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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Victoria Park, Kew, played host to the French Les Coqs and the Nauru Chiefs in a Division 1 match up that – once again – would provide many in attendance with their first glimpse of International Australian Football. The French connection is relatively new here – however it was enough for the French to be the ‘home side’; and were hosted twice during the week for training and a Thursday night BBQ.

    For local footy, 10AM is an early start – but often this time of the day provides the most stable weather. In fine conditions with patchy cloud – the odd cloud producing the threat of a shower but nothing of substance – Nauru won the toss and those to kick to the southern end of the ground.

    Pretty well from the outset it was clear that the Nauru Chiefs held the ascendency in generally ball handling and their transitions from defence were quicker and more free flowing. However the French defenders were readying the play pretty well and effecting a number of intercept marks. The tough park was to string together a succession of possessions. Tackling for the French was never in question – applying pressure to the Chiefs around the ground. The cracks though started to appear as the Chiefs got on the board via the silky smooth skills of Kenneth Oppenheimer (#11) with a fine right foot goal across the body. Without being an absolute procession – as the French fought hard – the Chiefs managed to hit the scoreboard regularly enough. Oppenheimer found the skipper Depaune (#15) who marked strongly from behind for the 2nd. Kanimea (#25) got on the end of a long shot from Tatum (#24) that dropped for a mark in the Goal square for the third. Then a passage of play via Oppenheimer and Donatello Moses (#12) and another shot by Kanimea went across the face to be marked by Maaki (#21) in the left forward pocket; running around on his right and slotted the 4th. The French though were not without their chances – managing to penetrate deep forward – and when Bernad (#13) snapped on goal for a behind they might have been on the board – however, infringed as he kicked it, he opted to take the free kick. Falling short – the ball went out of bounds - alas no behind - whereupon the next few minutes was tightly contested mostly in the French forward 50. Nauru weathered the storm and as the siren went, Agir (#14) had just found the skipper who had a fruitless long shot after the siren.

    The second stanza was largely a continuation from the first. The Chiefs winning out of the midfield – with Tatum generally rucking against French skipper Depondt (#9). At ground level the Chiefs Batsiua (#8) would battle all day with his opposite number in Treuillet (#8). Mondin (#11) for France found himself often pitched against Waidabu (#9).

    The Chiefs soon kicked out to an 8 goals to nothing lead – via 2nd term goals to Yoshi Harris (#28), Waidabu (from a tight angle), Jose Uepa (#29) bursting through traffic and the ‘home crowd’ were wondering where the French might find a goal. Well – it came via the big fella – Pierre Boscart (#19) – with a push in the back and a free from near the boundary in the left forward pocket. The kick sailed through – the umpire didn’t have to move – and the French supporters (including members of the European Crusaders) were cheering heartily. Perhaps stung by the goal – Nauru comprehensively won the next centre clearance, and after finding Diema (#3) at left half forward, he played on to track back in board and found the captain Depaune who marked and goaled. 55 points to the good at half time.

    The Chiefs started the 3rd term in dominant style everywhere but on the scoreboard (as far as reward for the quarter). 5 successive behinds were poor reward. The French kick ins were under pressure and Deidenang (#19) was dominating in the air from full forward but missed 3 relatively simple opportunities. Finally his own drought was broken – when Kanimea spotted him up directly in front and from about 25m out steered through the 10th of the morning for the Chiefs. The flood gates looks to open as again attacking from the club rooms flank it ws Kam (#10) who again found Deidenang who showed better judgement in the air to mark in the goal square and convert the simple kick. Spanner (#20 got in on the act with a long goal from out near the arc and the French were faltering. Perhaps the Chiefs relaxed a little – however the French fought hard and managed to push the ball forward and when Sardin (#10) was awarded a free in the left forward pocket – the resulting behind to the left of the stick was still rewarded with applause. However the French weren’t quite done with yet – holding the ball in the forward half again – they kept up the pressure and when Dagois (#29) snapped his errant kick fell into the arms of Sardin again. This time from a better angle he kicked truly and Les Coqs had their 2nd on the board. That saw out the 3rd term. Interesting to observe players negotiating what was become a muddy centre cricket wicket area. Few of the players would have encountered one before. 3.5 to 1.1 for the term did at least pay respect to the fight from the French – their coach urged them to dig deeper in the final term.

    The last term stuck largely with the script – Oppenheimer, who had been dangerous and creative all day – marked and kicked true for well out. The French did manage one last scoreboard impact – again via Sardin – a minor score; before the Chiefs ran out with goals from the neat Diema and the skipper Depaune who put the icing on the cake by caressing the 15th through the big sticks.

    The Chiefs satisfied with the job done – and after two disappointing outings against New Zealand and PNG – finally had their first win. The French coach was not entirely pleased with the performance – feeling that they hadn’t backed up well enough after a strong showing midweek. The uncertain ball handling could be attribute to the pressure of the Chiefs – however – coaches need their players to hold their focus even under pressure. Both sides look ahead to North American opposition at Royal Park on Tuesday. The Chiefs will take on Canada in what should be a very interesting encounter. The French will take on another red, white and blue nation in the USA in a contest that will test their ability to re-group.

    Squad Stats
    France Nauru
    Avg Ht cm 180 176
    Avg Wt kg 78 83
    Avg age 27.1 24.2

    Match Details:

    Victoria Park, Kew, 10:00am
    France vs Nauru
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    France 0.0.(0) 1.0.(6) 2.1.(13) 2.2.(14)
    Nauru 4.1.(25) 9.7.(61) 12.12.(84) 15.16.(106)

    Goal Kickers: France: Sardin, Boscart Nauru:Depaune 3, Oppenheimer 3, Deidenang 2, Diema, Waidabu, Maaki, Spanner, Kanimea, Harris, Uepa Best Players: France: Sardin, Napoleon, Dagois Nauru: Diema, Oppenheimer, Moses, Depaune

    ...

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    With the conclusion of the 3 group rounds, the Division 2 Men's ladders look sorted.  We don't have confirmation from the AFL yet, but it looks like Tuesday's matchups will be China vs Germany and Japan vs Croatia, with the winners of those matches to meet in the Div 2 Grand Final on Friday, and the losers playing off for 3rd.

    In the remaining two playoffs, Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan and Indonesia will take on India.  The winners of those two matches will meet in the 5th place playoff on Friday, the losers in the playoff for 7th.

    The tables are below, get your predictions and discussion in the comments!

     

    Men's Division 2 - Pool 1
    Pos Team W L %
    1 China 3 0 191.1
    2 Croatia 2 1 307.9
    3 Indonesia 1 2 35
    4 Sri Lanka 0 3 42.2

     

    Men's Division 2 - Pool 2
    Pos Team W L %
    1 Japan 3 0 394.9
    2 Germany 2 1 383
    3 Pakistan 1 2 37.6
    4 India 0 3 15.8

     

      ...


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    Below is the Men's Division 1 ladder after Round 3 of the 2017 AFL International Cup.

    Unlike Men's Division 2 and the Women's Division, the Men's Division 1 do not go to semi-finals, instead their fourth round of matches are regular scheduled games, with the top two nations after that going through to the MCG Grand Final.

    New Zealand and Ireland are the only undefeated teams, both on 3 wins 0 losses, whilst PNG and USA are both on 2 wins 1 loss.  It seems certain the grand finalists will come from these 4 sides.  The blockbuster match between Ireland and New Zealand will see one of them undefeated and straight through to the MCG.  The loser will be on 3 - 1, likely to be joined by USA (who face France) and probably PNG (a tough but winnable assignment against South Africa).

    Percentage then becomes all important.  New Zealand's miserly defence drives their extremely high percentage and they look well placed even if they narrowly lose to Ireland.  But if Ireland lose they could well be caught on percentage by PNG or the USA, the latter likely to crush France in their early game then sit back nervously watching as other results unfold.  It's going to be a very tense Wednesday at Royal Park.

