It’s Getting Crowded At The Top – CNFA
Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 10:31 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Victories this weekend to both the ALFA Lions and the Paris Cockatoos has created a very interesting battle for places in the top four. The situation will become even tighter regardless of the result next weekend.
The Lions have leapt to the top of the CNFA Ladder on eight points just ahead of the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes also on eight. Behind them, the Bordeaux Bombers sit in third place on six points with the Paris Cockatoos and Paris Cockerels as well as the Perpignan Tigers fighting for fourth place on five.
Round Two will wrap up next weekend with either the Toulouse Hawks winning to jump into fourth place or the Blagnac Aviators surprising the Hawks and joining the logjam for fourth place.
It would be just the result the CNFA wanted with all teams competitive and a realistic finals chance.
The ALFA Lions have surprised everyone this season. A draw that saw them hosting past powerhouses, the Cockerels and Hawks, has seen the Lyon club score two enormous victories – not just on the scoreboard but in terms of the calibre of opposition. Their 85 to 11 win over the Paris Cockerels was achieved in pouring rain, further highlighting how they were able to adjust to a situation and take advantage of it.
In recent seasons the Firesharks Montpellier, Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Paris Cockatoos have improved on inauspicious beginnings or simply enjoyed immediate success to reach grand finals. The Perpignan Tigers have found a pleasing consistency and now the Lions are in a position to enjoy finals success with two important wins and winnable games across their remaining draw.
The Paris Cockatoos and Bordeaux Bombers played out a thriller, winning in the end by just 11 points. But the game see-sawed all day. The Cockatoos led by one point (27-26) at quarter time before the Bombers came back to take a seven point lead to the main break (42-49). The Cockatoos edged ahead by the final change, leading by five points (62-57) before holding on in a tight finish to win 13 12 90 to 11 13 79.
The loss continues a solid if unlucky start for the Bordeaux Bombers. Their first round victory has been followed by fighting losses to both Paris teams.
Whilst the Hawks and Aviators will complete this round, teams are now looking towards a fascinating Round Four later this month when the Coyotes will meet the Hawks, a desperate Tigers will seek redemption against the Bombers and in what looms as the almost unlikely match of the round, the Cockatoos will host the rampant Lions.
There is much to like about French footy at the moment.