It took until their second match in the CNFA competition, but the league’s newest team, the Blagnac Aviators have tasted their first victory in the national league downing their Toulouse neighbours, the Toulouse Hawks, in the inaugural Toulouse Derby.
Whilst it is fair to say that the former CNFA powerhouse, Toulouse, have done much to ensure that their fellow city team succeeded quickly, nothing can take away the fact that Blagnac have already proved themselves capable of big things quickly in their own right. In their first game this season against the improved Bordeaux Bombers, the Aviators were competitive going down by 40 points.
With this victory, the Aviators now know that they belong at this level of competition and can build for this season and into the future with confidence. Their victory was also brave given a high injury toll, suggesting depth on their playing list.
Final Score: Blagnac Aviators 93 d Toulouse Hawks 68
Michael Whiting from the www.afl.com.au website reports that Ireland’s most successful current AFL player, Pearce Hanley, has adjusted well to his new life with the Gold Coast Suns after being traded from the Brisbane Lions at the end of the 2016 season. The following report sheds light on Hanley’s decline at the Lions and his new lease of life down on the Gold Coast.
'Rejuvenated' Hanley confident of finding best form at Suns
EVEN before he's played a game, it's clear to see Pearce Hanley is a new man since moving to Gold Coast.
In his final season at the Brisbane Lions, Hanley was frustrated on-field and up-tight off it.
He'd been with the Lions for nine seasons after being recruited from Ireland – something he's eternally grateful for – but the club and player had fallen out of love.
The Paris Cocks have taken out the 2016 Coupe de France title, downing the ever-improving Bordeaux Bombers in the Grand Final. The event was hosted by the ASP Perpignan Tigers at the Stade Daniel Ambert in Pia, a suburb in metropolitan Perpignan.
Of the Paris teams, the Paris Cockatoos combined with the Cockerels were present. Both Toulouse based teams, the Hawks and Aviators, were combined to represent the city. Bordeaux was there as well as the ALFA Lions representing Lyon, and the fifth team was the hosting Perpignan Tigers.
The victory for Paris Cocks sees them take the title from last year’s winners, the Toulouse Hawks. In the end they won comfortably against the Bordeaux Bombers, winning 40-16.
The annual Nathan Blakey Movember Cup was played last weekend, hosted by the Manchester Mozzies at their Burnage Rugby Club. This year was the fifth running of the event, commencing in 2011.
The Manchester Mozzies website states that, “we would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about the Movember charity. Movember is “the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale.” (uk.movember.com). The charity focuses mainly on prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
“Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 35…Every hour 35 men lose their lives due to prostate cancer…Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40.”
Maybe it is a bit premature, but the ALFA Lions may have just set themselves on a path to the grand final this year by downing last year’s premiers, the Paris Cockatoos, in Paris this weekend. It makes three wins from three starts for the undefeated Lions and places them back on top of the CNFA ladder.
Whilst some could argue that consecutive home games for the Lions helped them along, the fact is the opposition was Toulouse Hawks and Paris Cockerels, both perennially successful, which rather cuts out the home ground argument – it took good football to win those matches. The Lions’ acid test was to win away from home, and to do so against the reigning champions says quite clearly that the Lions are a good team and are here to stay for the finals mix.
Geelong's delisted International rookie Padraig Lucey looks like staying in Australia into next year whatever happens. He could be taken by another AFL club or even relisted by the Cats. But even if that doesn't happen, Geelong's VFL coach Shane O'Bree expects he will stay.
In the Geelong Advertiser O'Bree said “As far as I know he’s loved his time in Australia, and especially Geelong, and he’s pretty keen to continue his AFL career...and if it’s not at AFL level it will be at the highest possible level, which is VFL.”
The following article comes from Alex Andryushin as he reports on the final leg of the AFL Russia Unity Day Cup, taken out this year by the St Petersburg Cats. Such has been the growth of the game in Russia that St Petersburg can now truly mount a case for a long term rivalry. Also, having two teams again in Moscow sees the game developing further in the national capital.
On a freezing day of November 4th, three Russian teams played the final tournament of 2016 – Unity Day Cup – on the Moscow State University pitch. It was a home ground for two capital city teams – “Slavyane” & “Lazy Koalas” - and the third one came from Saint-Petersburg – “St.Petersburg Cats”. It was a snowy day with -2°C on the thermometer, but the competitors were ready for such unpleasant weather.
The Perpignan Tigers leapt into second place on the CNFA ladder in France after a solid win against the Bordeaux Bombers on the weekend. The Bombers got away to a good start before being worn down by the Tigers. They held a 14 point lead at the first break before the Tigers came back and took a four point lead to the break. The game was up for grabs by three-quarter time with the Tigers up by 10 points, but they held firm in the final quarter to win by 34 points.
Final Score: Perpignan Tigers 112 d Bordeaux Bombers 78
In the other game over the weekend, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes leaped back to the top of the table with their third win of the season. This time they remained undefeated with a big win over the Toulouse Hawks. The Coyotes dominated early and continued to pull away, recording a 99 point win over the still winless Hawks.
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.