    Read on for the ladder.

    ...
    2017 AFL International Cup Ladders - completion of Round 3 (Saturday August 12th)
    Men's Division 1
    Pos Team W L %
    1 New Zealand 3 0 476
    2 Ireland 3 0 192
    3 PNG 2 1 157
    4 USA 2 1 122
    5 Great Britain 1 2 105
    6 Nauru 1 2 98
    7 Fiji 1 2 94
    8 Canada 1 2 51
    9 South Africa 1 2 48
    10 France 0 3 16

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    On Saturday the 12th of August at 12:30pm, Mount Waverley Reserve hosted the Men's Division 1 International Cup match between Canada Northwind and the top placed New Zealand Hawks. It was partly cloudy with a bit of sunshine and minimal north-westerly breeze.

    The match started with the Hawks kicking to the southern end of the ground and Northwind to the north. It was an even affair played in close to begin, as both teams had three inside 50s a piece, but with no reward on the scoreboard. There were plenty of ferocious tackles and a lot of free kicks were paid early, all you could hear was the whistle being blown.   Neither team were able to score until three minutes into the first when Joshua Mackie (#35) kicked the Hawks first goal of the match.

    The Hawks halfway through the opening term started to get on top of Northwind in the midfield. William Dickinson (#5) and Shane Leat (#1) were both playing well for the Hawks.  The Hawks continued to be the stronger team with cleaner handball and kicking skills. The breeze picked up towards the end of the opening term. The Hawks led Northwind by 7 points at quarter time.

    The Hawks began the second with a fierce tackling display in their attacking 50, as they put non-stop pressure on Northwind to prevent them from gaining clear possession out of their defensive half.

    William Dickinson (#5) started the second as he ended the first. The Hawks had a lot of inside 50s, but with no reward on the scoreboard. Eventually, via Joe Baker-Thomas (#46) took a good mark and lined up for goal from 52m out and kicked with a drop punt through the big sticks for a major.

    Eric Klein (#19) played hard aggressive footy for Northwind in the backline. Garrett Reynolds (#21) was strong in defence for Northwind too. The Hawks had all the attacking play in their forward half, but let themselves down when they had shots at goal. Northwind’s defence was extremely strong and held up well with all the inside 50s from the Hawks.

    The Hawks should have been further in front, but to Northwind’s credit their defence stood up. Towards the end of the first half the weather became a bit overcast. Northwind were still scoreless at half time with the Hawks up by 17 points.

    Carlos Donnell-Brown (#11) took the first grab of the third and kicked inside 50, but Eric Klein (#19) intercepted the mark deep in defence. The Hawks had the better skills, but were unable to capitalise and make the most of their opportunities.

    William Dickinson (#5) was everywhere at the start of the second half, like he was in the first half. It was a tight tussle to start the third with neither team able to trouble the scorers. Until, Benjamin Hick (#32) kicked the first goal at the 9 minute mark of the third.

    The Hawks halfway through the third stepped up their intensity and ascendency around the ball and were rewarded for their effort on the scoreboard. David Rattenbury (#15) slotted through a goal for the Hawks. The Hawks had another inside 50 and this time Andrew Howison (#10) kicked truly for a major. Andrew Howison (#10) played well this quarter. Northwind were down by 36 points at three quarter time.

    Before the siren sounded for the last quarter to begin, Jacob Martin (#14) from the backline was very vocal trying to fire up his Northwind teammates as he calling “let’s come on boys”.

    At the beginning of the last, Andrew Howison (#10) marked the footy and lined up for goal directly in front and kicked his second consecutive goal of the match. The Hawks were all over Northwind, but despite this Garrett Reynolds (#21) and Jacob Martin (#14) for Northwind continued to play hard in their backline.

    Josh Cunliffe (#3) slotted through the Hawks second goal of the last. Brendan Clark (#50) kicked another goal for his team from a stoppage in the goal square. After this goal, a melee erupted between both teams. The Hawks controlled the whole last quarter.

    Logan Anderson (#8) came off second best in the hard contest and ran off the ground with his trainer, but he seemed to be ok. Two minutes before the match finished, Kyle Graham (#12) marked the ball in front of goal in the goal square and finally kicked Northwind’s first goal of the match at the 15.39-minute mark.

    The whole crowd erupted with loud cheers. All of this cheer was silenced when Brendan Clark (#50) who was a mobile and handy target up forward slotted through a running goal, which was the Hawks ninth and final goal of the match. The Hawks won by a whopping 56 points over Northwind.

    The top placed Hawks were far too dominant all over the ground for a helpless Northwind who were unable to counteract the Hawks immense pressure, high intensity and slickness with their ball skills and movement. As a result the Northwind were only able to score the one major just before the conclusion and that was the tale of the match.

    Waverley Blues - Saturday 12th 12:30pm - Canada vs New Zealand

      1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     Canada  0.0 (0)  0.0 (0)  0.0 (0)  1.0 (6)
     New Zealand  1.1 (7)  2.5 (17)  5.6 (36)  9.8 (62)

      ...

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    In front of a good crowd at Golden Square’s Wade St ground last night under lights Pakistan went 2-0 in the Dosti Cup contest between India and Pakistan.  Dosti is the Hindi and Urdu word for friendship.
     
    In 2014 Pakistan heavily defeated India at Craigieburn to the tune of 94 points.
     
    Last night though the match was much closer. The final margin being just 9 points . The Indian team would have been a little disappointed they could not get the win for their Golden Square friends and hosts but surely must have been happy to see the narrowing of the gap from three years ago.
     

     

    In the lead up to last night’s match the Indian players were billeted with members of the Golden Square club community. They also played a practice match and took part in a club training session before they launched the lead up to IC17 Round 1.
     
    Golden Square and India have a solid relationship that has build over the past few years and Bendigo delegations have helped with the running of the AFL India National Championships.
     
    Kangaroo Flat Primary School students made Pakistan’s banner for the game last night, while students from Golden Square PS made India’s.
     
    India took a two point lead into quarter time last night. And the game was a real arm wrestle from start to finish. In such a tight match the second quarter was pretty much what decided the match with India only scoring one point while Pakistan kicked 1.2, otherwise both sides scored a goal in each quarter.
     
    Daneyal Khan once again was impressive in the air and by foot around the ground and was best for Pakistan and probably best on ground. Amar Roshan Bara was named best for India.

    Golden Square- Friday 11th 7:00pm - India vs Pakistan

      1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     India  1.2  1.3  2.3 3.3 (21)
     Pakistan  1.0  2.2  3.4 4.6 (30)
    Pakistan
    Goal Kickers: K. Khan, Z. Hussain, F. Khan, H. Qureshi.
    Best Players: D. Khan, H. Qureshi, I. Ul Haq, K.Bhatti, H. Ali, N.Mansoor
    India
    Goal Kickers: A. Ashraf, A. Bara, A. Kalia.
    Best Players: A. Bara, A. Kalia, A. Sharma, A. Ashraf, M. Ali, J. Akhtar ...

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    2017 International Cup Round #3 at Montrose Recreation Reserve.    Men’s Division 1   U.S.A. Revolution   Vs  P.N.G. Mosquitos
    Saturday 12th August. 12.30pm

    PNG Mosquitos have given themselves a chance to make the IC17 final with a superb display of athletic and skillful football tinged with aggression, unrelenting accuracy and the ability to shark the ruck contests.

    Prior to the game, the mood had swung firmly in the direction of the Revolution, who have built confidence with good wins in the first two rounds over Canada and South Africa.

    Mosquito Matt King opted to play for the Montrose Demons today instead of the P.N.G. national team, the other PNG/Montrose player JJ Peni was out due to injury.

