MEETING WITH THE FRENCH RUGBY LEAGUE TEAM!
Report written by Sara, Clara and Clément:
In September 2017, the French Rugby League Team came to the lycée Arago to introduce their unfairly unknown sport: the Rugby League ( rugby à XIII in French).
The French team was qualified to play the Rugby League World Cup in Australia.
We’ve met Aurélien Cologni, the coach; but also famous players like: Théo Fages , the French national team captain and St Helens player; Benjamin Garcia (Dragon’s player), Jason Baitieri (Dragon’s player),Pelissier (former Dragon and current Leigh’s player), Julian Bousquet (Dragon’s player), William Barthau (London’s player), Mikael Rouch ( Limoux’s player).
They explained to us how they became rugby players, for the most part abroad in English speaking countries; they also explained us the rules of their fascinating sport. Finally, the squad showed us the stages of the world cup and their main goal: to reach a Quarter Final.
During this interesting meeting we’ve learnt a lot about Rugby League. We’ve also understood that sport was a quest to go beyond ourself, a door opened to the fraternity and the passion but also a good way the discover the world!!
The french experience during the world cup
In october 2017 the French Rugby League squad arrived to Australia. They’ve landed in Sydney, the real epitome of Australia. This global city, located in New South Wales is the most populated and famous Australian city. Sydney is really popular for famous places like the Opera.
But our favourite team didn’t stop there. They’ve went to Camberra the capital, also called « the capital of Bush ». The next and the last city they’ve went to was Perth in the western part of Australia.
The French Team Matches during the World Cup / The summary of how it went
The first match was against Lebanon (a team mainly composed by australians -with lebanese roots- playing in NRL) and took place in Camberra. It was a little bit like the « Death Match » because the other teams of the French pool were Australia and England (the best and unbeatable rugby league teams!). Nevertheless, in spite of 3 french tries ( 2 by Ader, 1 by Cardace all conversed by Barthau), France wasn’t up to scratch and lost 29 to 18.
In the same stadium, few days later, France met Australia…an unequal contest…a knife against a gunfire! On the one hand the score 52 to 6 doesn’t show the impressive performance of Kheirallah who made an unbelievable break and sprinted accross whole rugby pitch. Maybe we won the only try of the match but his break will stay in everyone’s memories! On the other hand the australian team was better than the french, the french squad defended each action as perfectly they could.
France finished the World Cup in Perth. French players clashed with English in the stadium of Perth. England won 36/6, but Garcia scored the only french try.
Thus France didn’t reach the Quarter of final, but the squad did a good performance. The Rugby League’s history was written thanks to brave players who improve their skills. This championship must be considerated as the best experience! The Australian medias described the French team’s performance as brave ad appreciated their subtlely way of playing. It’s a good point!
We also hope that French players knows they have many fanatic supporters!
Penaranda Sara, Clara Casper, Escape Clément.