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Super League: Will Smith's debut try helps Hull FC to victory over Toulouse Olympique

New Hull FC signing Will Smith, Josh Simm, Ellis Longstaff, Jack Brown and Harvey Barron all crossed as the visitors returned to winning ways in the Betfred Super League; James Cunningham had forced his way over to give hosts Toulouse the lead

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The best of the action from the Super League clash between Toulouse and Hull FC.

Will Smith grabbed a debut try as Hull FC finally found their form with a 30-6 hammering of Betfred Super League strugglers Toulouse Olympique at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Brett Hodgson's side ripped up the form book after six defeats in their last seven games and made life harder for the promoted French side in their battle against an instant return to the Championship.

Toulouse took the lead after seven minutes when a Hull fumble at the play-the-ball on their own line gave James Cunningham an easy pickup and fall over the try-line, Chris Hankinson adding the conversion.

But Hull FC responded swiftly when Jake Connor, playing at centre, put a cut-out pass to winger Josh Simm who crossed in the right corner. Luke Gale was on target with the touchline conversion to level the scores.

And when new signing Smith kicked through the legs of a Toulouse defender to set up a try for second-rower Ellis Longstaff, the visitors went in front 10-4.

A 40-20 kick by captain Tony Gigot put Toulouse back on the attack and Hull FC were then forced into a goal-line drop out.

Toulouse winger Ilias Bergal thought he had scored in the left corner soon after, only for referee Ben Thaler to pull him back for a forward pass, and despite a period of intense attacking from the home team they were unable to turn pressure into points and it remained 10-6 at half-time.

Also See:

Picture by Manuel Blondeau/ - 29/07/2022 - Rugby League Round 21 - Betfred Super League - Toulouse Olympique v Hull FC - Stade Ernest-Wallon, Toulouse, France - James Cunningham of Toulouse Olympique scores a try under pressure from Jack Walker of Hull FC
Image: James Cunningham opened the scoring for Toulouse

Hull FC came out firing after the interval and forced two early goal-line drop-outs and a penalty, but could not make headway on the scoreboard.

Their task was, however, made easier when Olympique prop Harrison Hansen was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Jordan Johnstone in the 50th minute.

And when giant Hull prop Kane Evans broke through the defence three minutes later to release Jack Walker then Smith to finish a 70-metre try beneath the posts, the visitors were in firm control at 16-6 following Gale's conversion.

Hull FC increased their lead moments later when Jack Brown took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score from 10 metres out and Gale's conversion pushed the Black and Whites 22-6 in front.

Picture by Manuel Blondeau/ - 29/07/2022 - Rugby League Round 21 - Betfred Super League - Toulouse Olympique v Hull FC - Stade Ernest-Wallon, Toulouse, France - Harvey Barron of Hull FC scores a try
Image: Harvey Barron went over for Hull FC in the second half

Gale added a penalty in the 63rd minute and Connor's clever kick then forced yet another drop-out from beneath the posts by Toulouse.

Two dropped balls from full-back Oliver Ashall-Bott made matters worse for Toulouse and set up field position for Hull FC, and Gale's kick to the wing was collected by substitute Harvey Barron who went over for a fifth try.

Toulouse's desperation then dissolved into indiscipline, conceding a series of penalties as time ran out on the match.

What they said

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson

"We put in a performance to be proud of today. Toulouse are a very strong side, especially here, but to see hundreds of supporters singing in the corner of the stadium at the end of the game means a real lot to the players and the club."

Toulouse Olympique head coach Sylvain Houles

"Our indiscipline has cost us again, with and without the ball. We didn't start bad but after that we just caved in too often and we did the same against Salford in the second half last week.

What's next?

Toulouse travel to Hull Kingston Rovers on Thursday, August 4 for a match which is live on Sky Sports (8pm kick-off). Hull FC are away to Huddersfield Giants the following night (7.45pm).

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