venue: Torroella de Montgri, Spain
4th July 2009
Full Match Report
EUROMED CHALLENGE GAME ONE
A French-based Morocco XIII won the opening fixture of this summer’s three-cornered Euro-Med Challenge with a 29-6 success in the beautiful setting of Torroella de Montgri, against Catalonia XIII.
Over 1,000 fans who created a terrific atmosphere, including Catalonia’s Foreign Affairs minister Ignaci Donate, enjoyed an entertaining, exciting clash with the visitor’s greater experience seeing them home.
The Moroccans included eight players who play in the French Elite One competition, their opening try scorer in the 13th minute being former Catalans Dragons winger, Rabat-born Youniss Khattabi, playing at stand off and now with Carpentras.
On a synthetic pitch, in warm conditions, full back Brahim Nahri doubled the Moroccan’s lead in the 22nd minute and just before half time Lyon prop Abdessamad Rachid crossed for their third touchdown.
The Catalonian’s, fresh from their success against a Czech President’s XIII in Barcelona recently, hit back eight minutes into the second half, Christian Pelissier grabbing the try, converted by captain Albert Homs, which was due reward for the hosts’ effort.
Centre Farid Nicholas with the Moroccan’s fourth touchdown in the 58th minute sealed the historic win, scrum half Osni Kriouache making sure with a drop goal soon after. The final points went to Villeneuve second rower Ilyass Lamarti who crossed late on to go with his four goals.
Julien Lebon, Pau Puigdollers, Jose Plegezuelos, Fernando Fernandez, Roger Ferrates, Albert Homs, Aitor Figueruelo, Tchoumi Calvin, Joan Petanas, Sergi Petanas, Sebastien Amigas, Jordi Gimenez, Sergi Calzada. Subs: Marc Lopez, Emergol Alemany, Raoul Val-llozada, Christian Pelissier, Jordi Sanchez
Nhari Brahim, Yousri Aissam, Laaziri Hassan, Nicolas Farid, Mouzoun Khalid, Khattabi Youness, Kriouache Osni, Rachid Abdessamad, El Boutchi Hocine, Djamil Mohamed. Taouil Amar, Lamarti Ilyass, Faresse Rachid. Subs: Fakir Lhoucine, El Boutchi Hacene, Oulias Abdelali, Bouladas Mohamed.