    The Revolution have developed a strong relationship with the Montrose Football Club and had tr7ained with Montrose earlier this week.  They knew the ground well with one player also having played previously for Montrose (Ben Carpenter-Nwanyanwu).

     

    Both the Revolution and the Mosquitos had a number of Australian-based/experienced players playing in today's match.

    The ground at Montrose was firm and the weather was surprisingly dry and cool with negligible wind. Any rain to come was seen to favour the Mosquitos and their more ground-based play, but this did not eventuate.

    U.S.A. Revolution has slipped in rankings from 4th in 2011 to 8th in 2014 mainly due to being overtaken by some emerging countries as in Tonga, R.S.A. and Canada and also due to some vagaries of the draw.

    The P.N.G. Mosquitos have played in all 5 International Cups winning twice in years 2008 and 2011. Prior to the commencement of IC17,  by any measure they were the team to beat but after two rounds the U.S.A. Revolution were favourites on form.

    It went without saying that a win to both teams was critical. A win to the P.N.G. would probably lead to Grand Finalists being selected on percentage (depending on what happens with Ireland vs NZ on Tuesday) and a win to the U.S.A. might propel them into the grand final if they could then defeat France on Tuesday. 

    Previous results
    Round #1. Northwind 3 goals 7 behinds = 25 points   Vs   Revolution  6 goals 9 behinds = 45 points
    Round #1. Mosquitos  4 goals 7 behinds = 32 points   Vs    Warriors 6 goals 6 behinds = 42 points
    Round #2  R.S.A. Lions 2 goals 5 behinds  = 17 points  Vs   Revolution 9 goals 10 behinds  = 64 points
    Round #2  Mosquitos   13 goals  6 behinds = 84 points Vs    Chiefs 5 goals 5 behinds = 35 points

    Running onto the field the Revolution players looked bigger and robust. They received a large round of vocal support from a sizable crowd. P.N.G. performed the traditional  war dance which concluded right in the face of the Americans.

    The first bounce set the pattern for the day with the Americans winning the ruck taps. The U.S.A. stated well with Clyde Simpson #23 goaling from the 45m arc. Jason Wilhelm #24 was producing drive around the ground. The Mosquitos rebounded with Emmaus Wartovo  #12 kicking to Amua Mizza Pirika  #10 for a mark and goal.

    Jay Levesque #17 gathered dummied and snapped true to put the Revolution back in front. The see-saw continued with Pirika #10 kicking his second goal from a free kick after being taken too high, 30m out on the angle and Luke Savere #8 goaling from a free kick for the Mosquitos.

    The umpires had been dynamite on the holding-the-ball decision which tends to keep the game clean but as soon as the half-time siren sounded a huge brawl erupted.

    Quarter 1.  U.S.A.  2 goals   1 behinds  =  13 points    P.N.G.  3 goals   0 behinds =  15 points

    The third quarter commenced with three players sitting on the bench for 10 minutes for yellow cards received in the half-time melee (Lavail and Ikupu). Thus 16 players for the P.N.G. versus 18 players for the U.S.A took the field.

    The second  quarter Jason Wilhelm #24 again dominating the ruck but the Mosquitos were sharking most hitouts and with quick movements forward they were generally much better at ground level.

    Jeffery Namete #19 was jumping high to contest the ruck  but as the game went on the P.N.G. were often content not to contest the ruck and just read the hitouts.The U.S.A. were much slower and did not have much opportunity to use their height advantage.

    Bryan Dragus kicked the first goal for the US for the quarter after a free kick for high contact in the marking contest.

    Shortly after some silly play by PNG saw a mark and 25m penalty reversed and the U.S.A. rebounded with a mark and goal from Bryan Dragus  #18 from 15m out to kick his second goal.

    Brendan Beno  #15 passed to Amua Muzza Pirika #10 who goaled with the aid of 25m penalty. The Mosquitos had lifted to another level.and John Ikupu #26 was providing drive for P.N.G. whilst Bryan Dragus #18 and David Restrepo #14 were doing the same for the U.S.A.

    Siwee kicked PNG's fifth goal after being interfered with in the marking contest.

    PNG took a good lead into half time when Hewago Paul Oea #1 goaling from an uncontested mark just forward of the arc for the Mosquitos.

     Quarter 2.  U.S.A. 4 goals   2 behinds  =  26 points    P.N.G.  6 goals  1 behinds =  37 points

    Jambuforo goaled benefiting from PNG's forward pressure and swooping on the ball spilled from the tackle.

    John Freeman #10 and Jason Wilhelm #24 were again prominent along with Hewago Paul Oea #1 and David Restrepo #14.for the  P.N.G. defended tigerously and then accelerated away when the full compliment of players returned to the field. 

    HewagoPaul Oea  #1 passed to Kataha Paulias Siwee #23 for a goal and then Kataha Paulias Siwee #23 passed to Emaaus Wartovo for another goal, soccered this time.

    The Mosquitos were really mixing it up with long and short kicks. A kick-in to the centre circle was followed by chip kicks around the boundary.  It was impossible to predict their moves.

    Gideon Simon #16 passed to Amua Pirika #10 on a lead for a  mark and goal and shortly after added his sixth. . Thirty seconds before the siren the U.S.A finally goaled from a good snap by David Restrepo #14.

    Quarter 3.  U.S.A.   5 goals   6 behinds  =  35 pts    P.N.G.  11 g  1 behind =  67 pts

    Tim Lindfelt #33 moved into the ruck for the Revolution in the final quarter and directed the hitouts better but the Mosquitos were still controlling the stoppages.Hewago Paul Oea #1 was unlucky not to goal.

    The Revolution’s Captain Kyle Johnson #15 passed to John Freeman #10 in a rare passage of precision play for a goal. The Revolution tired a little and let players like Scott Johnson #6 produce some magnificent touches around the packs.

    Oea added a goal for PNG, roving the back of the pack and kicking it from point-blank range.

    Again the P.N.G. players sharked the ruck and ran through the packs dodging and weaving like American gridiron players. Alphonse Jambarufo #28 was everywhere and also Hewago Paul Oea #1.

    Pirika roved the pack and snapped true for a goal and Jambuforo followed up with another goal after a pass from Paul Phillip #24. P.N.G. finished with a goal to Gideon Simon #16 from the arc into an unguarded goal.  Scott Johnson snapped truly for the final PNG goal for the match.

    Two late goals to Kyle Johnson and Freeman for the US might ultimately be handy if the Grand Final race comes down to percentage, but for this game was a little too late.

    Quarter 4.  U.S.A.  8 goals   7 behinds  =  55 pts    P.N.G.   15 goals  2 behinds =  92 points

    It was a superb display of football from the P.N.G. team that became more dominant the further the game progressed. They dominated the stoppages by reading the play and later in the game the bigger players busted the packs wide open whilst the smaller players simply ran around the opposition.

    It cannot be overstated the skills of the Mosquitos that they possess registering only two behinds for the match with one shot being just  touched on the line. Such accuracy made the job easier for the P.N.G.

    The win today has thrown open the race for grand final positions and built even more interest in following games. On this game’s effort,  the  P.N.G. are back in contention and that will worry the Northern Hemisphere sides a lot. Talking to the locals at Montrose they were thoroughly entertained and impressed by the quality of the International clash whilst both international clubs appreciate the facilities at Montrose.

     

    Montrose - Saturday 12th 12:30pm - USA vs PNG

      1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     USA  2.1 (13)  4.2 (26)  5.5 (35)  8.7 (52)
     PNG  3.0 (18)  5.1 (31)  11.1 (67)  15.2 (92)

     

     

      ...


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    Ireland has defeated Great Britain by fifteen points, in Round 3 of the 2017 International Cup.

