RUGBY: Twenty years later, the Archiballs have won on the field of the Barracudas de Saint-Barth! Barracudas: 15 – Archiball: 17

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It's a real feat that the Archiballs achieved last Saturday by winning on the field of the Barracudas of Saint-Barth. The last success of Saint-Martin rugby players dates back more than twenty years. That's to say!

There are matches that mark a coaching or playing career. The one delivered by the XV of Archiball last Saturday on the synthetic lawn of Saint-Jean is one of those. All Saint-Martin players have contributed to this wonderful moment of happiness!

"It's the victory of the heart, of the collective, of solidarity and courage", underlines the coach of Archiball, Jean-Luc Blancafort. “All these qualifiers that make rugby, and when they come together, everything works for the best. We can be proud of our performance. Despite the absence of a few executives, the 22 players present pushed their limits to beat the defending champion in the Northern Islands derby. It had been more than 20 years since we had won in Saint-Barth.  I felt my players concerned and focused by  the event and the motivational speeches leading up to the meeting  were daunting. I knew they were ready to go into battle. During the 80 minutes, my players did not give up, they produced play, scored on their highlights, defended their line fiercely.

The first half was to our advantage. We set the pace to take the score thanks to a long sequence of play punctuated by a try from our ½ scrum. Halftime is whistled with the score 10 to 3 in our favour. At the start of the second act, the Barracudas pick up the score. But on individual exploit of our winger, we take back the advantage 17/10. The fact remains that at the kick-off we put them back in the 15/17 match”.

  “The victory of a whole club”

There remains then a quarter of an hour to play. The suspense lasted until the final whistle where the Archi let their joy explode at the height of the feat achieved. “Of course I consider this success as an achievement as the Barracudas squad is impressive. My players didn't give up and applied the instructions perfectly. It is the victory of a whole club which works tirelessly to ensure that Saint-Martin rugby occupies a major place on the island, we are its showcase and I find this showcase beautiful”.

With four victories for as many matches, the Archiballs are the undisputed leaders of the Guadeloupe Elite championship. A place that they will try to consolidate on March 18 when BRUC come to the Bellevue stadium. For the moment, all the lights are green! _AF

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