With a full team of 25 players, the AFRC won its second game in a row, and is now co-leading the pool with 3 victories so far.
The score may be flattering, but the game against the Jacks was not easy. Our opponents put out a competitive team with strong forwards and a good fighting spirit. To win the game, the AFRC players had to give their best from the very beginning of the game, and their efforts were rewarded by two tries scored by Baptiste, and then by the man of the match (once again), Shin.
The All France carried the score 12-0 for most of the first half, and could have scored more tries, but some good opportunities were wasted with a few knock-ons. The Jacks did not give up, dominated the end of the first half, and eventually scored a try, despite a beautiful save by Rudi. 12-7.
The “Bleus” wanted to finish on a positive note, and Maxime Gaudemer, who came back after a long break, reminded us what a great player he is. There is nothing the Jacks’ defense could do against Maxime’s furious rush that allowed him to score a third try just before half-time, right under the eyes of his two children. 19-7.
The start of the second half proved once again that our old “papa players” are a great asset to the team. Kazu scored a try after a 30 meters run along the touch line, followed by another by Laurent Serena. 31-7 after 16 minutes in the second half.
The rest of the game was a succession of tries by Ryo, Baptiste, Shin, and finally Yuta who scored the 9th and final try of the day. The Jacks grounded the ball a second time in the All France’s goal, but the game was already folded. Final score, 57-12.
This large victory is once again due to a strong scrum that pushed back the Jacks several times, and won the ball 5 times in the rucks. This gave many munitions to the backs, who had the opportunity to show off their skills, just like Jeoffrey Perrin who caught the ball in the air with one hand, and also passed the ball between his legs. Maybe that’s the “French Flair” everybody talks about?
The other reason is the great turnout for this game. With 25 players, it was easy for everyone to give their best, knowing that someone could take their place if needed. It helps to have a full team, doesn’t it?
After the game, the team celebrated the president’s 105th birthday (we are not sure it is his real age, we just lost tracks) with Champagne, Foie Gras, Pate and a cake. Then, 15 people, including Ramu Asahi who played his first game with the team (welcome!), and Teddy who came to cheer for the team despite his injury, gathered in an izakaya by the station and celebrated this great victory with many French rugby songs.
Some even kept the party going in Shinjuku until late at night.
Let’s do it again next week, against the Moccos, and win the 4th game of the season, that could allow us to be qualified for the play-offs. All France is currently second, with 15 points, and the best attack (223 points scored in 5 games).
— Fabien H