A VALIANT BRFC FALL JUST SHORT
by Simon Harding
Frustrating, annoying… but so positive! The British Rugby Club of Paris fell just short against one of the powerhouses of the League; losing 10-18 against the Pariseko Euskal Etxea Rugby, more commonly known as PEER.
With almost a full team the British took the game to their opponents and very nearly beat them on their own turf. Notable players missing included Dave Snodin out with injury and the Fijian bomber, supposedly house shackled. Nonetheless Constantin de Langautier returned to the starting line up after his toga extravaganzas, with Big Kris and Joe Bough also in the pack. After sitting out the Moustache game, Kieran returned to fly half, Jeremy filling in for the consistently late Agustin.
With Mariano Podgaetzky marshaling the expats from the sideline, a superb start to the game saw the British come to within inches of scoring in the first ten minutes. Successive runs by Simon and Constantin paving the way for Joe Bough to crash on the line, but a knock on stopping the Brits from taking a deserved lead.
More excellent work saw Charlie break the line in midfield with Constantin coming close again but nothing doing; the PEER defense resisted. A tougher period followed for the BRFC, pegged into our own 22, the French went for the jugular trying to score the first try of the match but a heroic defense kept them out. At a cost; Boughy unlucky to be shown a yellow card for a repetition of fouls.
Down to 14, the British line held. The momentum shifting again with a brilliant line break by Jeremy and Albin to take the expats back into the opponents 22 and Constantin with a savage step crossing over to score the first try of the match. Conversion missed and a penalty conceded right at the end of the first half saw the British lead 5-3 at the break.
With encouraging words from Mariano, the British started the second half in good shape once again. The centers, in particular, were stronger than the wall of China as PEER failed time and time again to break the line. However, penalties allowed the home side to get a foothold back into the British half. After successfully pushing back consecutive malls and disrupting play, PEER’s forwards deservedly crossed over to take the lead, a good conversion giving them a 10-5 lead.
Heads didn’t drop. With a superb attitude, the British came roaring back! After 16 phases, which included a “world class” offload by our scrum half, Big Kris powered over from close range to score the expats second try and tied the game 10 all. It was a testament to the coaches and team’s hard work.
With 15 minutes left, the British were tiring a little bit and another succession of penalties gave PEER a lineout five meters out which unfortunately led to a driving mall that crossed over to give them a five point lead. The British tried to recover but were unable to gather the necessary energy to find a third try. With time running out, play became erratic and old mistakes crept into the expats game. The real heartbreaker came when PEER kicked over a generous penalty to snatch the defensive bonus from under the British’s nose. A final penalty for the British also going agonisingly wide.
Perhaps with one of the best performances ever by the British in the top league, the result is certainly disappointing on an off day from the boot. Particularly, the lineout which certainly cost the British victory.
Against a team that traditionally put 40 to 50 points on the British, the loss is hard to take, but, certainly a moral victory. The British will need your support to set the record straight on December 7th against Drink and Steak; a win there could take us back top of the League.