    Round 3 was themed Community Round and Great Britain vs Ireland took place at Koornang Park, Carnegie, home of the Caulfield Bears. The match was wedged between Caulfield’s Seniors and Reserves, and they were happy hosts, running out winners against Springvale Districts in both their matches.

    Ireland was undefeated going into this match. They narrowly won against PNG, before comprehensively defeating France. Great Britain sat equal wins and losses, upsetting South Africa, but falling to Canada.

    It was a cool afternoon; grey clouds above and a breeze favouring the eastern goals, which the Irish would kick to in the first quarter. The teams came together for the customary anthems. Judging by the volume and gusto with which the Brits sang God Save the Queen, an Irish victory was no certainty, although without a doubt they were the favourites.

    The first quarter kicked off slightly behind schedule. Ireland was first to register a score, albeit a behind. It would be a frustrating first part of the quarter for Ireland, who controlled the ball and had several shots on goal, however a goal eluded them. It took seven minor scores, before they registered a major. Great Britain managed a few Inside 50s but could not register a score. Ireland were less physical, but moved the ball very quickly and led by 27 points at the first break.

    1/4 Time - Great Britain 0.0 (0) vs Ireland 3.9 (27)

    The second quarter commenced much like the first finished, with Ireland scoring inside the first minute, although again it was a behind. But the breeze was now favouring the Brits who would dominate the quarter, adding five majors. They looked far more composed, their tackling increased, and they scored from set shots and on the run (in one instance, shimmying around an opponent). Great Britain led by two points at the main break.

    1/2 Time - Great Britain 5.2 (32) vs Ireland 3.12 (30)

    Ireland had the first clearance of the third quarter, and were again kicking with the breeze, but multiple Inside 50s only resulted in a single minor score. Play was stopped for a few minutes following a heavy hit as Great Britain continued to tackle ferociously. But it was an Irish tackle close to goals that resulted in a free kick for dropping the ball, which gave them momentum. Ireland converted and kicked four more for the quarter to lead by 29 at the final break, the biggest margin of the match.

    3/4 Time - Great Britain 5.3 (33) vs Ireland 8.14 (62)

    Great Britain opened the final quarter strongly, although accuracy was lacking. They had three shots on goal early, yet reduced the margin by only eight points. A sloppy push in the back gave Ireland a shot on goal, which was kicked truly to the applause of the crowd, putting the margin beyond reach. Great Britain kicked three more goals for the match, but Ireland would run out fifteen point winners.

    Great Britain 8.7 (55) defeated by Ireland 9.16 (70) ...


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     Croatian Knights too tall and experienced for Sri Lanka Lions

    Overcast sky and strong wind blowing across the Lyndhurst Lightning’s home ground, Marriott Waters Reserve, greeted the Croatian Knights and Sri Lanka Lions for their Final Pool match in Division Two of IC17. Much of the match was played along the eastern wing because of the cross wind so made it difficult to see the player’s numbers (especially Croatia) and unfortunately not all goal scorers were noted by myself.

    The first quarter was all Croatia, with Josip "the Pain Train" Habljak and Ivan Molnar in ruck giving the rovers first use of the ball and if not for the Lions speed and fierce tackling the score could have blown out. It was Josip himself who kicked the Knights first goal, Josip Motik brought up the Knight’s second J. Kravar helped himself to the third for Croatia. Sri Lanka was able to make only a couple of brief forays to the edge of their forward 50.

    First Quarter: Croatia 3-2 (20) to Sri Lanka 0-0 (0)

    The second quarter started out pretty much like the first and the Knights quickly scored a couple of goals. The Sri Lankans then started to worry the Knights around the ground with strong tackles and stripping the ball from their hands, and were able to get the ball into their forward 50 only to have the Knights height repel the attacks.

    Half time: Croatia 5-2 (32) Sri Lanka 0-0 (0)

    Croatia’s tall timber were still proving to be a stumbling block for the Lions, though they started to keep the ball closer to the ground and their small men were holding off the big men with pace and fierce tackling. They made more forays into the forward zone and came very close to getting one goal but the Knights last line of defence held them out. Players Vanderwert, Giritharan, Fonseka and Thilakaranthe for Sri Lanka were beginning to threaten with quick play-on and accurate passing by foot. But the knights held off and J Habljak and Igor Galez (I think) helped themselves to goals after strong marks.

    Three Quarter Score: Croatia 7-4 (46) Sri Lanka 0-0 (0)

    The last quarter saw the Lions continue to harass and worry their bigger opponents and setup speedy attacks into their forward lines only to see their attacks get turned back in the goal square. Galez and Bruno Becic were able to add two more goals for Croatia and it was beginning to look like the Lions might end the game scoreless but with about a minute left on the clock, Janahan Kumaralingam managed to scoop up the ball in the centre square and tear off and kick that “long Bomb” (that he will be telling the grand kids about years from now) from the edge of the centre square over the heads of all the defenders and a couple of bounces thru for that ‘magic´ goal. There was little celebration as the Lions wanted to get on with the game to score again. Wasn’t to be however, though they were attacking when the siren sounded.

    Final Score: Croatia 9-5 (59) to Sri Lanka 1-0 (6) 

    Croatia Best: F Tonkovic, J Karadza D Pavkovic, J Habljak, T Cvetko.

    Croatia Goals: J Kravar 3, T Cvetko 2, J Habljak, I Ivos, B Bencic, J Motic 1.

    Sri Lanka Best: J Kumaralingam, Y Jayasinghe, S Peiris, C Ranasinghe, H Lorenz-Daniel, D Vandervert.

    Sri Lanka Goals: J Kumaralingam 1. ...


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    The USA Freedom faced the European Crusaders at Melbourne University Oval on Sunday morning, the last of three grading rounds for the women. The tournament had so far seen the USA lose to Ireland and defeat PNG. The Crusaders had lost both of their encounters and failed to score in either match.

    Those hoping for a close match would be disappointed. The Freedom went on to win by 127 points. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, not only does their losing streak continue, their scoreless streak does too. Jessica Estrada (#2) of the USA was outstanding with Lindsey Kastanek (#27) a great finisher in front of goal.

    Conditions for the match were good – a comfortable temperature, no breeze and limited cloud cover, although the oval was damp from the previous day’s rain. USA won the first clearance and whilst the first play did not result in a goal, it did not take long. After the USA had kicked two majors, the Crusaders looked like penetrating their Forward 50 for the first time, yet fell agonisingly short. Lindsey Kastanek kicked a brilliant goal in the latter part of the quarter, after a flawless centre clearance, but shortly after Catherine Hoha (#9) missed the unmissible. There was verbal encouragement of their teammates by the USA defence, who were largely kept away from the action. The USA led by 52 at the first change.

    1/4 Time USA 8.4 (52) vs European Crusaders 0.0 (0)

    Kim Hemenway (#13) kicked the first major of the second quarter, and Estrada added one of her own not long after, before the Crusaders manager to slow play down. The USA were more technical in their play, but by flooding the area around the ball with players, the Crusaders made it very hard for the Freedom to cleanly move the ball. The USA did manage two more goals before the quarter’s end, including a brilliant Estrada goal (she was unlucky not to add one more, with the ball ending up in the player on the mark). Bevin English (#5) took a great grab late in the quarter and the USA were up by 79 at the main break.

    1/2 Time USA 12.7 (79) vs European Crusaders 0.0 (0)

    The sun broke through in the third term and whilst the Crusaders still could not hit the scoreboard, they had their best quarter, restricting the Freedom to 16 points. Much of the quarter resembled junior football, with all players in the USA's forward half when the Freedom pushed forward, and only a handful of players staying back when the Crusaders went forward. The Crusaders, whilst far improved this quarter, were reluctant to pick the ball up, preferring to let their opponent take it, and attempt to tackle. It was a 95 point margin at the final change.

