ahead of the match, Hunslet paid tribute to former player Frank “Shanks” Watson and Harry Jepson, legends of the club and rugby league in general, who both died in the previous week.
The full-time French side arrived at South Leeds Stadium having won 12 and drawn one of their 13 Championship 1 games so far this season.
They got off to a bad start when Hunslet’s Richie Barnett gathered a kick to race in under the posts for a try improved by stand-off Simon Brown.
But the visitors responded with a touchdown of their own from Kuni Minga, although the conversion attempt by full-back Mark Kheirallah hit an upright.
The French side led at the interval after creating an overlap for Tony Maurel to go over in the corner and this time Kheirallah potted the goal from the touchline.
Hawks retook the lead early in the second half as George Flanagan went over from dummy half after some good work by the forwards.
And that is how it stayed until the dying moments when half-back Danny Hulme raced away to score a length of the field match-clinching try which Kheirallah converted to rub salt in the home side’s wounds.
Dewsbury Rams were thrashed 56-12 at home by Whitehaven, with Jack Teanby scoring both tries.