Featherstone Rovers 6 Toulouse Olympique 23 - Coach rues poor completion rate as unbeaten run is ended
JAMES Webster rued a poor second-half completion rate as Featherstone Rovers’ 13-game winning run was ended by league leaders Toulouse Olympique on Sunday.
The defeat means the French outfit are the only unbeaten side in the Championship this year as Rovers suffered their first league defeat of 2021.
Rovers were hit by injury withdrawals in the build-up to the contest as Dane Chisholm was not passed fit after Saturday’s team run while full-back Will Dagger pulled out in the warm-up.
Toulouse have not played as many games as Rovers this year but Webster admitted that it was the errors from Featherstone that cost them the victory.
“You have got to give credit to Toulouse, I thought they were really good,” said the Rovers coach.
“Yeah, they have a couple of advantages over us but in saying that, I didn’t think we gave ourselves a chance to get in any flow of the game.
“With a completion rate of 35 per cent in the second half, you are not going to beat a team in the amateur leagues, let alone a team as good as Toulouse.
“We need to dust ourselves off.”
Dominique Peyroux’s early try and Mark Kheirallah’s conversion gave the visitors a narrow 6-0 lead at half time.
Justin Sangare crossed for a second Toulouse try after the interval before Gareth Gale raced over in the corner to reduce the deficit.
However, Peyroux produced a rapid response to dot down on the hour with Tony Gigot’s drop-goal and Remi Casty’s try sealing victory for the away side.
Webster added: “I thought we had a right go. I can’t knock the players’ effort.
“We had to work harder than we needed to because we self-destructed in a couple of areas. We lost our fluency with our offence, a couple of those late changes had an influence on that.
“We spoke about how Toulouse defend and we didn’t have our fluency out of dummy half.
“We were a bit jaded after a tough game last week and eight people coming back from Covid.”
He added: “We have learnt what the benchmark is for this league. They are the best team we have played.
“Nearly every single player in their team has been full-time at some point in their career.
“You can tell that in their physiques and how they carry the ball, as well as how they cope in certain situations. We have got some catching up to do, we understand that.”