    3/4 Time USA 14.11 (95) vs European Crusaders 0.0 (0)

    Estrada opened the final term by running around two opponents to goal. The final term also produced play of the day, resulting in a Lindsey Kastanek goal. USA ran out 127 point victors.

    USA 19.13 (127) defeated European Crusaders 0.0 (0)
    Goals and Best Players to follow. ...


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    Fiji has turned on one of the highest scoring international women's games seen, destroying world footy newcomer Pakistan at Mulgrave Reserve, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne.

    It was Round 3 of the Women's division and the Vonu were in no mood to go easy, having lost their two opening games by narrow margins to two of the top team in Canada and Great Britain.  They piled on goals in every quarter, keeping the Shaheens scoreless throughout the match.

    Many thanks to Robert Wolfgramm for information contributing to this article and the Fiji Daily Post for the photos.

    The location - the Eastern Devils ground, Mulgrave Reserve, Melbourne.  The weather - sunny, occasional clouds, negligible breeze, perfect for footy.

    As the scoreboard suggests, Fiji had winners in all positions, though the Fiji backine was given little to do all day, as the Fiji centres and forwards ran rampant.  Credit to the hard-working Pakistani women but they were smaller and slower and generally struggled to slow the Vonu as Fiji booted through a major or minor every few minutes.

    Fiji had sixteen scorers with multiple goal-kickers being PAULINI KOROWAQA, Makareta Tunidau, Vitalina Mirini, Fuga Taoba, Nesi Barini, MAKITALENA LAWEBUKA, VERENAISI CAGINAVANUA, SALLY FONG, Vasemaca Radinibukelevu, Lanieta Wolfgramm, VANI SEREVI, Jennifer Goodsir, Milika Tokaicake, Litia Matanisigadrau, and Kereni Nabalarua (best players according to Robert Wolfgramm in capitals).

    The quality of the Fiji team has already been proven in their opening match against current world champs, Canada, where after leading in the closing stages, they were unlucky to lose by a point in extra time - put it down to Fiji's inexperience. Fiji also had its chances against Great Britain but squandered opportunities - again due to inexperience.

    Today's match was far more one-sided and reward for Fiji's effort so far. Pakistan tried their hearts out, but due to their own even greater inexperience and lack of match fitness, were unable to interrupt the flow of Fiji out of the centre bounce goalward. Fiji's slick handball and effective kicking to team mates were a joy to behold.

    But such is the excellent spirit between teams in the International Cup generally, that both vanquished and victor could celebrate their match together at the end of play. In fact the Pakistan team was still full of spirit despite the crushing loss, singing after the game.  We certainly hope such losses are not diminishing their love of the sport.

    Final scores:

    Fiji 29.20 (194)
    Pakistan 0.0 (0)

    Official AFL best players and goalkickers to follow later.

    ...


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    Below are the Women's ladders after Round 3 of the 2017 AFL International Cup, with Canada and Ireland topping Pools A and B respectively, both undefeated.

    The tournament now moves to the semi-final round, with Canada (3 wins 0 losses) to take on neighbours USA (2-1), and Ireland (3-0) similarly taking on neighbours Great Britain (2-1).  The winners go through to the Grand Final at Etihad Stadium.  The other nations play off for the lower spots.

    Did the best 4 teams make the semisω  PNG were much improved on their last appearance (2011) but clearly not top 4 overall, but Fiji can consider themselves very unlucky, going down to Canada in round 1 after a draw at full time, losing by a golden point (next score wins) in controversial circumstances.  If Fiji had won that match they would've finished 2nd, ahead of Great Britain on percentage, assuming the other matches played out the same. If they improve this much again by IC20 look out all-comers!

    Read on for the ladders.

    2017 AFL International Cup Women's Ladders - completion of Round 3 (Sunday August 13th)
    Women's - Pool 1
    Pos Team W L %
    1 Canada 3 0 1311
    2 Great Britain 2 1 307
    3 Fiji 1 2 476
    4 Pakistan 0 3 0

     

    Women's - Pool 2
    Pos Team W L %
    1 Ireland 3 0 1527
    2 USA 2 1 290
    3 PNG 2 1 71
    4 Europe Crusaders 0 3 0

     

     

     

      ...


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    The top of the table Women’s Pool 1 clash between the reigning world champs the Canada Northern Lights and the International Cup debutants the Great Britain Swans – on a breezy but mostly sunny day with an early taste of Melbourne Spring in the air – the venue the Plenty Oval, home of the Victorian Womens club the powerful Diamond Creek. Last tournament this venue hosted the Banshees vs the Liberty. With respect to that previous encounter – this match is a super important fixture. The winner will ensure the advantage in the semi-finals on Tuesday. The loser likely to face up to Ireland in the other semi. The Northern Lights going in as favourites but the Brits full of hope to pull off an upset.

    Winning the toss – Aimee Legault opted to kick with the stiffening breeze that favoured the city or southern end of the ground. Running North-South, the trade-off being that the forwards would be looking into the midday sun. The two sides match up pretty-well size wise – however the Canadians would be expected to shade the Brits in general skill. The first quarter was largely dominated by the Canadians and played predominantly in their forward half. The Brits were finding it a tough ask to work the ball into the breeze. How-ever the Canadians were getting caught out wide around the boundary where the Brits were more than happy to see the ball. Instead of long kicks to marking forwards – the ground ball was proving the key. Valerie Moreau (#5) was in everything and opened the scoring for the Lights with a snapped behind. The other stand out early was the number 8 in Nicola Kirwan. The Brits were under pressure to clear and Kirwan snapped another behind after an intercepted kick in but moments later went one better and snapped the opening goal. The Brits managed a couple of forays forward but were repelled each time – with Sarah Ennor (#32), Rolfe (#16) and Nguyen (#31) teaming up well in defence and relative newcomer Kirsti Oja (#34) and Jaclyn Halliday (#20) important in transitioning back into attack. How-ever after another 2 behinds (against via Moreau and Kirwan) – it looked as though the Lights might be wasting the advantage. Again it was Moreau getting an important touch, he snap towards goal was heading in the right direction when Hilary Perry (#12) tapped in off the ground to push the lead out to 16 points. One more behind via Kirwan – and that was the quarter time score. All the damage had been achieved via ground level work. It must be said that Lights skipper Aimee Legault (#10) is as tough as you could ask for – and invariably was lifting herself from the ground after a tough contest or a knock that would send many others to the bench – her movements remind me of Sam Mitchell – and her repeat efforts and competitiveness is obvious to all – and is never out of the contest including working the mark vigilantly and effectively. The Lights #1 Nicole Robertson provided everyone around the ground with a nervous moment when she marked the ball over the line only to crash into the fence. Unfortunately for the Lights Tricia Rolfe (#16) was helped from the ground after going down on an ankle. A couple of other stand outs for the Lights were Hilmi (#24) who thrives on the physical contests – sometimes taking on one tackler too many – and Vansevenant (#25). For the Brits – a largely scrappy quarter with few stand outs however across the board the pressure and tackling was limiting the Lights effectiveness. Hocking (#8) was competing strongly and Rania Ramadan (#14) in the ruck was working hard. However at quarter time the Brits coach Garth Nevin was displeased with how easy the ball had come out of the forward line after the hard work to get it there against the wind.

