Argonautes, Ours and Grizzlys battle for playoff spot in penultimate week of French football

This weekend the Aix Argonautes, Toulouse Ours and Catalans Grizzlys will all be fighting to secure a playoff spot in the second last week of the French D1 Elite Conference B.

Marseille Blue Stars 8-0 @ Grenoble Centaures 2-6

The first game in Conference B this weekend looks most likely to be a walkover. The Marseille Blue Stars have easily been the best team in the conference this season and arguably the best in the league. 

The Centaures on the other hand, have struggled to produce for most of the season. As they did in their first matchup that ended 48-0, Grenoble will struggle from start to beginning to restrain the complete team that is the Marseille Blue Stars.

Catalan Grizzlys 5-3 @ Aix-en-Provence Argonautes 4-1-3

The second game of the weekend looks to be the most exciting as the Argonautes and the Grizzlys battle it out to take either the second or third playoff spot.

The first time these two teams met was in week 1 when the Argonautes outscored the Grizzlys 49-35 in an offensive showcase from both sides. Both teams have come a long way since then, however.

The Grizzlys have slowly inclined and now appear to be in great football shape with quarterback Jacob Purichia leading the charge and the league from the front having thrown for 1,786 yards and 21 touchdowns. Close behind him is Argonautes’ signal caller Michael Pina who has also put together an impressive season, throwing for 1,721 yards and 17 touchdowns. 

Despite Purichia’s higher number of interceptions (5) compared to two for Pina, he has been the more consistent of the pair. His ability to produce big plays may separate the two this weekend.

Montpellier Hurricanes 0-8 @ Toulouse Ours 4-1-3

The final game of the weekend looks to be another forgone conclusion as the Ours take on the Hurricanes.

The Ours will feel confident going into this one, not only because they will likely get the win, but because it will put them in a playoff spot with the loser of the Grizzlys-Argonautes game dropping to fourth.

The Hurricanes have been unable to remain competitive this year, often looking like a team who may be better suited in the second division. This lack of firepower will not dampen their resolve though. They have played until the final whistle in each of their eight losses this year and will certainly do the same again this week.

Graphics: Igor Lazarevic

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.