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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Previous 'Meets':Josip HabljakAlphonse JambarufoAssemat MarinePierre LabigangKenneth Oppenheimer

    Name Kohei Kageyama
    Nation/Side Japan Samurais
    Division Mens Div 2
      WHICH TEAM MATE…
    …would you WANT to kick for goal to win after the siren? Shoki Mukodaka
    ...would NOT WANT to tackle you at training? Yuji Yamamoto
    ...would you NOT WANT to eat their cooking? Hiroo Kuroda
    ...spends MOST TIME getting their hair just right? Kyo Nakagawa
    Favourite AFL team? Carlton
    Favourite AFL Player? Liam Jones
    Your best other sport? Baseball
      DO YOU...
    …Bounce the ball or tap on the ground Bounce
    …wear footy socks up or down Down
    ...prefer AFL Grand Final? Day/Twilight/Night? Day
    ...

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    Previous 'Meets':
    Josip Habljak
    Alphonse Jambarufo
    Assemat MarinePierre LabigangKenneth Oppenheimer

    Name Jeff Kraemer
    Nation/Side USA Revolution
    Division Mens Div 1
      WHICH TEAM MATE…
    …would you WANT to kick for goal to win after the siren? "USA"
    ...would NOT WANT to tackle you at training? "Horse"
    ...would you NOT WANT to eat their cooking? Tim (Lindfelt)
    ...spends MOST TIME getting their hair just right? "Magic"
    Favourite AFL team? Eagles
    Your best other sport? Soccer (football)
      DO YOU...
    …Bounce the ball or tap on the ground Bounce
    …wear footy socks up or down Middle
    ...prefer AFL Grand Final? Day/Twilight/Night? Day
    How did you end up playing this game? While studying abroad
    Best Footy moment? First USA win
      PREDICTIONS
    Mens Div 1 USA
    Womens USA
    ...

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                                                                    WFN World Rankings post Semi-Final Rounds

    16th August 2017

    Twelve Nations have undergone a change in World Ranks as a result of the Division 1 Round 4 matches and Division 2 Semi-Final Round Games.

    New Zealand’s victory over Ireland has seen them swap ranks 2nd for 3rd with Papua New Guinea again during this International Cup. Both Croatia 9th and Germany 13th have climbed three ranks following their wins’ over Japan and China, whilst Japan and China have fallen to 16th and 15th respectively. Nauru, Tonga and Fiji each have also risen one place courtesy of other nations losses in these rounds. Great Britain, Canada and Denmark each fell one place, again courtesy of the movement of other nations. And it should be pointed out that most of the movement has occurred in areas of the ranks where numerous teams are only separated by 2.00 to 3.00 Rating Points.

    WFN World Rankings 16th August 2017
    
    Rank   Team                    Points  Prev.     Games      Change
    				      Rank     Played 	
    1.     Australia
    2.     New Zealand             60.88   3          42        +13.     Papua New Guinea        59.04   2          38        -1
    4.     Ireland                 54.61   4          58        -5.     United States           51.49   5          47        -
    6.     Nauru                   50.52   7          31        +17.     Great Britain           48.67   6          64        -1
    8.     South Africa            46.49   9          31        +19.     Croatia                 44.99   12         12        +3
    10.    Canada                  44.20   8          47        +211.    Denmark                 43.67   10         47        -1
    12.    Tonga                   41.93   13         14        +113.    Germany                 39.65   16         24        +3
    14.    Fiji                    39.61   15         18        +115.    China                   39.32   11         21        -4
    16.    Japan                   38.06   14         33        -217.    Peace Team              36.46   17         11        -
    18.    France                  36.09   18         17        -19.    Sweden                  34.18   19         39        -
    20.    Indonesia               33.58   20         11        - 21.    Pakistan                29.36   21         9         -
    22.    Finland                 27.45   22         18        -23.    India                   21.88   23         20        -
    Provisional Nations
    P1 Sri Lanka             33.38               4P2 Indo China            34.00               2
    P3 Canada “B”            40.00               1P4 Asia Lions            37.59               1
    Dormant Nations
    Iceland                  38.53               6Timor Leste              27.40               4

     

      ...


