Cocks tame Hawks in season opener

Andrew Senkans 26/09/2011

The Paris Cockerels have opened their 2011/2012 French Premiership Season with a hard fought win against the Toulouse Hawks in Paris on Saturday. In what was a bruising encounter for both teams, the Cockerels eventually prevailed against the under-manned Hawks 16 – 15 – 111 to 10 – 13 – 73.

In warm Autumn conditions it was Toulouse who made the early running capitalising on their opportunities while Paris despite doing plenty of attacking through Matt Sorenson and Cameron Woods failed to convert their dominance up forward into scoreboard pressure. The midfield battle was proving to be decisive with both teams scoring quickly from centre clearances and Toulouse ruckman Julien Maylié both dominating the hitouts proving a handful around the ground. Toulouse eventually took a 4 point lead into the quarter time break after a physical term with both sides getting numbers around the ball and fierce tackling turning the contest into an arm wrestle.

Toulouse continued to press the home side during the second quarter getting on top in hard ball gets and seemingly hitting forward targets with ease. The pressure of the Hawks around the contest forced several turnovers as Paris seemed to struggle to clear the ball from defence. The Hawks midfield brigade began to get on top as their Captain Leo Müller started to impose himself across half forward. Both sides continued to rotate players regularly as the intensity of the match started to take it’s toll with Toulouse fullback Fred Becquier coming off second best in a heavy clash with Sorenson. Toulouse managed three goals in a frantic quarter of footy to Paris’ solitary goal to take a 16 point lead into the main break.

The third quarter proved to be the breaking point for the Toulouse players as a rejuvenated Paris adjusted it’s structures and responded to the challenge by kicking the first 3 goals of the third quarter in a matter of minutes to erase the half time deficit. Cockerels midfielder Cam Woods played most of the term as a loose man while new recruit Nick May was switched to fullback. Toulouse struggled to cope in defence as Parisian midfielders François Daniel and Phil Leuzenhuber provided stronger bodies around stoppages and Woods seemingly found the ball at will giving their forwards plenty of supply. Matt Sorenson continued to provide Paris with a strong target up forward beating his opponent both in the air and on the ground while Max Launais was proving hard to contain for the Hawks as well. As the quarter wore on it became clear that Toulouse did not have enough in reserve to compete with the Cockerels who began to monster them whenever they went near the ball continually pressuring the Hawks into turnovers. Cockerels ruckmen Ju Bonnefoi began to negate the influence of the dangerous Maylié while the defence stood firm keeping the Hawks to just two goals for the term while the Cockerels piled on 6 to take a 10 point lead into the final term.

The Cockerels continued their dominance in the final quarter with the home team taking control all over the ground. The Hawks struggled to find an avenue to goal as Jacques Rossard, Jerome Fournier and Nick May were all out-muscling their opponents while Lezenhuber and Woods continued to find space to run into. Up forward the Parisians started the party tricks as Sorenson continued his domination and seemed to be kicking goals from everywhere while Woods hacked a ball out of mid-air in the goal square for his third of the afternoon. The last 10 minutes of the quarter was a formality for both teams as Becquier had to be helped from the ground following a bone jarring hip and shoulder from May meaning Toulouse were struggling to keep fit men on the field. Paris kicked 5 majors for the quarter while the disciplined Cockerels defence held Toulouse goalless to record a 38 point win with the final margin not really being indicative of the contest that had taken place.

Final Score:

Paris         Toulouse:
4   5   29        5 3  33
5   7   37        8 5  53
11 12 78       10 8  68
16 15 111     10 13 73

Goals (Paris): Sorenson 7, Woods 3, Senkans 2, Daniel, Launais, Leuzenhuber, May

Best (Paris): Woods, Sorenson, Daniel, Bonnefoi, Rossard

Inuries (Paris): None

Umpires : Dave O’Hanlon, Cyril Talon

Crowd: 30-ish


Date Temps Ligue Saison
septembre 24, 2011 15:00 Championnat de France - Super League 2011/2012


Paris Cockerels2937781111615111
Toulouse Hawks33536873101373


Stade Pershing - Terrain d'honneur
Route Bosquet Mortemart, 75012 Paris, France