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Saints fall to first defeat of the season in Toulouse

Saints suffered our first defeat of the 2022 season following a 22-20 defeat against Toulouse Olympique.

The hosts got off to a quick start. Toulouse won the ball back from their own kick off after Saints allowed the ball to bounce and it resulted in Matty Russell scoring in the corner. Chris Hankinson added the extras to make it 6-0.

The Saints response was good. An attack down the Saints left saw Jonny Lomax find Tommy Makinson with a cut-out pass and he strolled over for his eighth try of the season. He was unable to convert his own try, 6-4 Saints trailed.

We then took the lead for the first time in the game. Another cut-out pass, this time from full back Jack Welsby, found Josh Simm on the right wing and he strolled in to score in the right corner. Makinson was unable to add the extras, 8-6 we led.

The lead did not last for long. Saints once again were unable to deal with a short kick off as it found touch, later on in that set former Saint Dom Peyroux won the race to a grubber kick to score to give the hosts the lead once again. Hankinson added the extras from in front, 12-8 to Toulouse.

The Saints then re-took the lead just before the break. Mark Percival made a big break down the left-hand side, he then found Makinson on his outside and he then found Welsby on his inside who went over under the sticks. Lewis Dodd took over kicking duties and made no mistake, 14-12 Saints led.

A fourth try of the game could have followed for Saints as the break approached, as Percival touched the ball down, however the referee ruled it out as he judged Makinson had tackled the Toulouse defender in the air which had knocked the ball loose. That was to be the final chance of the first 40, as Saints went into the break with a 14-12 lead in France.

Saints came out for the second half and dominated the early periods, but it was Toulouse had a great chance to grab the first try of the second period as Olly Ashall-Bolt was held up inches short of the line by Welsby.

That tackle proved crucial as Saints extended their lead. Jake Wingfield made a break downfield and found the supporting Dan Norman, he then powered over for his first ever Saints try. Dodd once again added the extras, 20-12 Saints led.

Toulouse responded once again though. The ball was worked down the Toulouse right and it ended with Lucas Albert finding Hankinson who powered over from close range. Hankinson converted his own try, 20-18.

The hosts then won the game with four minutes to go as a cut-out pass down their right side saw Paul Marcon score the winning try. Hankinson missed the conversion but Toulouse emerged 22-20 victors and grabbed their first victory of the season.

Match Summary

Toulouse Olympique Team: Olly Ashall-Bolt, Matty Russell, Chris Hankinson, Guy Armitage, Paul Marcon, Tony Gigot, Lucas Albert, Joe Bretherton, Anthony Marion, Justin Sangare, Andrew Dixon, Dominique Peyroux, Maxime Puech.

Interchanges: Eloi Pelissier, Harrison Hansen, Mitch Garbutt, Joseph Paulo.

Tries: Matty Russell (2), Dominique Peyroux (20), Chris Hankinson (66), Paul Marcon (76)

Conversions: Chris Hankinson (3  from 4)

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Josh Simm, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Matty Lees, Joey Lussick, Agnatius Paasi, Curtis Sironen, Morgan Knowles. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Interchanges: James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jake Wingfield, Dan Norman.

Tries: Tommy Makinson (11), Josh Simm (17), Jack Welsby (34), Dan Norman (54)

Conversions: Tommy Makinson (0 from 2), Lewis Dodd (2 from 2)

HT: 12-14

FT: 22-20

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