Contributed by: Aaron Richard
France saw off a comeback from the Peace Team to scrap a 6-point win today, 5.5 (35) to 4.5 (29), and confirmed their spot in the Division Two grand final of the 2011 AFL International Cup.
The game started out as an arm wrestle, with both sides struggling to hit targets under pressure. France were doing all the attacking, but couldn’t convert until Gregoire Patacq kicked the first goal of the game.
The Peace Team had chances, but couldn’t get on the board, decision making errors such as having a running shot on goal and putting it out on the full, instead of kicking to the man loose in the goalsquare.
At quarter time, it was France 1.1 to Peace Team 0.0, and the second term began with the French pulling further ahead through a mark and goal to Bouron.
Nimrod Vromen for the Peace Team got their first on the board, followed up by Bouron’s second for France, this time from a free kick. The French had all the run, although the Peace Team’s pressure at the man was making it hard for them to finish. Kamal Abu Althom for the Peace Team was marking strongly, creating opportunities through the centre.
Patacq kicked his second major a few minutes later from the opposite pocket, to put the French 3 goals up. The Peace Team had a chance to pull the margin back when Almanasra marked the ball in the goal square, but he only managed a point from dead in front, the half time score 4.1 to 1.2 in favour of the French.
At half time, Dipper exhorted his Peace Team charges to get back to basics, noting that they’d given away too many easy frees and missed goals they should have nailed.
The third quarter began with a free to the Peace Team, and for the first half of the term, it looked like they were set to rally, goaling through Benvenisty and a brilliant running goal on a tight angle to Abu Althom. France regained their momentum, but couldn’t kick a goal, going to the three quarter time break France 4.3 to Peace Team 3.2.
In the last term, fatigue was showing on both teams in warm conditions. The Peace Team looked like they might come back, getting within a kick late in the match, but when the siren went, it was France by 7 points, with a free kick after the siren to the Peace Team only scoring a point. Final score France 5.5 (35) to Peace Team 4.5 (29).
A valiant effort by the Peace Team but no win today. France should go through to the Division Two grand final on Friday where their likely opponent will be the Fijians.
World Footy News