2011 - 2012, a great year for Bordeaux
Friday, January 25 2013 @ 08:10 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Olivier Tresca
As a new season of footy in France is underway it is time to look back at a very exciting 2011 - 2012 season. For the first time in its young history, the France championship was divided in two separate divisions; The Super League (Bordeaux, Paris, Toulouse and Strasbourg) ultimately competing for the national title and the Development League (Aix-Marseille, Perpignan and Montpellier) offering valuable game time to young or struggling teams.
This separation was decided at the end of the 2010-2011 season to ease the pressure of travel on less established teams. But even this new format proved to be a challenge for the teams in the Development League as 4 out of 6 games had to be cancelled due to a lack of players. At the end of the season, which ran from September 2011 to March 2012, the Montpellier Fire-Sharks took the title easily defeating Aix-Marseille (60-36).
On the other hand, the Super league proved to be a success, offering what is shaping up to be a great rivalry between the Bordeaux Bombers and the Paris Cockerels. Both teams started the competition as favourites, Bordeaux being the reigning champion and Paris holding on the 2011 French Cup.
Even though the Toulouse Hawks and Strasbourg Kangourous were ready to put up a fight, they were quickly distanced on the leader board by the Cockerels and Bombers who sat on the top spots for most of the season. But a narrow win at home for the Cockerels over the Bombers (69-66) in the 5th round of the competition gave them the lead. On the same day Toulouse secured its place on the podium by defeating the Kangourous in Strasbourg in a one way game. The title was to be decided on the 6th and final round of the competition and with Strasbourg having to pull out of their game against Bordeaux, Paris had to beat Toulouse to bring the title back home.
Unfortunately for Paris, the Hawks played their best footy of the year and pulled out the upset of the season defeating the Cockerels 115 to 97, therefore securing the title for the Bombers.
Bordeaux's string of success didn't stop at the championship title. They also won the 2012 edition of the Coupe Grand Sud held in Bordeaux in early 2012 by defeating the Hawks in the final. The Bombers' superior kicking skills and a last minute goal secured their first title in this competition for the hosts.
The 2012 edition of the French Cup proved to be another success for the Bombers. The travel to Toulouse proved too difficult for most of the teams, Bordeaux being the only one able to bring its full team to the tournament. Paris had to combined its forces with newcomers from Cergy, the Dockers with the Fire-Sharks while Strasbourg combined with Perpignan to complete the line up. Once again Bordeaux dominated on the field the whole day and faced the hosts in the final. After a strong start by the Hawks, 29 – 12 at half time, the Bombers came back from behind to take the cup home on the final score of 37 – 44.
The 2011-2012 season has been a huge success for the Bordeaux Bombers who won every possible title therefore confirming their status as one of France's footy powerhouse. It will be interesting to see how they manage the added pressure that comes with being the unquestionable favourite in the current season.