FRANCE – Ovale Beach 2013 Marseille Champions

As expected, it proved to be an exciting and hugely successful weekend of Beach 5’s Rugby in Marseille with home town heroes, ‘Ovale Beach Marseille’ winning the 2013 title in dramatic style against the mighty force of Italy’s ‘Maccarese’ from Rome. In the process they took the 1st leg in the new 2013 EBRA Beach 5’s Series, accumulating a very valuable 19.40 pts which sees them sitting at the top of table ahead of Leg 2 next weekend in Zeebrugge.

Ovale_Beach_la_meta_della_vittoriaDrawn together in the same qualifying group, Ovale Beach & the Maccarese already had a long and competitive history behind them. Indeed Ovale Beach had never beaten their Italian rivals in previous meetings at the Lignano International Cup. So when the French side won the initial group qualifier against the ROMANS with a close fought score of 4-2, one began to wonder if history might be in the making.

The subsequent qualifying matches and play-offs were to favour both squads as the Marseillaise and Roman’s displayed great skill and courage to make it through to the final. Ovale Beach had been on fire all day displaying an awesome scoring and defensive record. But already stung by the French in the qualifying pool, the Maccarese hit back in the final. And when full time ended with a score of 4-4, there was nothing to seperate the teams, EXCEPT SUDDEN DEATH.

Alan_Falzone_Andrea_Spadoni_Laurent_CardonaAs we all know, Beach 5’s Rugby is the Fastest Game of Rugby on the Planet. And so what more apt way to resolve such a tightly fought contest. On this occasion Ovale Beach summoned the physical & mental reserves to score the decisive try and to take a famous victory, sparking French celebrations that continued long into the night. But there were plenty of others celebrating including EBRA who saw the successful launch of the new Beach 5’s series, overseen as it was by an outstanding panel of International referess led Alan Falzone, Andrea Spadoni & Laurent Cadona (pictured above). Indeed the Lega Italiana Beach Rugby (LIBR ), who for the 2nd year recognised Marseille as an official leg in the Italian National Championship, must also have been proud to see both Italian sides reaching the final stages of the tournament. Defending 2012 champions, I TORI BIANCHI from Genova, losing out in the semi’s to eventual winners Ovale Beach, who we all recall they beat in last years final.

Everyone had their day in the sun and with that another significant step has been taken in the development of the Beach 5’s Rugby in Europe.

It’s onwards now to Zeebrugge in Belgium where this coming weekend the 2nd Leg of the 2013 EBRA Beach 5’s series will be staged on 28-30 June.

Amongst the elite teams participating will be Ovale Beach Marseille (2013 Marseille Champions), Ghent Magnets (2013 Ameland Champions) and Dutch Lions (2012 Lignano International Cup / EBRA European Cup Champions).