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    We are delighted to have the GB Swans Captain Laura Turner preview the IC17 Women's Division Grand Final. Laura of course, over the past week or so has seen both of these teams close up.

    The 2017 AFL International Cup Women's Final will take place on Saturday and will feature two tournament rivals Canada Northern Lights and the Irish Banshees. Despite valiant efforts from newcomers to the tournament the GB Swans and the more experienced USA Freedom the final is the same match up as in IC14 and IC11.

    The game is expected to be a closely fought contest with the physicality and confident marking skills of the Canadians taking on the slick hands and fast paced passing game of the Irish. Ireland will be bouyed by the experience of AFLW player and co-captain Laura Duryea. Her free role and ability to read the game has seen her get her hands on the footy on a number of occasions and the Canadians will need to be aware of her deep kicks into the forward line.

    The Canadians have proven to be a very organised and selfless team, being one of the best at positioning, blocks and shepherds around the contest. This allows the speedy Valerie Moreau time on the ball to side step defenders, something the Irish mids and half backs will need to shut down quickly to avoid losing precious ground.

    Lara Hilmi's presence around the centre of the field will hope to neutralise the dominance of Clara Fitzpatrick in the ruck for Ireland but the game is likely to be a brutal event to be tipped by the team whose desire is most prominent.

    In the forward line Irish player Christine McCutcheon (under an injury cloud) will be eying the tournament top goalscorer spot, she is currently in third place with 6 goals. She will face stiff competition from Sally Fong (Fiji) and Valerie Mai (PNG) who both have 8 goals and Danni Saulter (GB) who has 7 goals. With all the remaining place final games on Friday these ladies will set the bench mark for the sharp shooter to reach.

    Overall the women's tournament has been a raging success welcoming in Pakistan as another new women's team and the wonderfully charismatic European Crusaders who have given women from all over Europe the opportunity to experience the International Cup. With an 8 team women's competition it is evident that participation has replicated the domestic growth of the women's game and with the access to free streaming of AFLW games this will hopefully continue to increase over the next three years.

    If you are going to the Canada Northern Lights vs Ireland Banshees Grand Final you will need to purchase a ticket to the Carlton v Hawthorn match to gain entry. Selected gates will open from 4pm.  The match is scheduled to begin at 4.30pm (AEST).  The match will be streamed worldwide live on the AFL International Cup Youtube Channel.

      ...


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    This year's International Cup sees two debutant sides squaring off in this Friday's Division 2 Grand Final - the high-flying German Eagles and the uncompromising Croatian Knights.

    For both sides, it's been a long time in the making, with over 10 years since the beginnings of domestic footy in Croatia and around 20 years in Germany.

    We take a look at the history of the two countries' footy scenes, with some of the stories featuring them on WFN over the years. In Part 2, we look back at some of the stories out of Germany back since the founding of this news site.

    2004: In the year our site was founded, the German footy scene had consisted of only two clubs (Frankfurt and Munich) for almost a decade, but growth was starting with new clubs springing up in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin and a national championship being held. Germany hosted the Central European championships, finishing third behind Belgium and Spain.

    2004 Season Review - Australian Football League Germany
    Growth for Central Europe

    2005: The Frankfurt Redbacks received the "Medal of Honour" from their home city, as recognition for winning the 2004 German championships. A five-team national league season saw. Germany was looking like a new growth area with plenty of potential.

    AFL Germany 2005 Draw Released
    Frankfurt Redbacks awarded Medal of Honour

    A story probably worth a separate mention was a long discussion with German footy pioneer Malte Schudlich, including some of the reasons why the Germans at that point were not planning on heading to the International Cup anytime soon.

    Germany - potential powerhouse of European footy?

