French D1 / J5 Championship – No winner in the clash between the Black Panthers and the Flash
This 5th day marked the end of the first leg of the Elite championship, and therefore the mid-season. In Conference A, the clash between the Black Panthers and the Flash did not find a winner, and the last two finalists therefore remain neck and neck. In conference B, the Blue Stars continue their faultless and are the only ones with 100% victories.
Results of the 5th daytime
Black Panthers of Thonon (4-1-0) 14 – Flash of La Courneuve (4-1-0) 14
The clash expected in Conference A, between the last two finalists, therefore did not find a winner.
The tone was quickly set since neither of the two teams managed to find the fault in the 1er quarter, with vigilant defenses and in particular 1 interception from the Flash. Two new ball losses slowed Thonon then, but La Courneuve struggled to take advantage of it. The Flash still opened the scoring, on a race from François Pion, but Nicolas Khandar answered him a few minutes later to put the two teams tied at the break (7-7).
The second half was very similar to the first, with a defense from La Courneuve which forced ball losses (5 in total over the match), but an attack which never managed to inflate the score. A new race from François Pion gave the visitors the advantage, and once again Nicolas Khandar was able to respond (14-14). Both teams had the opportunity to win in the last 2 minutes, but both kickers missed the mark.
The two favorites of Conference A therefore neutralize each other, but remain undefeated at mid-season. It will probably be necessary to wait for the return match to decide the 1time place. It will be the weekend of May 20, during the 10th and last day of the regular season.
Molossers of Asnières (3-2) 10 – Pioneers of Touraine (2-3) 7
Narrowly beaten by the Flash the previous day, the Pioneers crossed paths with another Ile-de-France club for this 5th daytime. Less inspired offensively than the week before, the Tourangeaux on the other hand showed a good defensive solidity. Same thing for the Molossians, not precise enough when they had the ball in hand, but very serious when they didn’t. Thus, the score remained nil and blank at the break.
In the second half, a good drive from the Pioneers was rewarded with the first touchdown of the game, with a reception from Ulysse Le Bihan on a pass from Tanner DeJong. But the Asnières sur Seine club also came back more enterprising, and the equalizer was quick, on a run from RB Joel Fourn. More in legs at the end, the Molossians ended up winning thanks to a field-goal.
Before this match, the two teams were in balance, thus positioning themselves for the 3th place of conference A, qualifying for the playoffs. With this 3th success in 5 days, the Molossians switch to the positive after the first legs.
Amiens Spartans (0-5) 19 – Saint Ouen Cougars (1-4) 25
Without a win since the start of the season, the two clubs faced each other in a crucial match for the maintenance. And it was the Cougars who managed to sign their first success, leaving the Spartans alone in last place in Conference A.
The meeting was quite lively and pleasant, with two teams going blow for blow in the first half. The Cougars finally managed to make a small gap in the 3th quarter, and they managed to keep it until the end to finally win a match.
Marseille Blue Stars (4-0) 27 – Toulouse Bears (2-1-2) 0
Nothing seems to be able to stop the Blue Stars in Conference B. On Sunday, at home, the Marseille club suffered a severe blow with the serious injury of their quarterback Chase Andries, who had been excellent since the start of the season. Peter Seghir then took over, and the Marseille attack resumed its domination as if nothing had happened. Add a still ultra-strong defense, and you have a clear and clean victory, and an undisputed leader status.
The Blue Stars, who are 1 game behind, will try to continue their faultless derby return against the Argonauts. It will be April 2.
Dolphins of Nice (3-1) 24 – Argonauts of Aix en Provence (1-4) 7
Surprised from the start by a touchdown from the Argos and trailing 0-7, the Dolphins then gradually picked up the thread of the game. Drafts offensively at first, they first reacted thanks to the defense, then ended up wearing down their opponents by winning the fight on both lines in particular. Sharper in the second half, the Niçois gradually widened the gap.
This result confirms the momentum at mid-season. The promoted confirms the good start with a third success in 4 games, while the Argonauts have won only one meeting in 5 days and remain vulnerable at the bottom of the Conference B ranking.
Grenoble Centaurs (0-5) 26 – Catalan Grizzlys (3-1-1) 28
Without a win and in great difficulty since the start of the season, the Centaurs delivered by far their best game this weekend against the Grizzlys. Alas, that was not enough since the Catalans managed to win by 2 small points.
The visitors led throughout the game, but the Grenoble club managed to stay in contact until the end. The attack, at half mast so far, has shown signs of life. The first half was particularly lively, with a lot of points. The Grizzlys thus returned to the locker room with only 1 small point in advance (20-21).
In the second half, a touchdown by the duo Jagger LaRoe – Robin Le Guennic, on the 3th of the day, allowed the Grizzlys to regain a bit of a lead (20-28). And once again, the Centaurs managed to respond, but were too tight to equalise.
Mid-season standings update
In Conference A, the two favorites are in the lead but neither took the advantage at mid-season as Black Panthers and Flash parted ways in a draw in the 5th daytime. The last two finalists of the Elite championship should finish in the first 2 places at the end of the regular season, leaving only one ticket for the playoffs. For the moment, it is the Molossians who would qualify, since the club of 92 turned positive by beating the Pioneers last weekend. At the end of the standings, the Cougars breathe a little after their first success, and the Spartans bring up the rear and will have to fight to avoid relegation.
In conference B, the two teams with a late game are in front. The Blue Stars are the only ones with 100% wins, while the Dolphins have won 3 of their first 4 meetings. But nothing is decided for the playoffs, because the Grizzlys and the Bears are not far away. On the other hand, it will be much more complicated for the Argonauts and the Centaurs, who will rather look down and relegation. The Grenoble club is currently on the wrong track with 0 wins on the clock.
The mid-season playoff table
The Black Panthers (better points difference than the Flash) and the Blue Stars would qualify directly for the semi-finals.
In wild-card, the posters would be as follows:
- Flash vs. Grizzlies
- Dolphins vs Molossians