Graphics: Igor Lazarevic
The Catalan grizzlies (6-3) will host the Toulouse Bears (5-3-1) in the final regular season game in France D1 Elite Championship.
This is the second meeting this year between these two teams. The Grizzlies handed over Toulouse a 48-13 comeback in early March.
The Grizzlies sit behind Marseilles in Conference B and will play Cougars of Saint Ouen who finished third in Conference A in a wild card playoff on June 18. Ours the playoff hopes are still alive — barely. They must overcome Catalans today and I hope the The Argonauts of Aix en Provence lose at The Blue Stars of Marseille.
After giving up their first match of the year to Argonautes by a score of 49-35, Catalans chained three consecutive victories before the 35-28 defeat against the blue stars. They then beat the Grenoble Centaurs 36-7 and Montpellier hurricanes 48-0 before dropping another game against Marseille, 47-0. To finish, Catalans shot the Argonautes 48-30.
Toulouse enters the game on a two-fight winning streak after beating the Grenoble Centaurs 42-28 and the Montpellier hurricanes 41-6. Before that, the Ours have had an uneven season. They lost both games against blue stars, 33-0 and 44-2. They beat the Argonautes 20-7 but then tied them 41-41 a week later. They also had another easy win over the hurricanes, 34-13 and shot down the Centaurs 10-6 to start the season.
The problem is that their losses have been lopsided.
The Grizzlies were carried out by a deadly attack on the way. Quarterback Jacob Purichia is the second-best passer in France with 2,411 yards and 31 touchdowns, the best in the league, in nine games. Additionally, two of the league’s top three receivers play for Catalans. Idriss Ramky is number one and is having an incredible season, with 63 catches for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns. Ramky’s teammate Sean Boswell has a league-leading 792 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Grizzlies the leading rusher is Onzo Adramann, who has 471 yards and nine touchdowns. Terence Correia stood out on defense, as he is third in the league with 53.5 tackles while Zaire Ugapo is third with eight sacks.
Toulouse quarterback Cameron Valardo, St. Mary’s University in Canada, threw for 1,189 yards and 14 touchdowns with Joshua Rinaldo his primary target with 20 catches for 334 yards and six scores. Running back Gerald Childs was a workaholic for the Ours and leads the league with 157 carries for 673 yards.
Linebacker Hugo Groslambert anchors the Ours defense and is the 10th best tackler in France with 41 but the Toulouse side peddling might prove to be a problem for Purichia. Led by Mathieu Pavot and Leo Hernandez who have three choices each, the OursThe defensive backs have had 14 interceptions so far this year.
The result of the game being without consequence for the Grizzlies but of vital importance for Toulouselook for an upheaval.
Toulouse Ours @ Catalans Grizzlys, June 5, 1:00 p.m. CET (1:00 p.m., 7:00 a.m. ET)