    2006: The Germans made their first foray into full-field international rep footy, competing in a tri-series against Denmark and Sweden. Although they lost to both, the seeds were sown. The AFLG added French club Strasbourg, from just across the border. In the following year 2007, the same tri-series was held, with the Danes against thumping Germany, but the Germans breaking through to defeat Sweden in their first victory in 16-a-side footy. AFLG premiers for 2007 were the Rheinland Lions - notable as both the Lions' first premiership, but also the first AFLG premiership side to consist of a majority of native German players. In this year, the EU Cup also was hosted by Hamburg,

    Denmark Wins Inaugural Tri-Nations Series
    Strasbourg Black Devils join the AFL Germany for 2006
    Germany claim first international victory
    Rheinland Lions win their first-ever German premiership
    EU Cup preview 2007

    2008: The Stuttgart Emus were founded, bringing footy to the south-west of the country. On the international front, the Germans played a small-field test against France. Germany finished third at the EU Cup, held in Prague.

    Sweden defeat Germany for EU Cup
    France vs Germany coming up, Coupe de France set for July
    England defeat Croatia to take out the EU Cup

    2009: Germany hosted the Finland Icebreakers for an international clash in Cologne, with the Eagles emerging victorious by 37 points. They also held a 10-a-side match against the Czech Lions in Mitteleschenbach near Nürnberg. In the AFLG, the Rheinland Lions made it three premierships in a row.

    Germany defeat Finland in First International Test for 2009
    Black Eagles to face the first (almost) all-local Czech Lions in Historic Test
    Rheinland Lions go Back-to-Back-to-Back in Germany

    2010: With the first full-field European Championships being held in Denmark and southern Sweden, the Germans headed north. The Germans battled hard, but lost to Ireland and Sweden, then to Croatia (the Knights' first ever international victory). Some face was salvaged with a win over Finland in the 7th place playoff.

    Germany ready to take on Europe's best
    Host Nations secure top 4 finish in EC2010
    Croatia upset Germany to score first-ever win
    European Championships - Final Round Scores

    2011: The Germans travelled to Paris to take on the Coqs in France's first 18-a-side international. The Germans were 64-point victors on the day. In 2012 Kate O'Halloran came onboard with WFN to write another article on the history of footy in Germany.

    German Black Eagles squad named for test vs France
    France makes 18-a-side debut, but Germans too strong
    AFLG growing towards the future

    2013: We saw some first steps taken in creating a metro league in the Stuttgart area, the Baden-Württemberg AFL. The German national team came up against Denmark, but were soundly defeated. They regained some pride by defeating France in Berlin later in the year, but in the European Championships ended up finishing in 6th (last) place, losing the 5th place playoff to Croatia.

    On the domestic level, the Hamburg Dockers broke through for their first German premiership.

    Local footy in Baden-Württemberg - The Newcomers and League Overview
    World Rankings - Vikings hammer down Germany
    Germany thumps France in warmup for Dublin
    Hamburg Dockers break through for maiden German premiership
    AFL European Championships - Finals

    2014 and 2015 saw consolidation in Germany. Clubs from Ludwigsburg, Freiberg and Dresden joined the competition, with the game slowly spreading to new cities. Hamburg again took out the premiership in 2015.

    Hamburg Edges Munich For German PremiershipGerman Footy Gathers Steam in 2016

    2016: The Munich Roos regained the title of German premiers, soundly defeating Berlin in the Grand Final. Germany travelled to the European Championships, having its best performance to date - defeating Sweden in the playoff for 3rd.

    Munich Kangaroos Take AFL Germany Title
    Black Eagles and Swans Soar, Bulldogs Bite - World Rankings post EC16

    2017: As I said in the timeline of Croatia's development - here we are!! Germany's track record stretches back decades, so it's maybe surprising we haven't seen them at an IC until n ...


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    The German Eagles and Croatian Knights tomorrow will meet in the GF of the men's Division 2. In their first IC appearances, both the Eagles and Knights have impressed, losing only one game each - the Croatians against China in a slow start to Round 1, and the Germans to Japan in the final group round.

    The Semis saw both sides dominate, the Croatians running away with what was ultimately an easy win over Japan, and the Germans eventually pulling away from China in a match which had started evenly.

    It adds up to a match where the result go easily go either way.

    Both sides have held an enormous relative height advantage over their opponents - each having numerous players over 190cm. For Croatia, Josip Habljak of SANFL club Sturt has controlled play from the centre, creating numerous opportunities for teammates while kicking 8 goals for the tournament himself.