    The big question for the 2nd term was what the Brits could do with their turn with the breeze. An early mark and shot at goal from Alex Saulter (#71) fell short and was cleared by the Lights - however Swans #8 Frankie Hocking intercept marked the clearance between wing and half forward – and with the benefit of a 25m penalty – sent the ball long but just off line but the Swans were on the board. The forward 50 contests were fierce however the Brits were lacking the class of ground level forwards that had been so dangerous for the Lights. And when the Canadians transition to their end it was via some of the usual suspects; a strong contested mark to Hilmi, a give by hand to the creative Moreau – and contest won by Kirwan and a give to Nguyen – suddenly Robertson (recovered from the fence incident) was running goalward – the kick went astray but it stayed in the forward 50. From the stoppage it was the ever dangerous Kirwan who put it through with a super classy right foot snap from the pocket – in front of the onlooking Diamond Creekers – the ever valuable goal against the wind – in these conditions, perhaps worth 2 at the other. Both teams are well coached the interchange benches were working overtime especially with the coaches having an eye on the key match ups. The Lights having the luxury of rotating Moreau and Perry through the midfield, and the influential Hilmi was nullifying the impact of Swans skipper Laura Turner (#34). The Brits were getting their hands on the ball – Melanie McDevitt (#19), Kirsty Gray (#81) amongst them but every disposal was pressured – the tackling of Denah Arnold (#13) and Chantal Beaudin (#14) stopping the Brits in their tracks and creating stoppages. From one of these it was Hilmi who cleared and booted forward – Legault playing in front marked and gave off to the running Willis (#37) but the kick went wide – but with 1.1 to 0.1 to this point – against the wind – the Brits were in danger of losing the quarter. The Canadians again pumped the ball into attack via Alanna Robertson (#26) and Hilmi. This time the Brits repelled – and a centre wing high tackled on Freya Blount (#2) allowed the Swans to pushed deep forward. Beth Bailey (#16) was warming to the contest for the Swans but they couldn’t get past the Lights defence. Finally it was Ramadan who from a set shot managed their second score – but again just a minor. When Gray got in the action again – incepting a kick in – the Brits were unlucky with the ball touched through. A final chance after siren saw Bennett (#3) taking a long shot but despite the breeze at her back the ball fell short and the 21 point deficit at the main break put the game very much in the Canadians corner.

    The third quarter could have blown the game wide open – however the breeze seemed to fade and the Brits took comfort and lifted their defensive rating. However the early lowlight was a high contact on Gray when the Brits had pushed inside F50. Helped from the ground by trainers with a nick to the forehead – the question mark clearly upon whether she would be able to return. Alannah Blount (#23) took the free kick, it fell short, Turner crumbed and her snap to the top of the square could so easily have been marked. The Brits were forcing repeat entries – Hocking sent the ball back in but this time there was no Swan nearby. When Bennett delivered to Ramadan – the resulting free was contested on the goal line – on another day Stacey Hughes (#12) might have marked and goaled – but today the austere Canadian defence weren’t willing to concede even a behind against the wind. They forced it wide to the defensive eastern pocket – in front of the club rooms. It was the Canadians turn now to attack but the Brits initially repelled – only for the skipper Legault to intercept and dish off a handball to Hilmi who chipped around the corner to Kirwan – however -again the Canadians had worked themselves wide and the shot from Kirwan was about a metre inside the boundary about 45 out. It did result in the first score of the term. Meanwhile for the Brits – Kirsty Gray was undergoing concussion testing – and passing – she would soon return to the field with her head wrapped up. The British defensive pressure was a highlight – big and repeated tackles from the likes of Bennett and Ramadan were stifling the Canadians flare. One more behind to Canada via a soccer out of congestion and that was it for the quarter. 2 behinds only with the wind and perhaps the Brits had bought themselves a real crack at this game. Did they have 4 goals in them with the breeze. Their coach hoped so.

    The final term promised much – alas the Canadians still had plenty of run in them early and were not letting the Brits play it on their terms. When Legault run on to the ball and used her soccer skills to tap it forward and following up won the foot race to tap in off the ground – under heavy pressure from Bailey – the early goal against the wind would prove a bridge too far for the brave Swans. A couple more behinds to the Canadians via Perry and Kirwan would see out the scoring for the afternoon. The Canadians had shown a superiority in clean ball use. The Brits were very competitive, but under pressure their hand ball was more often for survival than for creating opportunities. The Canadian coach Jason Arnold was pleased with the performance of his chargers – including the strong midfield rotations and made particular mention of Kirsti Oja whose athleticism and skill were a feature of the afternoon.

    The week ahead will see the Northern Lights taking on the Pool B second place USA Freedom. The Swans need to get up for a tough assignment against the Irish Banshees. For all side – recovery and player management is crucial with very little recovery time leading into what looks set to be a wet old Tuesday at Royal Park. The goal of playing at Etihad next Saturday.

    Squad Stats
    Canada Great Britain
    Avg Ht cm 167.1 168
    Avg Wt kg 66.8 65.9
    Avg age 30.8 29

    Match Details:

    Plenty War Memorial Oval, 12 noon
    Canada vs Great Britain
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Canada 2.5.(17) 3.6.(24) 3.8.(26) 4.10.(34)
    Great Britain 0.0.(0) 0.3.(3) 0.3.(3) 0.3.(3)

    Goal Kickers: Canada: N.Kirwan 2, A.Legault, H.Perry Great Britain :Best Players: Canada: tbc Great Britain : tbc ...


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    It was a mild sunny day in Melbourne's South East. Hallam Reserve hosted the Women's Pool B top of the table clash between the Alfa Ireland Banshees and the Papua New Guinea Flames.

    The contest in the opening quarter was even and tight with both teams unable to gain clear possession and to break the game open. It took to about the 10-minute mark of the first for the Banshees to get on top in the contest, as they were winning a lot more of the footy.

    The Flames had more leg speed when they broke free clear with possession, but the Banshees were just using the ball more smartly and smoother with their movement with or without the ball. Virginia Kiwa (#10) came off towards the end of the opening term with what looked like a suspected knee injury. In the dying minutes of the first, Gillian Behan (#23) slotted through the first goal of the match.

    Flames were strong in defence and withstood all of the Banshees attacking play in their forward half, as the amount of times the Banshees went in their forward half they should have scored more, but take your hat off to the Flames backline. Tonok Hedwick (#4) was a standout in defence for her team. The Banshees had a narrow lead of 9 points over the Flames at quarter time.

    The second term began like the first with neither team dropping off in intensity and pressure. There were heaps of intense and fierce tackles early in the second from both teams. Also both teams were unable to get the ball pass the centre and therefore this made it hard for both teams to score.

    Finally, the Banshees were able to get a clear kick into their attacking 50 and it paid off, as they were able to slot through the first major of the second from the goal square via Olivia McCann (#9). Rachel McGee (#3) played well in the second. The whole second quarter, the Flames had a loose woman in defence, so each time the Banshees kicked for goal or inside 50 she was able to clean up the ball and kick the ball out of her defensive 50.

    Christine McCutcheon (#36) kicked a goal off a drop punt. The Banshees late in the second began to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal. Deborah Geraghty (#29) slotted through another goal and there dominance was starting to show. Flames scored a behind, just before the siren sounded for half time. Flames were down by 26 at the major break.

    Early in the third, the Flames had a couple inside 50s but were unable to trouble the scorers as the Irish defence held up well with intercept marks and possession. Taiva Lavai (#15) played well in the midfield for the Flames. Maebh Moriarty (#25) kicked a goal for the Banshees from 40m out. The Banshees started to tick the scoreboard over in the third. Aisling Gillespie (#19) dribbled through a goal for the Banshees who were showing all class with their disposal efficiency, ball skills and movement.

    The Flames thought they had finally broke through with their first goal and the crowd went wild, but the Banshees told the umpires that it was touched. So there was a score review and to the sighs of the crowd the decision was reversed and sadly it was a point. Christine McCutcheon (#36) kicked accurately for another goal.

