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Last Gasp France Stun GB in U18s
Great Britain Community Lions 12 v 14 France Juniors Sabathe Stadium, Montpellier
The Great Britain Community Lions U18s suffered a heart breaking last minute defeat to France Juniors in Montpellier.
With the scores tied 12-12 and just seconds remaining a hotly disputed penalty gave the hosts a simple shot at goal and stand off Tony Gigot made no mistake from 20 metres out.
After trailing 6-0 at the break the spirited Lions hit back with scores from Michael Allen and Jacob Fairbank and looked odds on to take a share of the spoils before the last minute drama.
On a cold night in southern France both sides defences stood firm and coupled with handling errors and a high penalty count the game never really got going in the first period, despite France crossing out wide through centre Jeremy Gran.
Hard working forwards Gil Dudson, Glenn Riley and Jacob Fairbank were at the heart of most of the Lions best work and with outstanding full back Kriss Wilkes always a threat, the visitors knew that the game was very much there for the taking in the second half.
Obviously lifted by a half time talk from head coach Carl Briscoe the Lions started the second period on the front foot and soon gained their reward as the tireless Riley crashed over from close range. Jamie Tibbs added the extras and levelled the game at 6-6.
However, their joy was short lived as France hit back just eight minutes later with the best try of the night.
With the set coming to a conclusion, great vision from Gigot spotted an overlap on the blind side and after combining with impressive centre Gran, winger Clement Soubeyras raced over to finish off a sweeping 60 metre raid.
To their credit the Lions again dug deep and the game started to open up as both sides looked to find the next score.
Luckily for the Lions that honour went to them, as a period of pressure deep in French territory resulted in Fairbank rampaging over from a sublime short pass from scrum half Scott George. As Tibbs added the extras the clock was ticking down and a draw looked on the cards before the game ended in dramatic fashion.