Widnes Vikings were on the wrong end of a 28-12 score line on Saturday afternoon, as they were out muscled by Toulouse Olympique at the Halton Stadium.
A second half score from Jack Owens looked to spark a comeback, however the French outfit proved too strong and condemned the Vikings to a second defeat in a row.
Kieron Purtill made five changes to the side who were defeated by Sheffield Eagles, as Anthony Gelling, Jayden Hatton, Tom Gilmore, Hep Cahill and Jacob Dugdale were brought in
Junior Vaivai came back to haunt Widnes, after he led York City Knights to victory earlier in the season, with the centre burrowing over from close range after just four minutes.
Toulouse extended their lead with a penalty goal six minutes later, as a coming together off the ball led to Widnes being penalised on their own 30 metre line.
Ryan Ince had to work hard to prevent Stan Robin from scoring a great individual effort, as he attempted to chase down his own kick to the corner.
Gilmore came close to breaking the Widnes deadlock on 18 minutes, as he tried to get on the end of Danny Craven’s grubber, but he could only knock on at full stretch.
Craven then looked to have forced his way over as he tried to sell the dummy close to the line, however some desperate defence from the visitors brought him down a metre short.
Sam Wilde had the same outcome when he came up with a half break inside the Toulouse 10, as the away side doggedly defended their own line.
The Vikings talisman, Craven, then reached out for the line but a thunderous hit forced the ball from his grasp, as he was forced from the field for a head assessment and wouldn’t return.
Seven minutes into the second half, Toulouse added to their lead as Mark Kheirallah drew a defender and sent Con Mika over from close range.
If Widnes were to give themselves a chance of a comeback they needed to score next, and they did on 52 minutes when Owens raced onto Gilmore’s inside ball to break the home side’s deadlock.
The French side replied soon after though, as Junior Vaivai’s kick to the corner was pounced on by Ilias Bergal on the left edge.
After a short kick-off didn’t go to plan, Toulouse then made it back-to-back efforts when a gaping hole opened up in the defence, with Johnathon Ford sending Joe Bretherton over for a simple score.
The game was beyond the Vikings nine minutes from time when Jordan Dezaria showed his strength to barge over, before Hep Cahill grabbed a consolation with three minutes left on the clock.