By Alban Schieber
The 2014 French Championship ended on June 14th with a wonderful Grand Final held in Toulouse at the Australian Summer Party organised by the Toulouse Hawks.
Before even knowing if they would play in the Grand Final, it was already determined that the Hawks would be the hosts. After a few weeks of brainstorming, they decided to play another card to attract people to the event.
The Australian Summer Party, DJ, BBQ, drinks, games, goodies and of course footy were on the program. “The idea was to have more than traditional fans for the game! And also more ladies!” said Emilien Martinez (Toulouse Hawks President).
After turning on the music and the beer tap, the afternoon started with a women’s footy game where the ladies of France came to play together in two sides called the Toulouse Hawks and the Toulouse Cockerelles (most of the girls coming from Toulouse and Paris). A great achievement to hold the first official 7-a-side French women’s game.
Most of the early crowd was really surprised to see the level of this game as the girls were putting so much intensity and passion in the game. “Handpasses, kicks, shepherds, goals, high marks, their skills set improved a lot since the Axios Euro Cup held in Bordeaux” said Pascal Ivorra the French Women’s Coach.
This was a great first step for women’s footy development. This game also helped him to see all the ladies before the 2014 Axios Euro Cup which will take place in London in October.
During the ladies curtain raiser game, the temperature kept on rising in the grandstand when the two men’s teams entered the change rooms to begin their pre game preparations.
The Hawks were the first ones to come out in front of a 500-600 people crowd followed by the Paris Cockerels for a remake of last year’s title.
Pat Douglas from Andorra came to umpire the game and was delighted to be part of the event.
The Cockerels were the first ones to put their hands on the ball scoring three behinds in a row within the two first minutes. Unfortunately, they were unable to score goals to make a small break. After a good play of handpasses, the Toulouse Hawks scored the first goal of the game after 5 minutes! Quickly followed by a second and third one. At quarter time the Hawks held the lead at 38 to 12.
In the second quarter the Paris Cockerels seemed to have found their sight for the footy but not the precision. The Hawks on the other hand remained accurate and kept increasing their margin. At half time Toulouse lead 62-23.
The third quarter demonstrated the ability of Toulouse to play as a team while Paris got caught out kicking long bombs and hoping for individuals performance. 101-36.
In the last quarter Toulouse managed to capitalise on the situation and control the game. However the Cockerels began a late surge scoring consecutive goals but it was too late. The Hawks came away as champions on the day with the final score of 104-62.
Paris Cockerels vs Toulouse Hawks