THE trip to Toulouse was a tough one. All of the players had to negotiate time off work and then be up for 5am on Friday to start the journey.

All the travel arrangements went well and we were looked after by our French counterparts, with all the players a credit to the club in the way they prepared and approached the game.

However, we missed our normal team run through and had to be content with a video session on Saturday morning.

All the plans made in that session quickly went out of the window as we lost most of our left edge in Jake Spedding, Jono Smith and Ryan Johnston before the first half an hour was complete.

Up to that point we were second-best, but still very competitive. When more injuries followed at regular intervals Toulouse were in no mood to feel sorry for us.

At times they played some champagne rugby and you could tell when everything clicks they are almost unplayable as Toronto found out the week previous.

Our season won’t be defined by a loss in Toulouse, but it has caused a lot of damage for one of our must win fixtures versus Swinton this weekend.

Hopefully we have a big enough squad to be able to fill the gaps. One of the gaps could be filled by Alec Susino, who lands in the country tomorrow.

Alec expressed an interest in returning last week, and the way our sponsors and supporters have rallied round to help to provide funding makes you proud to be associated with such a club.

At Barrow we are trying to do the right thing. We are not relying on dual-registration and, as a result, are now running with a 29-man squad when some teams are getting by with numbers in the low 20s and a lower wage bill to boot.

Nearly everyone I talk to is against dual-registration, even those clubs who take advantage, and I hope it is ended soon.

You are on your way to becoming a feeder team if you rely on dual registration.

If the Super League doesn’t set up a reserve league, why not put their B-teams in League One?

It works in Spanish football and the teams with aspirations to progress to Super League can concentrate on building their clubs, setting up a junior production line and growing the sport.