France: French D1 Elite Championship heads into home stretch on Easter Weekend

The French D1 Elite Championship league heads into the home stretch of the 2023 season this Easter Weekend with a full slate of games as all 12 teams are in action.

The game of the week could well be the clash between the Nice Dauphins (3-2) and Marseilles Blue Stars (5-0) with Nice aiming to move closer to clinching a wild card playoff spot. Elsewhere, the undefeated Thonon Black Panthers (5-0-1) are on the road against the 3-3 Tours Pionniers in a game of importance for both teams, while the Grizzlys Catalans travel to Toulouse to face the Ours in a contest of crucial importance for both squads. The Amiens Spartiates (0-6) will be trying to get their first win of the season when they face the Asnieres Molosses (3-3) in Paris while the La Courneuve Flash (5-0-1) will be looking to keep their unbeaten streak alive when they take on the hapless Saint-Ouen Cougars (1-5).

Saturday, April 8

Thonon Black Panthers (5-0-1) @ Tours Pionniers (3-3)

The Thonon Black Panthers will be looking remain undefeated when they face the Tours Pionniers for the second time this season. Thonon won the first game between these two teams 49-7 and with by far the best offense and defense in the country, they should notch win #6.

Grizzlys Catalans (4-1-1) @ Toulouse Ours (3-2-1)

These two teams played to a 21-21 tie six weeks ago but Toulouse has been in a slump since then losing two of their last three. Meanwhile, the Grizzlys have not lost a game since dropping their opener. Still, playing on the road against the team that tied them, they could be in for a tough battle.

Amiens Spartiates (0-6) @ Asnieres Molosses (3-3)

The Paris-based Asnieres Molosses will be looking to improve to 4-3 against the winless Spartiates and move closer to a coveted wild card playoff spot. The last time the two teams met earlier in the season, Asnieres came away with a 44-33 road win.

Easter Sunday, April 9

La Courneuve Flash (5-0-1) @ Saint-Ouen Cougars (1-5)

The Cougars will need a miracle to earn their second win of the season when they host the Flash on Easter Sunday. La Courneuve easily disposed of Saint-Ouen 47-6 back in mid February and have looked formidable ever since with the only blip being a tie with arch rivals the Thonon Black Panthers.

Nice Dauphins (3-2) @ Marseilles Blue Stars (5-0)

This is the most interesting matchup of the Easter weekend in France. This is the first meeting between these two this season and a game that Nice badly needs to win to stay in the running for the wild card playoff spot. This is a battle between two of the best defenses in France this season.

Grenoble Centaures (0-6) @Aix Argonautes (1-5)

The two cellar dwelling teams in France’s southern division clash Easter Sunday in a game that could well determine which of the two stays in the top league in 2024. The Argonautes won the first encounter between the two earlier in the season 15-0 and now they are playing at home.

Graphics: Igor Lazarevic

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