    Tomislav Cvetko and Ivan Ivoš have also created huge problems for opposition sides, both using their imposing height to create targets up forward and nail big scores. Ivoš is currently leading the goalkicking for the division, with 12 in the four matches to date, followed by Cvetko with 8 of his own.

    Another key player to watch will be Josip Kravar, who had also been dangerous around goal over the past two weeks.

    However, Germany will be the first opposition side the Croatians have faced where they don't have a size advantage overall.

    Also - crucially - the Germans have consistently had around 8 or 9 playmakers sharing the load, making it hard to change the game by eliminating a single player.

    Jakob Jung has starred all tournament for the Eagles, as have Martin Schuetoff and Melbourne resident Philipp Evermann. If there is a suggestion that the Croatian talls will trouble them, Constantin Pixa (199cm) from Frankfurt has been impressed as an attacking ruckman, as has Fabian Cordts (205cm).

    Also though, besides the players already listed, the Germans arguably have a broader range of forward line options than Croatia do. Strike forward Jan Hüsken will be a key forward line component in the German system, as will captain Florian Naumann and Melbourne-resident Phillip Evermann.

    The verdict:

    This match is really almost too close to call. Two very similar sides, with similar styles. The difference may ultimately be the huge intensity the Croatians bring to the field, which could wear down the running Germans. Our tip - Croatia by 10 points.

    The Best on Ground Medal ...


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    The 6th AFL International Cup wraps up with Men’s Div 1 and Women’s Grand Finals to be played on Saturday. The Men’s Div 1 will crown the 6th AFL International Champion. The two competing nations – the New Zealand Hawks and the Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes – have been here before. In fact – PNG have featured in every decider thus far however must consider themselves a tad lucky to have made it there this year. Having won in IC08 and IC14, PNG are hoping to become the first nation to go “Back to Back”.

    The New Zealand Hawks have worked their way back to the MCG after having last graced the hallowed turf in the decider of IC08 when they fell short against the Mozzies. The Hawks – or, at the time the Falcons – only other appearance was a triumphant one by way of victory in the IC05 decider. The only other nation to feature has been Ireland, on 3 occasions for 2 wins and a loss in IC14. A major question will be answered – will we have 3 teams with two trophies each or will the Mozzies move to the head of the table as the first nation with 3 tournament trophies.

    The Hawks IC17 path has been – for 3 out of 4 matches – very much about setting the tone and largely dominating matches. Playing the late game on the opening day the Hawks were super impressive as they dismantled the well credential Nauru Chiefs. The Hawks balance across the field along with the ability to run midfield rotations off the bench and to not give up too much with the second stringers on the field proved very much the difference as they were able to retain fresh legs to cover the field and get numbers to the ball. Players such as Ben Hick in the pivot, the skipper Andrew Howison, Liam Beattie and Jackson Clince have had great support via the outside mids Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, Will Dickinson, and youngster Misilifi Faimalo.

    Whether up forward or pushing through the mids other players such as Shane Leat, Andy Christensen and Sam McKenzie are able to push up and help the transition that is a feature for the Hawks when it comes together. The talls up forward are hard to match up on. Brendan Clark and Barclay Miller have been hard to contain – and often dray a crowd of defenders which creates ground level opportunities for the Hawks crumbers.

    The subsequent matches against Fiji and Canada saw the Hawks put in a couple of very professional outings which were underscored by the defensive efforts which restricted each opposition to a solitary goal in each match. For a super example of the Hawks transition capabilities - have a look at the youtube of the NZ v Ireland match and scroll to the 40 minute mark and watch the kick in after a close call behind by Ireland. The Hawks kick in was contested but once they got the ball it was a flawless team passage of play to bring the ball forward resulting in a set shot goal from skipper Andrew Howison.


    The Hawks have kicked 40 goals and 32 behinds for the tournament. And while the table below shows that the Hawks lowest scoring quarter has been the first - it must be noted that until the round 4 classic encounter with the Irish Warriors that the Hawks had not conceded a single first quarter point. Prior to the Ireland game the Hawks had only lost one quarter - the final term against Nauru on the opening Sunday late afternoon - under the moonlight as it was. Overall the Hawks are +34, +50, +55 and +38 across each of the quarters. The Hawks have kicked 4 goals in a quarter on 3 occasions.

