Toulouse boss: It’s oh so close

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TOULOUSE coach Gilles Dumas is predicting a knife-edge encounter when his side clash with Halifax in the last eight of the Northern Rail Cup on Saturday night.

Dumas’ side have already beaten Fax once in 2011, edging them out 26-12 in the Co-operative Championship opener in France.

But despite Fax’s indifferent recent form, the former France stand off insists that Saturday’s encounter could be decided by a bounce of the ball.

“It will be very close, drop the ball at the wrong moment and it may be decided, there will not be many points in it – it will be very tight,” said Dumas.

“We will prepare very seriously for the Halifax game and I’m sure Halifax will do the same and there are some very talented players in their team.

“I don’t know if it is an real advantage to be at home or not, because it’s a 50-50 game.

“It is a game both teams have to win to stay in the competition.

“I think Halifax will come to Toulouse with a big need for revenge but I will prepare my boys to meet them.

“It is a very important game with the winner going into the semis – we want to make the final.”

Toulouse will definitely be without their former Sheffield and Doncaster hooker Craig Cook, a try scorer against Fax last time the sides met, because of a knee injury that is expected to keep him out for around eight weeks.

But Dumas will have highly-rated Australian half back Josh Lewis available, making his side an infinitely more dangerous proposition in attack.

Warrington will be without stand-off Lee Briers for Friday’s clash at Huddersfield.

The 32-year-old playmaker has been ruled out after suffering a dead leg in last Sunday’s shock defeat by Catalan Dragons.

On the positive side, Ryan Atkins and Louis Anderson are both poised to return to action at the Galpharm Stadium.

England centre Atkins has been out for four weeks with an ankle injury while Kiwi forward Anderson underwent knee surgery early last month.