Cockerels Crowing Across France
Monday, June 29 2015 @ 11:01 am ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The powerhouse Paris Cockerels completed their dream, and their dream season, in emphatic style to take out the 2014/15 CNFA premiership against the Montpellier Firesharks. For the Paris players the result was one of elation and relief as they became the most successful French club in terms of recent premierships. For the Firesharks the feeling would be one of initial despondency, which will hopefully be replaced sooner rather than later by a realisation of just how much they achieved this season.
The final score told a tale of domination. The Paris Cockerels won 27 16 178 to the Montpellier Firesharks 9 8 62. It finished as a lop-sided affair on the scoreboard, but the Firesharks never gave up and threw everything they had at their Paris rivals. But the Cockerels were emphatic on the day, as they had been all season.
A crowd of more than 200 spectators lined the boundaries at la plaine des sports de Vincennes to watch a clinical and determined Paris team take on a daring and optimistic Montpellier squad.
To give an idea of the scale of the Paris Cockerels juggernaut this season, their average winning margin was by an incredible 114 points (including the 100 points given for a forfeit). Only twice throughout the season was their winning margin less that 100 points (a 65 point win against the Coyotes and by just 8 points earlier in the season against the Firesharks). Their finals wins were both massive, by both 129 points (against Coyotes in semi-final) and 116 points (against Firesharks in grand-final).
It is difficult to imagine a more impressive way for a club to go through a season, and to highlight their position now as the most successful French club (with their first flag for four seasons, but now third overall since the existing competition formats started in 2009). Both the Bordeaux Bombers and Toulouse Hawks had back to back titles along the way, but neither produced such a powerhouse season as witnessed this year.
For the Firesharks the future is largely in their hands. Whilst the grand-final result showed the gulf between themselves and the mantle of “best”, they did produce an excellent season on which to build a greater future. Their topsy-turvy season began with three losses (Cockerels 8 points, Coyotes 15 points and Hawks 28 points), but from there was an undefeated run to the grand-final. It is that momentum, which included an impressive win in the semi-final against the Toulouse Hawks, which can be built on for a chance to go further next season.
But for now it is the Paris Cockerels that can revel in the spirit of victory. They can now rest, assured of their place in history and content in the knowledge that their undefeated season was just reward for the work and planning that has gone into the club’s success, both on and off the field. The club recognised this, stating that the success came from “the passionate team of volunteers that made yesterday happen. It's your spirit, enthusiasm and passion that makes this club what it is.”
Congratulations to the Paris Cockerels and an enormous “well done” to the Montpellier Firesharks for a magnificent season. Now we can await the start of the 2015/16 season later this year. It will also be interesting to see whether or not any of the developing clubs from Pau (Bears), Nancy (Bobcats), Brittany (Griffens) and others will be in a position to join the ranks and expand the French game even further.