Match of the Round

ALFA Lions v Stade Toulousain (CNFA)

01/06/2019  Parc De Parilly  15:00

Heading to Lyon this weekend, Stade Toulousain will face the ALFA Lions in a huge CNFA Semi Final clash, for a spot in the big dance.

Both sides in good form and featuring similar playing styles this season, Stade Toulousain and the Lions are known for some big winning margins as of late but the CNFA community can expect a close encounter in this one.

With the ALFA Lions wrapping up the 2019 season on top of the ladder as minor premiers, it will take a strong opposition to conquer them. Stade Toulousain have shown they’re up for the challenge and have been putting in plenty of hard work in the lead up to this important match.

Kicking some big scores throughout the season, they’ve shown their pace works in their favour to gain quick inside 50’s and their efficiency when heading forward has proven to be a big factor of many of their wins in 2019.

Stade Toulousain player Grégoire Patacq expands on this, saying “we want our players to be relentless on the footy for the 80 minutes they’re going to spend on the field. Being first on the ball is our key and impacting with strong bodies should help to make a difference.”

Using strength and size to their advantage, the Lions were clutch towards the end of the regular season, in a game that shaped the top four with a convincing win in the final round against the Cockerels.

After a tough start to their season and star player Thibaut Picard becoming injured, Picard speaks on the building of confidence that he has seen in the team from a coaching perspective.

“The beginning of the season was really difficult with two consecutive losses, but we had the mentality to come back and finish the home and away season with four wins in a row.”

Both the ALFA Lions and Stade Toulousain pride themselves on their club culture and believe it shines through in their performance on the field.

“Our club is like a family. Everyone spends a lot of time together off the field… when you are on the field, you know that you play not only for you but for the whole club, and that could be the difference in a close game,” Picard explains.

This sentiment also echoes through Stade Toulousain and their effort to grow this great game across the continent is a special part of the club’s atmosphere.

“Our goals for the year are to finish first and get as many people to join the club, discover AFL and join the family,” said Patacq.

With two sides who know how to pile it on the scoreboard, it should be raining goals in Lyon and make for an exciting spectacle for onlookers of the massive 2019 CNFA Semi Final. With a spot in the Grand Final on the line, is sure to be one for the ages.

Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe