In a game of vital importance for both sides, a severely wounded Hull FC travelled to the south of France to take on a Toulouse Olympique XIII side who are showing signs that they might perform the Super League equivalent of a Houdini escape and avoid relegation to the Championship.
FC took a mauling at the hands of the Castleford Tigers last time out but last nights heavy defeat for arch-rivals Hull KR at the hands of the Wigan Warriors saw them move up to seventh spot in the table, and with a chance to make the top six with a win in the early evening kick off.
The bookies were struggling to split the two sides for what promised to be a classic, Toulouse slight favourites with FC getting a two-point start on the coupon.
A mistake from Josh Simm as he dropped the ball returning from his own in-goal area allowed James Cunningham to be fastest to react and pick up the loose ball to go in for the opening Toulouse try of the game, a little against the run of early play. There were eight minutes on the clock as Chris Hankinson added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
Simm made amends on eighteen when Jake Connor outfoxed the Toulouse defence to put his winger over in the corner. Luke Gale added the conversion to level the scores at 6-6, no less than FC deserved.
FC were in the front on twenty-six when Ellis Longstaff grounded a Will Smith grubber kick to score down the right-hand side. Gale was unable to add the conversion but the Black and Whites were good value for their lead at the interval.
The situation became more precarious for Toulouse on fifty with Anthony Marion sin-binned for a crusher tackle on Jordan Johnstone. Will Smith punished the twelve men with a try on debut when he took a Kane Evans offload to go in under the sticks. Gale added the conversion for a 16-6 lead.
Still a man down, Toulouse conceded again when Mitieli Vulikijapani was the provider for Jack Brown, Gale adding the conversion as FC eased towards victory.
Gale added a sixty-fourth minute penalty goal to further extend the lead and leave Toulouse needing four converted tries to take the game.
Toulouse should have scored on sixty-eight, but Longstaff chased back and put in a crucial tackle on Olly Ashall-Bott.
A superb try from debutant Harvey Barron on seventy-four after he made his own luck as he chased a Connor grubber and finished acrobatically. Gale was again wide with the kick.
This was a very important win for FC after some disappointing recent results. Tries from two debutants will be a delight for the coaching staff as they battle through an injury crisis. FC are back in the play-off places, but Toulouse are now vulnerable to drop back to the bottom of the table should Wakefield Trinity manage a victory against Castleford later this evening.
Toulouse Olympique XIII: Ashall-Bott, Bergal, Hankinson (G), Jussaume, Marcon, Gigot, Norman, Navarrete, Peats, Belmas, Peyroux, Bretherton, Cunningham (T). Subs: Albert, Hansen, Puech, Marion (SB on 50).
Hull FC: Walker, McIntosh, Connor, Vulikijapani, Simm (T), Smith (T), Gale (4G), Evans, Houghton, Taylor, Lane, Longstaff (T), Fash. Subs: Brown (T), Johnstone, Barron (T), Laidlaw.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 6-4, 6-6, 6-10 : HT : (SB), 6-14, 6-16, 6-20, 6-22, 6-24, 6-28: FT.
Lead Exchanges: Toulouse – Square – Hull FC.
Referee: Ben Thaler.