    The Flames with a lot of play in their forward half, but with no luck in front of goal as the Banshees tackling pressure around the contest was immense and truly amazing viewing. Prudence Sindriwen (#25) was knocked hard in the contest and was barely moving. The play stopped for a few minutes as the trainers from both teams ran to her aid and they stretchered her off the ground to the change rooms.

    Just before the match ended, the ambulance came to check up on Prudence Sindriwen (#25). Rachel McGee (#3) slotted through a great long goal from 52m out. The Flames were down by 49 at three quarter time. 

    It was an aggressive start to the last quarter from both teams. As a result, Amanda Maginn (#2) was knocked heavily to the ground and was on her knees. But she was able to get back up and she went back in the game.

    The Banshees bench began to sing victoriously in Irish chants and songs 10 minutes into the last, because they knew they were home. Brigid Gaur (#1) was knocked hard to the ground and she seemed to be winded, as she came off the ground with the trainer, grasping for breath while she walked slowly to the bench.

     It was a close and tough last quarter. Deborah Geraghty (#29) played well all match. Colleen Quinn (#22) took a great strong mark and kicked to Megan Creegan (#16) who went for goal, but the ball just fell short. Olivia McCann (#9) just before the siren sounded slotted through the Banshees ninth and final goal of the match. The Banshees posted a massive win over the Flames by 57 points in a hard fought clash. 

    The Banshees showed why they are top of the ladder in the Women’s competition with cleaner ball skills and slicker ball movement and why they are still the only undefeated team heading into finals.

    Credit to the flames who gave it their all to the end with lots of inside 50s, but they struggled to kick any goal. This match was hard fought from both teams with three players coming off second best in the contest. It looked like all the players from both teams will be sore tonight.

    Full Time Score: IRE 9.6 (60) to PNG 0.3 (3)

    ...


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    Box Hill North 12 August 2017 - by Stephen Alomes

    On one of those windy August days, out in suburban Melbourne, came the clash of two of the favourites for division 2 men’s – Japan and Germany.
     

    Although in the same pool, it seemed like an anticipation of a key final, after both had easy victories against their opponents in earlier matches.

    Image left: 'Where eagles fly but Samurais on the ground'
     

    Played at Box Hill North, where Elgar Rd meets the eastern freeway, the ground has an old Japan Samurai connection, as scholarship players have gone to the Box Hill North amateur team in the past.

    Not quite a home advantage, although Japan has played there at earlier ICs.

    Germany, the big strong German team, is the product of a competition almost as old as the JAFL, but was making its debut at the International Cup.
     

    Dispersed teams from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the South, Frankfurt in the west and Berlin in the east, meant that the Germans had never quite got it together to create a national team.
     

    It was also a meeting of different sizes and skills. In their earlier matches the Japanese, although slightly smaller (the biggest players tend to be about 180-185 cm) played with a system and skill which few AFL teams could match, with strings of handpasses and low kicks to the forwards after taking the ball out of the centre, supported by strong tackling.

    "Play in front"
     

    In past International Cups, the Samurais’ run and speed was never quite enough as they fell to physically stronger and marking teams later in the match.
     

    Would this division 2 game produce a victory for the Japanese style of play? Or did the Germans have their own systematic approach and skills as well as physical presence, with the Eagles soaring over the Samurai? And would the winds of the last week have an influence, either on low passing or on long kicking? Or would Melbourne have a respite from occasional wind and rain in early August?
     

    The game opened with German aerial dominance and long kicking as Germany’s Constantin Pixa from the Frankfurt Redbacks at 199 cm and 93 kg dominated in the ruck. However Germany was having trouble putting a score on the board and would finish the quarter with only two points, after the 200 cm Rheinland Lions player, Johannes Orlowski put the ball out of bounds.
     

    Despite the confident high marking and beautiful left foot kicks of German captain Florian Naumann in the backline, turning back some Japanese attacks, it was the Japanese mosquito fleet of running players who were dominating over a side with eight players over 90 kgs on their list, especially Kyo Nakagawa up forward and Yudai Yamaji.
     

    The Japanese system of a ball knocked out of a ground contest to another player who then handballed to a player running past contrasted with the German lack of system. Whereas most of the Japanese players came from Tokyo and the Germans from across the country, with only two camps in Frankfurt before coming to Australia, the Germans were struggling.
     

    On several occasions the smaller Japanese players including the dominant player on the field, Japanese captain Mitchito Sakaki, at 166 cms, were out-marking the taller Eagles players. When they didn’t several players swooped on the ball at ground level, beating the Germans for speed, fitness, skill and teamwork.
     

    It was rather like the mobile ships of Francis Drake defeating the less mobile Spanish Galleons as the English repelled the Spanish Armada. Commentator Rex Hunt may have called the ball the ‘aerial conveyance’, but, except for kicking goals, the game is mainly played at ground level.
     

    By half time, the Japanese had a good lead of 3 2 10 to Germany’s 1 3 9.
     

    Had the Germans held their marks and kicked straight they might have been in the game. At the same time a lack of experience came over as clumsiness, and giving away free kicks. Japanese fierce tackling of taller Eagles players resulted in further holding the ball free kicks. It was a surprise that the smaller size players were hitting harder in tackling.
     

    In the third quarter, some Samurai players seemed to tire, even as a long Japanese goal before the siren increased their lead to 5 3 33 to the Eagles 2 3 15.
     

    Footy talk was there on the field and on the boundary line at ¾ time as Japan’s coach Brett Although was backed up by a translator whilesome German players in the huddle were uttering ‘Schiesse’, a sign of frustration. Later, when a German player roughed up a Japanese player after a tackle multilingual spectators put their oar in about this ‘langsam Dummkopf’ (slow fool or something like that.)
    In the last quarter, Japan defended its lead against the wind, taking the ball out on the Elgar Rd side of the ground and on one occasion it bounced over the fence and went off almost to join the busy traffic.
     

    A scrambly last quarter was perhaps inevitable after a hard fought match and although the Eagles goaled just before the final siren the result was never in doubt.
     

    After the Japanese had thanked their supporters, and Mitchito Sakaki signed autographs for young kids, the teams gathered for a shared photo.
     

    Then, the real winner was recognised as a group cheer went up from everyone for what really mattered – ‘Footy!’

    JAPAN 5 5 35
    GERMANY 3 5 23

    JAPAN
    Best Players: M.Sakaki, H.Kuroda, T.Nasu, Y.Yamamoto, S.Toda, K.Takahashi
    Goals: K. Nakagawa 2, Y.Yamaji, S.Tada, H.Kuroda, J.Sekiguchi

    GERMANY
    Best Players: F.Naumann, T.Menzel, M.Schuettoff, P.Evermann, G.Jung, J.Jung
    Goals: F. Naumann 2, J.Huesken
     

     
     

     

      ...


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     WFN World Rankings (Women) Post Round Three IC17

    Fiji Vonu and Papua New Guinea Flames both played their 8th Qualifying matches in Round Three on Sunday 13th August, becoming Fully Ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively. All four matches played resulted as was expected and as the ranking scheme predicted and consequently there were no changes in rank.

    WFN World Rankings (Women) as at 14th August 2017.

    1.     Australia

    2.     Canada                       54.84   2          17

    3.     Great Britain             46.79   3          10

    4.     Ireland                       46.67   4          20

    5.     United States             44.81   5          17

    6.     Canada “B”               42.60   6          8

    7.     Fiji                              42.54   Prov    8

    8.     Papua New Guinea   37.48   Prov    8

    Provisional Nations

    P1. European Crusaders            33.45   7

    P2  Tonga                                     32.50   5

    P3 United States “B”                  31.93   5

    P4 Pakistan                                  34.79   4

     

    Dormant Nation

    AIM                                  33.29   4

     

    The European Crusaders are the newest nation to become Fully Ranked when they play their Eighth Qualifying match against Fiji (ω) in Semi-Final 3 on Tuesday. The Crusaders will join the Ranks in 9th place if Vonu win as the Ranking scheme predicts (the higher ranked team will win more often than not). However, if the Crusaders can buck the odds they will enter the ranks in 8th place above Papua New Guinea Flames.

