Barrow Raiders 6 Toulouse Olympique 36

It was always going to be a big ask playing three games in eight days and take on a tough Toulouse side but despite the Raiders working hard there was only one team in this contest.

The boys from over the Channel were far too fast and slick for the home side and once they got their nose in front there was only going to be one winner. Barrow worked hard, but as fatigue set in after away trips to Featherstone and Leigh, the final whistle couldn’t come quick enough.

The Raiders were blasted with first-half penalties, with match official Tom Grant handing out several in the later stages to the home side, but the boat had sailed.

Poor defensive work in the early minutes proved costly as Toulouse swept the ball to the left to cross for a brace of tries which Barrow found hard to come back from, though Luke Cresswell went over for a spectacular try to make it 8-6.

Dropped balls in attack never helped Barrow and they were punished by a smarter Toulouse side, who were a treat to watch as they moved forward and off-loaded at will to keep the pressure on.

It was Ford who showed his class in the opening minutes as he sent Bretherton through a yawning gap only to lose the ball with the line in sight.

However sinner turned saint on eight minutes as Barrow were caught short on the left, with Bretherton sending out a neat ball for Marel to cross with ease.

Once more, Barrow were put on the back foot and two minutes later Robin, Vaivai and Jussaume all linked at pace to send Marel in for his second try.

The hosts responded with the try of the afternoon, as Robin stabbed the ball over the home line before Tee Ritson gathered, rounded his first man taking play to the 25 line, from where he released Cresswell and he pulled away with defenders in pursuit, and the full back dived in at the corner, with Dallimore adding a touchline goal.

But their joy was short-lived and from a tap penalty on halfway for interfering in the tackle play went deep for Hepi to walk through from close range, with William Barthau adding the goal.

Dallimore was then judged to have knocked-on and from the scrum Toulouse appeared to have done likewise but play was allowed to continue and from 30 yards out Bretherton cruised in.

Dan Toal was then sent to the bin with Hepi on 38 minutes following a skirmish and from the tap Toulouse went straight upfield to score through Mika, Barthau tagged on the goal for 6-24 at the break.

Barrow had it all to do but were further in arrears three minutes into the second period, as sweeping play left to right enabled Bell to cross in the corner, Barthau adding the kick 6-30 and the points were in the bag.

And when Dallimore was penalised on the last tackle Toulouse went deep with Barthau racing clear to the line but a forward was ruled, but there was no stopping Vaivai romping over on 66 minutes for the final try of the game.

Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Amean, Paisley, Cross, Dallimore, White, Johnson, Puara, Susino, Smith, Morrow, Aspinwall.

Interchange: Walne, Walker, J Carter, D Toal.

Try Cresswell 24.

Goal: Dallimore.

Toulouse: Barthau, Maroon, Jussaume, Bell, Marel, Ford, Robin, Puech, Marion, Vaivai, Mika, Bretherton, Santi. Interchange: Parata, Boyer, Hepi, Sangare.

Tries: Marel 8, 10, Hepi 28, Bretherton 34, Mika 40, Bell 43, Vaivai 66,

Goals: Barethau (4).

Referee Tom Grant.

Attendance: 1,478

Raiders star man: Stargroth Amean.