    NZ FOR AGST VAR
    Qtr Gls Bhd Gls Bhd +/-
    1st 7 6 2 2 +34
    2nd 11 10 4 2 +50
    3rd 10 10 2 3 +55
    4th 12 6 6 4 +38

    The defending champs - the PNG Mozzies - didn't start their campaign as they would have hoped. It was of course a first round fixture that jumped immediately off the paper to anyone perusing the tournament schedule. The IC14 Grand Final rematch. Alas for the Mozzies - a poor 1st and last quarter book ended a mid game rally - and it was Ireland who took the points.
    The title defence looked to be on very shaky ground - however this squad responded in perfect fashion - with a first quarter effort of 6.3 against a scoreless Nauru (no mug opposition). So after just 4.7 in the first game from there on - the Mozzies slammed through 44.25 to finish the preliminary rounds with 48.32. On six occasions the Mozzies have kicked 4 or more goals in a quarter, 3 of those were returns of 6 against each of Nauru, the US and South Africa.

    The experienced Amua Pirika continues to be the main focal point up forward and with 10 goals for the tournament; he is an ever dangerous presence in the front half. Perhaps the strength though is the variety of potential goal kickers and IC14 GF hero John Ikupu showed what he can do when he dominated the South Africa Lions in the opening minutes of Tuesdays match. Exciting youngster Hewago "Ace" Oea (turns 16 in November!!) has been hitting the board as well, along with 20 yr old Kataha Siwee.

    International footy followers should be well enough aware of Brendan Beno and Gideon Simon, along with J.J.Peni (featured to the end of TVs "The Recruit") and skipper John James Lavai. Perhaps less known is a player such as Scott Johnson - but anyone unsure of his capabilities ought scroll to the 1 hour 30 minute mark of the PNG vs South Africa match from last Tuesday when at 13:38 into the last quarter Johnson launched and took an absolute specie. The Mozzies are a very dynamic side able to 'sting' repeatedly and rapidly the unsuspecting prey. Overall PNG are +46, +55, +63 and +20 across the 4 quarters. The final quarter number may be deceptive - as while the first 2 matches saw the Mozzies struggle in the final term they have turned this around and finished the last 2 matches full of running. They may just be perfectly primed.

    PNG FOR AGST VAR
    Qtr Gls Bhd Gls Bhd +/-
    1st 12 8 5 4 +46
    2nd 15 6 6 5 +55
    3rd 11 10 1 7 +63
    4th 10 8 7 6 +20

    In short - this game matches the best attack (PNG) against the best defence (NZ). Perhaps the biggest impact on this match will be the weather - out in the open spaces of the MCG - the ground level pace and skill of the Mozzies will severely test the Hawks.

    The Hawks though look to have been preparing everything for this - their heavy rotations through the bench has developed a team discipline that is geared for this event. On past IC Grand Finals it is likely that 8 goals will win it. I've had a suspicion that New Zealand are the team to beat this tournament based largely on the quality of their AFLNZ Premiership competition. However - Ireland showed on Tuesday that the Hawks are not invincible.

    If you are going to the PNG Mosquitoes vs NZ Hawks Grand Final at the MCG you will need to purchase a ticket to the Collingwood v Geelong match to gain entry. Selected gates will open early.  The match is scheduled to begin at 11.15am (AEST).  The match will be streamed worldwide live on the AFL International Cup Youtube Channel. ...


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  • 08/17/17--13:30: IC17 Round 5 Live Scores
  • Live scores updated 1/4 by 1/4 across Round 5, Finals, Friday 18th August, 2017 International Cup at Royal Park, Melbourne, Australia

    Refresh page for updates.

    Also note the AFL are live streaming most matches here.

