The verdict fell on Saturday evening. At 8 p.m., the table for the last four of the Championship was formalized. Let’s say it right away, the logic has been respected.
Halifax, third, and Batley, fourth, respectively beat Bradford (fifth) and Whitehaven (sixth). Two oppositions which were on the whole very contested. Halifax was forced to draw on its reserves to win against Whitehaven and the Avignon player, Paul Jouffret (24-20). Batley, for his part, won by a wider margin against Danny Brough’s Bradford (23-10).
The semi-finals table is as follows: Featherstone – Halifax, Toulouse – Batley. Let’s discover the “bulldogs”, the next opponent of the Olympians.
Dams> Batley brings down Bradford. To validate his ticket for the semi-final, Batley got the better of Bradford (23-10). In that encounter, a player pulled his training up, opener and scrum half, Tom Gilmore. He was the swallow that made Batley’s spring. Of the twenty-three points scored by his training, he has fifteen to his credit, ie one try, three conversions, two penalties and one drop. The former player of Salford, Widnes and the London Broncos is the playing leader of this formation of the “bulldogs”.
His duel against Tony Gigot or “Jono” Ford promises to be one of the key moments of this semi-final.
Championship> Toulouse winner at Batley. On August 28, Batley did not come to Toulouse. The only opposition between the two formations was fought on July 11 at Fox Stadium. That day, Toulouse won (32-12). At the break, the Toulousains were only four points ahead (16-12). This next opposition promises to be very balanced.
In addition, during the last meeting of the classification phase, Batley won in Halifax (12-10) which allowed him to take fourth place in the standings. Right now, Tom Gilmore’s roster is confident, euphoric and aware of any pressure, the perfect state of mind to prepare for a semi-final.
Ernest-Wallon> Batley the last visitor. Saturday, Toulouse will finally tread the lawn of Ernest-Wallon and in front of his audience. The grass of Stade Toulousain, the TO will find it after an absence of eighteen months and twenty-five days.
To find trace of the last performance of the Olympians on the green rectangle of the Seven Deniers, we must go back to March 7, 2020. Ironically, the opponent was none other than Batley. During this last performance, Toulouse won (34-14). At the break, Batley led (8-6) and then gave up the hour of play. Everything suggests that on Saturday, the “bulldogs” will not let go easily. Batley will not be favorite, this status is not made to displease him.