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Strasbourg has first win over debutants Senlis Razorbacks

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The first footy match on record between two 100% French teams was played in Strasbourg on 3 December 2005, with the hometown Kangaroos defeating the Razorbacks 91-17. Senlis are the latest new club in France, with a team also hoping to form in Perpignan in the country's south.

This report courtesy of the Strasbourg club (in translation: French original available at www.footballaustralien.com)

FIRST VICTORY FOR THE KANGAROOS

A new page turned in the story of Australian Football in France on Saturday 3rd December in Strasbourg. On the rugby pitch of the Hautepierre sports grounds, two teams composed entirely of French players, the Strasbourg Kangaroos and the Senlis Razorbacks met before a crowd of onlookers who had braved the cold.

On this occasion, Philip Porublev, member of Aussie Rules International and "representative of Australian knowledge" came from Stockholm to give a combined training session for the two sides and umpire the match.

The match was a one-sided affair, the Kangaroos crushing 91-17 victory over the Senlis squad, missing a number of players and borrow three from Strasbourg. The Alsatian team (Ed: Strasbourg is in Alsace) hadn't started the weekend in full confidence, missing 7 seven players including 5 internationals. Right from the opening whistle, the Strasbougeois took the ascendancy over the Senlisiens who were disorganised and lacking in practise. The Kangaroos produced a lively and and enthusiastic style of footy, showing good use of the lessons learnt in training. These factors allowed the Kangaroos to choke the Razorbacks, taking a 48-1 lead into the first-quarter break.

The score climbed more slowly in the following quarters, Strasbourg able to rotate players and give game time to all players present. In the final quarter, Porublev gave up umpiring and helped the Senlis side restore some respectability to the score card.

Regardless of the score, footy in France was the winner on this weekend, promising many more in the coming year.

Strasbourg president Marc Jund last Friday 16th December met with AFLG president Malte Schudlich to discuss a possible entry of the club into the German 2006 season.

The club believes joining the AFLG is the best option for playing regular matches, with Düsseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt within a reasonable travelling distance and the possibility on offer of playing the majority of their matches at home against the more established German sides. As Jund says, "We'd like to play in AFLG if we find money for the matches away. I met Malte last friday to talk about this project. He will give me the answer soon... it should be good. In one year, we've built a team with 25 potential players. We had our two first games against the Cockerels and Senlis and 11 of our players took part to the EU Cup in London. We'd like to find a sister club in Australia to help us for equipment and material".

The Perpignan club is apparently an initiative of a Rugby League club, with a possible exhibition match between a visiting Swedish side and a French side to be held. Perpignan is in the French section of Catalonia and a possible invitation for the LFAC to play a French Catalan vs Spanish Catalan match has been discussed by members of the French Aussie Rules community.

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