    Note the Men's Division 1 grand final NZ vs PNG is at the MCG tomorrow (11:15am Saturday 19th August)

    Note the Women's grand final Canada vs Ireland is at Etihad Stadium tomorrow (4:30pm Saturday 19th August)

     

     

    WOMEN

    Western Oval 10:00am
    Playoff for 7th / 8th
    European Crusaders vs Pakistan
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    European Crus.  1.5  2.10    
    Pakistan  0.0  0.0    
     
    McAlister Oval 10:45am
    Playoff for 5th / 6th
    Fiji vs PNG
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Fiji  0.2  0.4    
    PNG  0.0  0.0    
     

    McAlister Oval 12:30pm
    Playoff for 3rd / 4th
    USA vs Great Britain

    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     USA        
     GB        
     
       

    MEN DIVISION 1

    Ransford Oval 9:00am
    Playoff for 9th / 10th
    South Africa vs France
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     South Africa  1.1  3.3  5.5  7.11 (53)
     France  0.0  0.3  3.3  3.3 (21)
     
    Ransford Oval 10:45am
    Playoff for 7th / 8th
    Fiji vs Canada
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     Fiji  0.1  1.3    
     Canada  2.1  3.2    
     

    Ransford Oval 2:15pm
    Playoff for 3rd / 4th
    USA vs Ireland

    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     USA        
     Ireland        
     

    McAlister Oval 2:15pm
    Playoff for 5th / 6th
    Great Britain vs Nauru

    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     GB        
     Nauru        
     
       

    MEN DIVISION 2

    McAlister Oval 9:00am
    Playoff for 3rd / 4th in Div 2
    China vs Japan
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     China  1.4  1.7  2.7  4.8 (32)
     Japan  1.0  1.1  2.4  3.5 (23)
     
    Western Oval 11:45am
    Playoff for 7th / 8th in Div 2
    Pakistan vs India
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     Pakistan        
     India        
     
    Ransford Oval 12:30pm
    Grand Final in Div 2
    Germany vs Croatia
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     Germany        
     Croatia        
     
    Western Oval 1:30pm
    Playoff for 5th / 6th in Div 2
    Sri Lanka vs Indonesia
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
     Sri Lanka        
     Indonesia        
     

     

      ...


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    The Division One battle for 7th place promised a mighty battle between two sides that had tasted victory just once each across the tournament. Both sides had put up fighting efforts and while Fiji were favourites against 2011 rivals the French Les Coqs for the Tribe’s only win, the Canadians perhaps pinched one to get over Great Britian in the school round. Ironically both sides performed almost identically against the unbeaten NZ Hawks – produced a goal each in total as arguably the tournament favourites exerted their will.

    The fifth game for each team - in 2 weeks - as the Canadian coach put it before the game "I know you're sore, they're sore too - who's tougher?" The final Friday asks more of many players than they imagined they could draw upon - as evenly matched opponents produce some of the most entertaining and fiercely fought matches of the tournament. And not letting anyone down - this match went down to the wire.

    Winning the toss the Fiji Tribe opted to kick with what advantage the cross ground wind provided to the city or Southern end. As the quarter got underway it became apparent that getting trapped on the eastern side would make scoring difficult. And that’s how it was playing out early – an arm wrestle that the Canadians were happy to engage in – chewing up time. Their bench urging on “Daisy”, “Irish”, and to talk, to instruct. The North Wind were able to push forward – with numbers back they found themselves entering an open forward zone and a marking infringement against Dylan Wolfgramm (#15) –who was matched up on the dangerous Adam Nash (#7) saw a super kick against the wind sail through the big sticks to put the North Wind on the board first. The Canadians continued to create chances – and after Wolfgramm cleared the D50 – the high ball was marked by the clever Eric Klein. Benefitting from a 25m penalty and catching the Tribe defenders napping – Klein powered goal ward – through the unguarded mark and slotted a fine goal from the defensive pocket. A later behind to the North Wind saw our first view for the match of the North Wind kick in zone. Wolfgramm had the task for Fiji of taking kick ins – and from the Northern end his plan was generally to go defensive side which was where much of the quarter was played out. The Canadian defence had been on top and as per usual the general down back being Giancarlo Brancati (#10).

