Toulouse Match Preview

Toulouse Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk
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7th February 2019

Widnes Vikings head to France this weekend to face Toulouse Olympique at the Stade Ernest Argles on Saturday 9th February, (kick-off 3:30pm local time).

Kieron Purtill will be hoping his men can pick up back-to-back victories after kicking off their 2019 Betfred Championship campaign with a convincing 40-16 win over Halifax last week.

As the lads head to Toulouse for their first away trip of the season, we have provided all the key information, facts and statistics ahead of the big game…

Squad news

Kieron Purtill has made just one change to last week’s 19-man squad, as Wellington Albert continues to recover from a minor injury and is replaced by Liam Walsh. The Vikings remain without Hep Cahill, Krisnan Inu, Tom Gilmore, Jay Chapelhow and Dan Norman who are working hard to regain fitness.

Widnes Vikings 19-man squad: Olly Ashall-Bott, Keanan Brand, Owen Buckley, Ted Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Chris Dean, Owen Farnworth, Anthony Gelling, Harrison Hansen, Liam Hood, Ryan Ince, Jordan Johnstone, MacGraff Leuluai, Joe Lyons, Jack Owens, Adam Tangata, Brad Walker, Liam Walsh, Sam Wilde.

Toulouse head coach Sylvain Houles has made just one change to the side that were beaten by Leigh on Sunday, as Maxime Puech makes way for Justin Sangare.

Toulouse Olympique 19-man squad: Mark Kheirallah, Tony Maurel, Bastien Ader, Gavin Marguerite, Paul Marcon, Johnathon Ford, Stanislas Robin, Anthony Marion, Joe Bretherton, Constantine Mika, Rhys Curran, Dean Parata, Ben Evans, Patty Vaivai, Clement Boyer, Jordan Dezaria, Brenden Santi, Justin Sangare, William Barthau.

Form Guide

Widnes will take momentum into their trip to France following an emphatic round one victory over Halifax, with the home side picking up a 40-16 win. On his return to the club, Jack Owens scored the opening try and kicked six of his seven conversion attempts to finish with 16 points to his name.

Ryan Ince crossed for an acrobatic hat-trick out wide, with his centre Anthony Gelling picking up a brace of tries on his competitive debut for the Vikings. Danny Craven was also on the scoresheet, after stepping his way over the try line from close range at the end of the first half.

Toulouse will be looking to bounce back from an opening weekend defeat, as they were edged 24-16 by Leigh Centurions on Sunday afternoon. Stan Robin scored the first try of the game, with Paul Marcon collecting a brace for the French outfit, including a late effort which set up a tense finish at the Leigh Sports Village.

The visitors couldn’t spark a comeback though, with Mark Kheirallah landing two conversions in the disappointing first round loss.

Last Time Out

The Vikings last met their French opponents during the Qualifiers campaign last season, as they made the trip to the Stade Ernest Argles to take on the Championship side.

It was an afternoon to forget as the home side picked up a 42-22 victory back in September, as only Danny Craven, Krisnan Inu, Tom Gilmore, Harrison Hansen, Chris Dean and MacGraff Leuluai remain at the club from the team that were defeated on that day.

One to Watch

Mark Kheirallah – Regarded as one of the best players currently operating outside of the Betfred Super League, fullback Kheirallah is a star man for Toulouse. Originally from New South Wales, Australia, the 28-year old has plied his trade in France for most of his career after signing from the Sydney Roosters, making one appearance in the NRL. Kheirallah also has international experience at the 2017 World Cup with France. With 91 tries in 119 appearances, he certainly knows his way to the try line and will provide a constant threat to the Vikings on Saturday afternoon.

Milestones

Ted Chapelhow – If the front rower features in France, he will make his 75th career appearance.

Ryan Ince – The Vikings winger is set to make his 50th career appearance this weekend.

Jack Owens – After being deadly from the touchline in round one, four more points on Saturday will take Owens to 600 in his career.

Danny Craven – The Widnes halfback is one goal away from 50 career goals.

Tickets for the Vikings next two home fixtures, against Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers, are available now at fantastic discounts after the club launched the #WV10kChallenge. For full information on how you can save 50%, CLICK HERE.

Toulouse Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk