Catalans Dragons overturned a 24-10 half-time deficit to beat Championship side Toulouse 40-28 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The Championship side took the lead after just eight minutes, Mark Kheirallah managed to break free and get over. He then converted his own try for a six-point advantage.
Just three minutes later, Catalans hit back as Josh Drinkwater managed to get through the line and score. James Maloney converted to level the scores.
Just past the first quarter, Toulouse retook the lead, as Kheirallah took advantage of some poor defending to get over. He then converted his own try to give Toulouse their six point lead back.
Three minutes later, the visitors struck again through Mitch Garbutt’s first try since moving from Hull KR. Kheirallah converted to make it a 12-point lead.
Catalans struck back again just past the half-hour as Samisoni Langi did well down the left-hand side and fed Fouad Yaha for the try. Maloney was off target with the conversion attempt, meaning they trailed by eight points.
Toulouse then took advantage of some more slack defending from the Dragons to extend their advantage. Justin Sangare managed to offload to Kheirallah, who completed his hat-trick. He converted the try to put the Championship side 14 points ahead at the break.
Fresh from their half-time team talk, Catalans hit straight back inside the opening minute of the second half. They moved the ball well, and Yaha got in out wide. Maloney was back on target to make it the perfect start to the half.
Three minutes later, the Dragons stuck again as Yaha completed his hat-trick after being put through by Sam Tomkins. Maloney converted to leave just two points in it.
It was soon three tries in 10 minutes at the start of the second half for the Dragons, as Matt Whitley managed to get over. Maloney converted to put the Dragons ahead by four- their first lead of the match.
Catalans then made it four tries in 15 minutes, as Julian Bousquet took in a pass from Maloney, and crashed over. Maloney converted to put the Dragons ahead by 10 points.
The game settled down after that, but the Dragons were able to notch up 40 points, Mickael Goudemand took in a pass from Alrix da Costa got over. Maloney converted.
However, the final word would go to Toulouse, as Hugo Pezet managed to crash over for the only try the Championship side would score in the second half. Kheirallah was off-target with the conversion attempt.
The Dragons now have a week off before they start their Super League campaign against Hull KR at Headingley.
As for Toulouse, they have a bit longer to wait, as they are not in Challenge Cup action. Their Championship campaign gets underway against York City Knights on Easter Saturday.
Catalans Dragons: Sam Tomkins, Romain Franco, Samisoni Langi, Matt Whitley, Fouad Yaha, Josh Drinkwater, Paul Seguier, Alrix da Costa, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Jullien, Mike McMeeken, Benjamin Garcia.
Subs: Mickael Goudemand, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Mourgue, Sam Kasiano, Lambert Belmas, Joe Chan, Mathieu Cozza, Corentin Le Cam, Jordan Flovie, Robin Brochon, Jordan Dezaria, Cesar Rougue, Valentin Zafra.
Head Coach: Steve McNamara.
Toulouse: Mark Kheirallah, Paul Marcon, Mathieu Jussuame, Junior Vaivai, Latrell Schaumkel, Johnathon Ford, Ben Reynolds, Joe Bretherton, Anthony Marion, Harrison Hansen, Andrew Dixon, Dom Peyroux, Joseph Paulo.
Subs: Eloi Pelissier, Maxime Puech, Mitch Garbutt, Ben Evans, Ilias Bergal, Justin Sangare, Justin Bouscayrol, Hugo Pezet, Maxime Garcia, Pierre Fourquet, Romain Pallares.
Head Coach: Sylvian Houles.