It was my last dance
Former Catalans Dragons captain Remi Casty expressed his joy after helping
Remi Casty (L) and Tony Gigot from Toulouse celebrate victory
Toulouse join their former club in the Super League but insisted they wouldn’t be
to play in the French derbies of 2022.
The former France Test mainstay, 36, who was ruled out by the Dragons at the end of 2020, confirmed his retirement after Toulouse’s 34-12 victory over Featherstone in the Million Pound Game, which ensured there would be two teams French in the high flight next year.
“It’s over,” Casty told Sky Sports. “It was the last dance and what a day for it.
“This club fought for 10 years to enter the Super League. They tried in 2005 when the Catalans won but kept going and I am delighted for the club and for the French rugby league.
“I am disappointed that the Catalans lost (in the Grand Final of the Super League) but the French rugby league is on the rise.”
Center Mathieu Jussaume scored two of Toulouse’s five tries and full-back Mark Kheirallah kicked seven goals in eight attempts.
“I’m at a loss for words, it’s amazing,” Houles said. “Who would have thought a few years ago that we would have ground for a grand final that would help us promote ourselves to the Super League?
“They pushed the boys all the way, it’s wonderful.”
Toulouse led 16-0 at halftime and were forced to resist a retaliation from Featherstone before securing the victory thanks to late tries from veterans Harrison Hansen and Johnathon Ford.
“In the second half we let them come back but the boys really dug deep and managed to score some points.
“The boys have been exceptional all season, I can’t credit them enough. We have it all planned out and when it works it’s amazing.”
Ford, a 32-year-old Cook Islands international who has been with Toulouse since 2011, says the promotion will be a major boost for the 13-man code in the south of France.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s important for the rugby league in general to see the growth of the game, not just for us but for the Toulouse community and the rugby league in France.
“This is one of the main reasons I hung out for so long. I’m so proud of all the players who have been involved in this. It’s pretty surreal, I’m delighted.”
Featherstone scored second-half tries thanks to forwards Brett Ferres and John Davies, but couldn’t prevent a second loss in the Million Pound Game after losing to Toronto Wolfpack in 2019.
Head coach James Webster said: “I thought we were really brave, but kudos to Toulouse who I thought were exceptional in the first 20 minutes.
“We have no excuses. Next year’s challenge will be promotion again. I think we have a great chairman in Mark Campbell.
“It will be strong competition again next year. Leigh will be strong, but I think we will be up there competing again.”
Webster, who was Richard Agar’s assistant when he coached the France team at the 2013 World Cup, said of Toulouse: “They are going to need to recruit.
“My own hope is that they play more French players to help develop the sport in France.”