A RUTHLESS visiting side put Whitehaven to the sword at the LEL Arena, racking up 66 unanswered points with thirteen tries.

The formidable Toulouse Olympique were bolstered by every point and once they started going through the gears in the 18th minute, they looked virtually unstoppable. Nevertheless, Haven never gave up.

Haven players took some putting down in a defiant first half. Toulouse showed clever passing, asking questions and probing the Haven defence close to the try line but they held them off well at first.

There was a blow for Haven as Calum Phillips had to be taken from the field with a shoulder injury and coach Gary Charlton feared after the game that it could be a season-ending problem.

Haven did have their chances and they threatened the Toulouse line on occasion but they could not break the solid defence.

A grubber kick from Nikau Williams nearly provided an opportunity for Jessie Joe Parker. He was nearly on top of the ball to get the all-elusive try but he was unlucky to clash with his own player as well as the opposition.

The visitors were slippery as they tried to take the home defence by surprise.

Toulouse kept attacking down the left flank but good defence from Williams and Parker forced a reset and avoided a Toulouse try.

But they were soon in with Mathieu Jussaume bagging the first try and Lloyd White following him over the try line three minutes later.

Haven continued to try and get back into the game with Jason Mossop charging down the right, quick hands saw them threaten the try line but again they couldn't finish off.

Parker made a break with little resistance using that same sudden style Toulouse showed but it was cut short.

Into the 30th minute and Andrew Dixon got the next score on the board for Toulouse and before the half time hooter, Anthony Marion and sub Eloi Pelissier had also touched down.

Haven's Oscar Thomas was putting in the hard work trying to kick upfield and get the ball back in Toulouse’s back yard but the French side was unstoppable and they were 26-0 ahead at the break.

As the second half started Haven were back on the attack and were very close to the try line. But Toulouse, resolute, denied the attempt. At this point Nikau Williams made one of several valiant efforts to make the try line but to no avail.

Toulouse turned on the pressure again, they had hands on the ball and were banging on the door and Taioalo Vaivai's try made it 30-0.

They charged down their left side on the 51st minute to make it 34 courtesy of Vaivai again, and they started to really pull away from the competition.

Aiden Roden and Williams were diligent and hungry in their attempts to avert tries and kick the ball through the gap whenever Haven were getting close to the line.

Thomas put in a workmanlike performance to press Toulouse at any opportunity but Haven struggled to make progress off the back of it.

Further scores followed for Dominique Peyroux, Jy Hitchcox, a second for Marion and Jordan Flovie finished with a quick brace near the end before Jussaume got the final score.

Marion added six conversions and Flovie one as Toulouse recorded a commanding win.

In the end Toulouse proved just too good for Haven, who must now go back to the drawing board and concentrate on their next game.

Whitehaven RL head coach Gary Charlton said: “If we don’t make them work for anything that’s what we get.”

Whitehaven RL coaches have previously warned that in a highly competitive Betfred Championship, teams will make their opposition pay for every slip up.

Charlton said: “They’re not going to go away. We didn’t really do what we ask of our boys.

“We didn’t control the ball as much as we should have.

“Losing Callum early on didn’t help. It looks like he’s done his shoulder. It could be four weeks, six weeks, it could be the season.”

Callum Phillips went down for some time in the first half after clashing with Toulouse players and was taken off the field.

Charlton was downcast about the defeat but said: “There’s always next week” adding that the squad will look to respond in their next game.

Whitehaven RLFC face Widnes Vikings in the Championship next Sunday.