Players: H. Ryan (C), P. Arnephy (VC), M. Cowan, D. Blechynden, M. Delmas, P. Erra, C. Woods, M Launais, G VD Morzadec, A Moore, B Germond, A Dewee
After the March footy madness month, the weeks leading up to the match were a well needed rest for some of the weary and injured bodies of the Paris cockerels. Though the break was welcomed, some of those injuries were still hanging around, and trying to put a full side together for an away game was looking tough. Cue in the spirit of the Paris fraternity, the always welcomed international player, and first gamer Alex, and only then were we a complete team ready to take on the mighty Roos.
With heavy rain preceding the days leading up to Saturday, we made our way out to the ground and upon inspecting it we were made aware of the slippery and muddy game conditions we were in for. Warming up we did our best keeping off the ground to prolong the inevitable. Luckily for us the rain stopped before bounce down and remained that way throughout the whole game, thus providing prefect footy playing conditions.
We won the toss and decided to use the slight breeze to our advantage. Though from the first bounce down it was the height and athleticism of Roos ruckman Antoine Werner who made it clear that punching the ball out of the center, we weren’t going to win too many taps against him. With the Roos winning the center clearances, Strasbourg were able to get on the score board first by kicking 2 behinds. The defence tightened, led by the ever reliable Huw Ryan and we were able to get on the scoreboard with a goal.
Our centre rotation of Sevo, Arnephy, Erra and at times Woodsy quickly learnt the tactics of their Werner and before too long were able to use it to their advantage, breaking out of the center clearances and providing precision kicking to the leading forwards. This was providing the platform for the Cockerels forward line to put on a handy lead going into the second quarter with goals coming from Huw, Magic, Arnephy and Bushy.
Strasbourg’s centre clearance domination continued to mount forward pressure with some great passages of play coming from their team. Most notably from the vocal leader Joe, who showed his great overhead marking abilities and ball movement on the wings of the ground. Though with Huw (the mop and bucket), Blechy and Matt (floor polishers) holding down the defense, and the constant ball pressure around the ground we were able to build a insurmountable lead in the second and third quarters. Goals were coming from all angles with Sista, Arnephy, Woody, Erra, Sevo and Magic and a few unlucky behinds from Bushy. The Cocks looked in good stead leading into the final quarter.
The match already decided, the 3 goals in the 4th quarter, and the unlucky behinds throughout the game from Strasbourg provided the team with some great momentum and motivation going forward into their next round match up against Toulouse, where anything is possible.
Great effort from first gamer Alex, after being thrown into the difficult ruck position, and great to see the team coming together for another great away win.
In the great words of David Grohl, “Done, done, on to the next one” and the next one is the big one. Bring it on Toulouse.
Paris Cockerels – 154 Strasbough Kangeroos – 31.
Thanks to Pierre Boscart for helping out on the sidelines. Some stats tell the story thanks to him. Great to see the new blood of Alex coming into the team for his first game. We look forward to seeing more of Alex.
30 forward entries with 11 goals 7 points in the first half at 60% scoring efficiency.
24 forward entries with12 goals 10 points in the 2nd half at a very impressive 91% scoring efficiency. This perhaps tells us that the Strasbourg defence broke down towards the end of the game. Credit to the Cockerels team who kept up the pressure and disposed well into the forward structure. Strasbourg were unlucky with a lot of kicks for goal going wide. The scoreboard probably doesn’t do the team justice. Well done to the Kangaroos and thanks for the great welcome over there.
Best: P. Arnephy, M. Cowan, A. Moore, H. Ryan, P. Erra