FRANCE - 2017 U18 EUROPEAN CHAMPION
France wins the Rugby Europe U18 Championship for the 3rd consecutive year
The Rugby Europe U18 "Open" Championship 2017 took place on pitches across the clubs of « Finistère ». Running in an “Open” format, the tournament welcomes the USA, Canada and Japan for the first time ever. The competition brings together 20 teams, distributed in 3 divisions (Championship, Trophy and Conference 1).
Top seed of the Championship since 2015, France played the first game against Spain in Creac’h Gwen stadium in Quimper. After 20 minutes of squaring-up (0-9), the Bleuets turned things around and ran away victors in this quarter final – 36 - 9.
The second match was against Portugal, and ended on a 47-0 success.
Just as the last 2 years, France faced Georgia for another European Final (in 2015 : 57-0, in 2016 : 42-0). Taking place in Penvillers Stadium in Quimper, with a dedicated home crowd (4,000 people in attendance), under a radiant sun, the ”Bleus” took some time to warm up to the match, being penalised early on for repeated offences. Finally awarded a penalty in front of posts, Captain Louis Carbonnel scored the first points of the game 3-0). At the minute 20, , after a high speed line-break, french winger Lucas Poirson weaved through the Georgian defense and dived under the posts (10-0). The Lelos went scored immediately after thanks to the kicker T.Abzahandaze(10-3). But the « Bleus » were not doubting and ended with 2 segued tries in 2 minutes by winger Vincent Pinto (32) and 34°) reaching 22-3 at half-time.
Georgians got points from the start of the second half after a French clumsiness at kick-off (22_6). But again, Philippe Agostini’s boys laid siege to the Georgians and scored another try (43°) by Antoine Zeghdar, converted by captain Carbonnel. Coming under attack, French stood up on their line and responded with a 5th try scored by Mathieu Tixier (36-6). The Lelos saved face scoring twice on 2 well-made line-out in the end zone, sealing a very open win 36-18.
France thus won its 3rd consecutive European title, the second won in front of French fans after 2015.
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