      ...


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    IC17 Round 4 matches will play out at Royal Park tomorrow. The latest scheduled match times and ovals are in the table below.

    All matches will also be streamed live on the AFL's International Cup Youtube page. Division 1 will have their scheduled Round 4 matches while Division 2 and the Women's Divisions will have their semi-finals.

    Division Home Away Date Time Venue - Oval
    D1 Canada Nauru Tues 15th Aug 8.45am Royal Park - Ransford Oval
    D1 USA France Tues 15th Aug 9.30am Royal Park - McAlister Oval
    D2 Pakistan Sri Lanka Tues 15th Aug 9.30am Royal Park -Western Oval
    D1 Papua New Guinea South Africa Tues 15th Aug 10.30am Royal Park - Ransford Oval
    D1 Great Britain Fiji Tues 15th Aug 11.15am Royal Park - McAlister Oval
    D2 India Indonesia Tues 15th Aug 11:15am Royal Park -Western Oval
    D1 Ireland New Zealand Tues 15th Aug 12.15pm Royal Park - Ransford Oval
    W Canada USA Tues 15th Aug 1.00pm Royal Park - McAlister Oval
    W Fiji EU Tues 15th Aug 1.00pm Royal Park -Western Oval
    D2 China Germany Tues 15th Aug 2.00pm Royal Park - Ransford Oval
    W Ireland GB Tues 15th Aug 2.45pm Royal Park - McAlister Oval
    W PNG Pakistan Tues 15th Aug 2.45pm Royal Park -Western Oval
    D2 Japan Croatia Tues 15th Aug 3.45pm Royal Park - Ransford Oval

    ...


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     WFN World Rankings Post Round Three IC17

    Sixteen Nations had a change in Rank as a result of all the Round Three matches played Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August in Melbourne and surrounds in the Community Round Three.

    Significant big climber in the ranks is China with a rise from 15th to 11th and Japan has continued to climb the ranks at this International Cup rising from 16th to 14th with their win over Germany.

    Indonesia has suffered a big fall, in losing the maximum 3.00 rating points in their losses to China and Croatia, falling to 17th from 14th. Fiji hasn’t fared very well either in their loss to Papua New Guinea, falling from 11th to 15th.

    It must be pointed out that all the big moves have occurred in the area of the ranks where there were about eight or nine nations separated by only five or six rating points.

    WFN World Rankings as at 13th August 2017.

    1.     Australia

    2.     Papua New Guinea               59.04   3          37        +1

    3.     New Zealand                         58.09   2          42        -1

    4.     Ireland                                   57.40   4          57        -

    5.     United States                         51.49   5          46        -

    6.     Great Britain                         47.96   6          63        -

    7.     Nauru                                     47.76   7          30        -

    8.     Canada                                   46.97   8          46        -

    9.     South Africa                          46.49   10        30        +1

    10.  Denmark                                43.67   9          47        -1

    11.  China                                      42.32   15        20        +4

    12.  Croatia                                   41.99   13        11        +1

    13.  Tonga                                     41.93   12        14        -1

    14.  Japan                                      41.06   16        32        +2

    15.  Fiji                                          40.31   11        17        -4

    16.  Germany                                36.65   14        23        -2

    17.  Peace Team                           36.46   17        11        -

    18.  France                                    36.09   19        16        +1

    19.  Sweden                                   34.18   20        39        +1

    20.  Indonesia                               33.58   17        10        -3

    21.  Pakistan                                 30.38   Prov    8          -

    22.  Finland                                   27.45   21        18        -1

    23.  India                                       21.88   22        19        -1

    Provisional Nations

    P1 Sri Lanka                               32.36               3

    P2 Indo China                             34.00               2

    P3 Canada North Stars              40.00               1

    P4 Asia Lions                              37.59               1

    Dormant Nations

                Iceland                                   38.53               6

                Timor Leste                           27.40               4

     

    Mention must be made, that Pakistan Shaheens joined the fully ranked with their win over India Friday night.

    Pakistan definitely has the “wood” 2-0 over India now so has another rivalry begun in footy as well as Cricket.

      ...


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    Amua Pirika's (pictured left) six goals for PNG against the USA on Saturday was not enough to give him the lead in the Men's Division 1 leading goalkicker*.  Despite a total of 10 goals from his past two games he still trails Great Britain's Andrew Walkden by two.  Walkden sits on twelve goals after kicking six of his own on Saturday against Ireland to add to five against South Africa in Round 1 and one against Canada in Round 2.

    In Division 2 Croatia's Ivan Ivos leads the goal kicking with eight for the tournament.  

    In the Women's Division there is a five way tie for the top position with Christine McCutcheon from Ireland, Danni Saulter from GB, Jessica Estrada from USA, as well as Sally Fong and Verenaisi Caginavanua (both from Fiji) all on 6 goals so far. 

     

     Men's Division 1

    Player Name Team Name Matches Goals
    Andrew Walkden Great Britain 3 12
    Amua Muzza Pirika Papua New Guinea 3 10
    Padraig Lucey Ireland 3 9
    Brendan Clark New Zealand 3 6
    Richmond Spanner Nauru 3 6
    Barclay Miller New Zealand 3 5

    Men's Division 2

    Player Name Team Name Matches Goals
    Ivan Ivos Croatia 3 8
    Jan Huesken Germany 3 7
    Josip Habljak Croatia 3 7
    Kyo Nakagawa Japan 2 6
    Damian Ratwatke Sri Lanka 1 5

    Women's Division

    Player Name Team Name Matches Goals
    Christine Mccutcheon Ireland 3 6
    Danni Saulter Great Britain 3 6
    Jessica Estrada Usa 3 6
    Sally Fong Fiji 3 6
    Verenaisi Caginavanua Fiji 3 6
    Danah Arnold Canada 3 5

     *These statistics are based on those supplied by the AFL International Cup website. ...


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    The number 34 for the Canada Northern Lights - worn by Kirsti Oja - had a stand out game on Sunday at the Plenty War Memorial Park. Amongst many highlights, dashing runs, athletic high leaping in ruck contests and skilful ball use there was also this superb contested mark between two British Swans.

    Described by her coach as a Northern Lights rookie, but with elite running attributes - Oja also has excellent skills and game awareness and will be a key player as the Lights seek to the right to defend their title.

    ...

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    Previous 'Meets':Josip HabljakAlphonse JambarufoAssemat Marine

    Name Pierre Labigang
    Nation/Side France
    Division Mens Div 1

     

    ...
      WHICH TEAM MATE…
    …would you WANT to kick for goal to win after the sirenω Pierre Boscart
    ...would NOT WANT to tackle you at trainingω Anthony Girard
    ...would you NOT WANT to eat their cookingω Pierre Labigang (myself)
    ...spends MOST TIME getting their hair just rightω Raph Ubeda
       
    Favourite AFL teamω Richmond Tigers
    Favourite AFL Playerω Dustin Martin
    Richard Virenque
    Your best other sportω Soccer
      DO YOU...
    …Bounce the ball or tap on the ground Bounce
    …wear footy socks up or down Down
    ...prefer AFL Grand Finalω Day/Twilight/Nightω Day
       
    Most Embarrassing Footy Moment Hit the post from the goal square
    Any Footy Superstitionsω Pull socks half way when kicking for goals
    How did you end up playing this gameω Wanting to try a new sport
    Best Footy momentω Representing France in the IC
      PREDICTIONS
     
    Mens Div 1 Ireland
    Womens Ireland
    Mens Div 2 Japan

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