LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: France’s Semi-Finals Have Old Champs as Underdogs

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Posted by Freedom Maitrel on Friday, June 5, 2015

This Sunday, June 7, the French Elite championship will kick off the Casque de Diamant playoffs of 2015. This year, the Argonautes of Aix-en-Provence welcome the Black Panthers of Thonon-les-Bains while the Flash de la Courneuve will challenge the Cougars de Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône.

Here is a breakdown of the matchups!

Sunday June 7, 2 PM (Parc des Sports de Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône)

MVP Cougars Cougars de Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône            (9-0-1)

vs

Argonautes vs Flash Flash de la Courneuve                                (5-5)

Match broadcast live Sunday, April 7, 2 PM on Flash TV and Vox Stadium.fr

France - Flash vs Cougars2

After an outstanding regular season, the Cougars completed 2015 on a roll. After starting the year with a tie against the Templiers, Saint Ouen won every game finishing with a near spotless 9-0-1 record. They beat their cross-town rivals in Paris, La Courneuve Flash, both times they played them – 31-21 and 21-13.

In both contests, the Cougars defense played a key role. The Flash did keep shooting themselves in the foot whether through multiple penalties or the mistakes of young players. La Courneuve had a mixed season with five wins against five defeats. Although we could expect more of the nine-time champions of France, do not forget that Patrick Cark’s team is rebuilding, especially on the offensive line. They struggled early to find an identity and ended up finding cohesion as the season progressed.

This is why it is difficult to make a certain prediction of the winner of this semifinal.  Some might be tempted to think that the Flash’s experience in playoff games would give them an edge.  They have appeared in a whopping 21 semi-finals and won 14 while claiming the French title nine times. In contrast, their opponents have never even played in a championship final and have only qualified for the semifinals three times (2001, 2006 and 2010).  The Saint-Ouennais will be more motivated than ever to write a new page in the history of black and gold. Is this finally the year?

Match-ups to watch

Paul Durand (QB, Flash) vs. Tim Willman (DE, Cougars)

France - semi final pics2

This will be a key to the game. Cougar quarterback Paul Durand has completed 58% of his passes this season and is the  second most accurate quarterback in the French league, just behind the Argonaute’s Jimmie Russell. But on Sunday, he will have to deal with Tim Willman, who had 14 sacks this season, and who is simply the best player at his position this year. He makes quarterbacks nervous on every play so the La Courneuve offensive line will have their hands full all afternoon.

Mickaël Doukouré (WR, Flash) vs. Yohan Kaouane (DB, Cougars)

France - semi final pics3

Flash wide receiver Mickaël Doukouré has been the recipient of many of Paul Durand’s passes and led the league in reception yardage with 706 while scoring eight touchdowns, making him a key to the black and yellow offense. He can be a nightmare for defenders … except perhaps for Yohan Kaouane. The Cougars defensive back is a true ball hawk and has recorded two interceptions and 10 knockdowns this season.


Flash TV “live” by Flash_de_La_Courneuve

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Marion Santiago
Journaliste sur @PokerStars Sports Club / Rédactrice Foot US, NBA, Football @VoxStadium
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