For the first time ever, rugby league has forced its way into the headlines of one of France’s biggest rugby news sites following the success of Catalans and Toulouse.
Rugby Rama predominately covers rugby union in France, but have included Catalans and Toulouse in their headlines for the first time as their differing fortunes in last weekend’s Super League and Championship Grand Finals featured in their weekly round-up.
Leading French 'rugby' media site puts Toulouse Olympique and Catalans Dragons in its headlines… this has never happened before.
— Catalan-Toulouse Media 🇲🇫🏉 (@catalanmedia) October 13, 2021
But what did the site have to say about the two finals? A certain sense of pride appeared to be in place as the site talks about Toulouse’s success and their “historic accession to the Super League, which will allow them to rub shoulders – among others – with the Catalan Dragons next season.”
As for their coverage of Catalans, they appeared to believe that the Dragons were unlucky to lose the Grand Final to St Helens as they noted “The ‘Dracs’ tried everything, but finally suffered the intent of St Helens and their centre Kevin Naiqama.”
They didn’t appear to share Bernard Guasch’s anger over the officials. In fact, unlike French paper L’Independent who published Guasch’s controversial comments, they ignored the controversy and angst it stimulated.
Thus, it seems Rugby Rama allected to look at the final defeat through more positive lenses and the same approach was shared by L’Equipe. They simply spoke about Catalans’ intentions going into 2022: “Beaten by barely anything by the giant St Helens, the Catalan Dragons came out chewed from their final but proud of their season. With only one idea in mind: to come back next year.”
The French news site also did a great deal to promote the sport and encourage casual readers to get involved in the French revolution in rugby league. They said: “By its nature, this game is at first confrontational and brutal before it gets carried away. Brought to such a level, it is permanent asphyxiation.”
It seems, therefore, that the French media’s coverage of the finals was a mixed bag with some siding with the frustrated Guasch and others mining the positives from a huge weekend for French rugby league.