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venue: Jean Berege Stadium, Tonneins

16th November 2009


Soubeyras (30), Cardace (64)


Albert 2/2


Drop Goals:
Albert 1/1

Full Match Report


In front of what locals described as one of the biggest crowds seen at the Jean Bernege Stadium in Tonneins in quite a while the Australian Rugby League’s AIS program team opened their 2009 tour of France and Great Britain with a hard fought 16 – 13 win over the very much improved and committed French under 17 team.

AIS Head coach, Brian Johnson, whilst a little disappointed in his teams’, at times, poor execution, praised his players for the way they stayed in the game and come away with the win.  “We weren’t great tonight but we’ve been travelling for three days solid across the world to get here and had a very limited preparation.”

Soon after the kick off it became very clear to all that the French team had turned up to play and from the outset they attacked the Australian team in both offence and defence. The French team opened the scoring after just 9 minutes with a surprise field goal. A few minutes later on the back of very strong set the AIS struck back through first time captain Dean Blackman and with the conversion from Kyle Fields the AIS took the lead 6 – 1.

On the back of a very lopsided penalty count that was the last points of the half for the AIS team. The weight of possession finally paid off for the French when in the 30th minute the French lock finished a very good passage of play and scored their 1st try.

With an unsuccessful kick the half time score stayed 6 points to 5 in favour of the visitors.  After the break the French team continued with a series of enterprising plays and after 7 minutes were awarded a penalty 25 metres out from the Australian line which they quickly converted into 2 points via the kick and took the lead 7 points to 6. The AIS once again spurred into action eight minutes later scored their second try through five eight Paul Carter. With the extras Australia jumped out to a 12 – 7 lead.  Not to be outdone and with a very vocal home crowd cheering them on the French were again rewarded when their No 4 finished off a well executed move scored out wide.  The conversion was unsuccessful but the French were again albeit by the slenderest of Margins.

With the of a major upset staring them in the face the French crowd again lifted their team and the score remained unchanged until, with 3 minutes to go, the Australians put together their best passage of play of the match and scored a match winning try through their centre, No 4 Ryan Pooley.

Best on ground was awarded to the French stand off Lilian Abert. The AIS team awarded their players player award to their five eight Paul Carter. At the post match presentation AIS head coach, Brian Johnson praised the French team for their enterprising play and predicted that in the very near future they will be a real powerhouse in the game.

Pictured: men of the match Paul Carter (left) and Lilian Albert after the match.
Photo credit:

Clement Soubeyras, Joseph Negre, Damien Cardace, Remi Vignau, Patrick Reigner, Lilian Albert, Morgan Escare, Julien Bousquet, Jonathan Soum, Nicolas Houbloup, Marc Meye, Noël Andreucceutti (c), Hugo Langloi. Subs: Andrew Bigat, Julien Laffit, Alexis Falip, Pierre-Louis Bourrel

Maipele Morseu, Joshua Batalibasi, Kyle Fields, Ryan Pooley, Reece Jaeger, Paul Carter, Dean Blackman, Hill Dylan, Lucas Grech, Zac Douglas, John Puna, Brett Jarrett, Cale Hay. Subs: Cale Hobday, Brendan Simpson, Damian Sironen, Mat Nean


Rugby League