AFL Europe Match of the Round

CNFA Grand Final – Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes v Paris Cockatoos – Bordeaux 25/6/16

The Euros have taken centre stage in France over the past couple of weeks but this weekend all eyes will be on the CNFA Grand Final hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers. Stade Robert Monseau will play host to the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and the Paris Cockatoos in a battle of the ages in which a new champion will be crowned as the much coveted, CNFA Premiers.

The Coyotes finished the regular season as Minor Premiers, claiming top spot by 3 points ahead of the Parisian pair, the Cockerels and the Cockatoos. They won through to the Grand Final with a 4-point win over the fourth-placed, Toulouse Hawks, in what proved a far tougher game then the minor premiers would’ve liked. The Cockatoos had a massive semi-final showdown in Paris against big brothers and 2014/15 Premiers, the Cockerels. Many expected the Cockatoos to fall short to their more established rivals but grit and determination shone through with a hard-fought 27-point victory.

Both teams will be experiencing a Grand Final for the first time, so the team that settles the nerves first will be a good shout to carry on with the victory. The Coyotes go in with the knowledge that they were the best team all season, however, the Cockatoos were the only team to knock off the Minor Premiers, giving them a slight psychological advantage.

The Coyotes boast a number of players from the French national team and have three of the best from the ANZAC Day showdown with Australia earlier this year in Max, Herve and Billy. Keep an eye on long kicking defender, Kevin, who can be a real game-changer with his run and carry off the halfback line.

The Cockatoos are strengthened by their midfield depth with four quality Frenchmen rotating through the engine room in Dagois, Bouchet, Daniel and Leyson. First use of the footy is crucial so this midfield depth could be a real focal point for the boys from Paris. The Cockatoos rugby connections, Jacob and Kevin, are normally away with work commitments on a Saturday by have shown real promise for recent converts and could prove the difference.

A full day of Aussie Rules action has been organised for the culmination of the CNFA 2015/16 season. A friendly, mixed gender curtain raiser is being played along with a soiree following the Grand Final.

Regardless of the result it’s going to be great seeing two new teams contesting for the top prize the CNFA have to offer. The Bordeaux Bombers and CNFA have organised an amazing day for all to enjoy. This one is expected to be a nail-biter, best of luck to all involved.

Coaches Thoughts – (Hervé Desjardin), Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes

“This game is the result of a long and interesting season. As the Coyotes’ coach, it was my objective to reach the Grand Final. We are going to play against the only team that has beat us during the 2015/2016 Season which will add a little spice to the match. We are clearly the outsider of this event as many of the Cockatoos were part of the 2015 Cockerels premiership team. We are going to give this game 100% and we hope to offer a great game to all our supporters. We are going to focus on our strengths and values: abnegation and determination ! Go Coyotes !”

Coaches Thoughts – Andrew Unsworth, Paris Cockatoos

“Creating a new team was always going to be a bit of a risk… but this group has put all that to bed by reaching the grand final! Hopefully we can go one better against an impressive Cergy outfit that travels well and is always up for a contest. Will be a great day for French footy with the girls also playing. Can’t wait!”