A SHIFT IN THE PARADIGM
Match Report by Karl ROBSON
The Paris Cockatoos and Paris Cockerels faced off in cold and slippery conditions at the home ground of Antony 92 rugby club, Parc Heller, in Antony in the south of Paris in the latest installment of the Paris Derby. Having won the last 5 derbies, the Cockerels were looking to continue their winning ways but the Cockatoos were hopeful of breaking that streak.
Was great to see four debutants take the field, Sam RONEY for the Cockerels and Callum D’SOUZA, Paul BICHON and Victor AUBIN – two exciting future talents for the French National side – taking the field for the first time for the Cockatoos. Another notable inclusion was that of Daniel BLECHYNDEN for his second match of the season for the Cockerels, after a couple of years absence back in Australia.
The match was close from the outset, with the Cockatoos taking a small advantage into quarter time. The Cockerels were feeling the loss of their missing captain and forward linchpin, Pierre BOSCART, forcing them to play star midfielder/ruck Ben SIMPSON in the forward line alongside new recruit Sam RONEY. Cockatoos coach Steven TROLLOPE stationed himself at full back to match up on the dangerous SIMPSON with Bradley GEDDES, off the back of his starring second half in round 1, shifted to full foward due to the absence of Ned MORRISON.
This strategy worked out well for the Cockatoos and GEDDES finished off a number of good passages of play. As the match progressed, D’SOUZA and Julien DAGOIS began to get on top in the midfield with BICHON and PONGE providing excellent service from the ruck facing strong opposition in Darcy FRENCH and Maxime MARGUERITTE. Some uncharacteristic misses by SIMPSON allowed the Cockatoos to extend their lead in the third quarter despite the running of the game being quite even before a solid last quarter, including a debut goal to AUBIN alongside some Jan ‘The Wiz’ WISNIEWSKI magic in the forward line helping the Cockatoos run away comfortable winners breaking a Cockerels winning streak stretching back to the 2016/2017 season.
For the Cockerels, Michael COWAN battled hard all day in the midfield alongside BLECHYNDEN, though the Cockerels missed some of their normal push going forward with SIMPSON deployed in front of the ball.
Thanks to all the supporters and umpires who helped make the day special!