LIVE STREAM: France – La Courneuve Flash v. Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône Cougars – Championship Preview?

France’s number one team, the La Courneuve Flash, face a familiar foe Saturday in the final game of the regular season when they take on the defending French champion Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône Cougars.

The Flash downed St. Ouen in the opening game of the season in a thriller, 21-14. The Flash are coming off a huge win in their last game over the now second place Thonon Black Panthers while  St Ouen lost to seventh place the Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons.

Although the outcome of the game will have no bearing on the final standings it will give both teams a pretty good idea of where they stand and could well be a preview of the French final.

The Flash lead the league with an 8-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of the Aix-en-Provence Argonautes and they have been playing solid, if not spectacular football all season long. They may be the most consistent team in France this year as they have yet to play a bad game.

The Cougars, on the other hand, have suffered through some dismal patches alternating bad performances with brilliant ones. They lost to the last place La Queue-en-Brie Gladiateurs (the Gladiateurs only win) by a close score and then spanked them 52-6 a month later.

Photo: @_Lucio_Persiani

Nevertheless, both teams are aware of the importance of the game beyond the standings.

Unfortunately, the Cougars have lost the services of quarterback DeAuntre Smiley, the top passer in France, after he was forced to return home to the United States for personal reasons. And with other injuries to key players, the Cougars are not the same team that started the season.

In addition, Flash QB Paul Durand has also upped his game of late and is now fourth in passing yardage with 1,327 yards and 19 TDs. His favorite target, Mickael Doukoure, now leads all receivers with 677 yards in nine games.

The first game between these two teams was decided by a 91 yard punt return touchdown by the Flash’s Sofiane Mahmoudi. 

Will special teams be the key to this one as well?

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.