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Welsh Academicals defeat Racing Club de France and claim title.

The youngest ever squad fielded by the Welsh Academicals returned from France with the Tournoi Rugby Cornouaille title, after two days of rugby and the defeat of one of the iconic names in French club rugby.

Bretagne v Welsh Academicals : Dean Howell - Harley Thompson - Owen Williams.

Group Stages Welsh Academicals v Neuilly Paris / Pays de Brest / Bretagne
The easier group matches on the first day allowed the Accies the time crucial for an invitation team to gel, which put them in good position for the tougher Knock Out stages on the second day. The closest contest on the first day being local Bretagne regional select XV.
Quarter Final Welsh Academicals 57 BUC St Josse Brussels 0
BUC St Josse from Belgium stood in the Accies way at the quarter final stage, but from the outset the students used the full width of field to display some of the best open rugby seen at the tournament, and an easier than expected passage into the semi finals.
Semi Final Welsh Academicals 14 Racing Club de France 0

Five times national champions, Racing Club de France, have an enigmatic identity which is currently being revived with their long awaited return to the top flight of French rugby. Millions have been spent on their senior team, with head coach Pierre Berbizier recently linked with moves for World Cup winners Johnny Wilkinson and Francois Steyn.

The clubs junior team showed similar intent in the way it managed to control the pace of the game and restrict the Accies to an Alex Webber try in the first half. But the aggression of the Parisiens overflowed in the second half, resulting in a red card for one of their forwards which allowed the Accies to open up the game for Webber to cross for a second try.

The other half of the draw had seen the expected progression of the powerful Marseille team, who at the semi final stage, were thought too strong for the local Bretagne regional team. But the support of the large partisan crowd drove the Bretons to cause the upset of the tournament and a 3 point victory. Thus the final would be contested by two Celtic teams who had defeated big city French clubs.

Final Welsh Academicals 24 Bretagne 0

With the Bretagne region having long ago adopted the tune of ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’, both anthems before the final had a very familiar tune, along with their respective Celtic lyrics.

Bretagne had given the Accies their toughest match in the group stages, and with further players arriving for the final day and their defeat of Marseille in the semi final, the Welsh students were wary of the challenge. But despite being well contested, the Accies backline yet again showed its class, with tries coming from Owen Williams, Dan Crimmins, Harley Thompson and Bowdy Davies. Captain Owen Sheppeard proudly raising the Trophee Ravy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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