    Fiji finally warmed to the task in the 2nd term – creating early chances although the snap from Bativoli (#21) missed – but they were looking more dangerous. However Canada again responded with a 3rd goal, at the 8 and a half minute mark, again via Nash, who marked a kick that flew left across the face of goal – on the breeze – and judged it better falling back. The goal was from a tight angle but employing the Stevie Johnson technique he opened up the angle and bent the ball through. During this period the Tribe were starting to get a little frustrated – perhaps on the wrong side of the umpiring. But persistence paid off, after 13 minutes it was Salavou (#19) who got on the end of a forward move via Nawaqatabu (#20) to Vateitei (#6) that found Salavou in the right forward pocket – the kick right over the umpires head was a neat finish. By the long break it was Canada by 11 but the game had tightened up and Fiji looked to be gaining momentum, with a neat running game developing and strong defensive combinations from Wolfgramm, Macanawai (#18), and Tuiova (#16) – and created late opportunities but couldn’t find another goal to go into the main break.

    The third term saw both teams having periods of ascendency – Canada had a chance to extend their lead but were doing it the hard way – in increments of 1. Clay Lund (#6) was super busy for the North Wind and was in everything, tackling, having shots, one touched on the line. Four behinds was the return and the door was still ajar for the Tribe. And the Tribe had a crack at going through – getting their hands on the ball they began attacking. Still Brancati was standing tall for the North Wind but after behinds to Vanitabua (#14) and Salavou, it was Alipate Kiti (#4) who got the desperately needed goal. As the quarter drew to near to the end, Fiji created another chance after Masivou (#22) won a free against Lund (who was dirty on himself) – however the ball went wide for a behind and the North Wind held a 7 point margin at the last break. .

    The Fijian coach urged his players to take the game on, to kick long, and to call on those hard training sessions at Albert Park and the sand runs – reminding them that this last 17 ½ minutes might be the last time some of the players get to represent their country – to make the most of it. One more effort. The game was set for a classic final quarter and it didn’t disappoint. The North Wind, with the wind playing tricks ironically enough – was now perhaps favouring the Tribe; the North Wind were flooding back and trying to defend their slim lead. Fiji did most the attacking and created the clearest scoring chances but just couldn’t get that elusive goal. The first behind to Macanawai (#18) snapping from the right forward pocket – the pressure was showing when Canadian defender Jacob Martin (#14) marked and kept on running only to be tackled and turn it over. The shot from Pauli (#24) reached the teeth of goal but again Canada repelled. By now – there were only 2 players in the Canadian half. 9 mins in and another behind to Fiji – a mark deep forward by Vunitubua (#14) but the carefully steered kick went just wide. It wasn’t easy to clear though – the ball almost permanently in the Fiji right forward pocket with the wind magnetically drawing it back at all times. The final score was a long short from Maiqereqere (#10) that brought the margin to 3 points. And when Canada earned a free at 17:15 on the clock their players knew they’d got the job done. The conquered Fiji Tribe had given it their all and on another day would have done enough to win the match. For the North Wind, the game had been set up in the first quarter and from there the North Wind had never relinquished the lead.

    Squad Stats
    Fiji Canada
    Avg Ht cm 181.9 183.6
    Avg Wt kg 83.4 85.6
    Avg age 23.8 28.6

    Match Details:

    Ransford Oval, 10:45am
    Fiji vs Canada
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Fiji 0.1.(1) 1.3.(9) 2.5.(17) 2.9.(21)
    Canada 2.1.(13) 3.2.(20) 3.6.(24) 3.6.(24)

    Goal Kickers: Fiji: A. Kiti, S. Salavou Canada: A.Nash 2, E.Klein 1 Best Players: Fiji: J. Vunitabua, M. Koroi, S. Salavou, A. Navuso, J. Macanawai, J. Vateitei Canada: J. Martin, E. Klein, G. Brancati, M. Singh, C. Lund, R. Macdonald

    Note the AFL site lists #33 McNabb with the 2 goals. ...


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    Round 5 Grading matches and the Division 2 Grand Final were played at Royal Park today.

    It was four seasons in a day (well maybe not summer) but sunshine, wind and rain all played a part.

    Harley Vague quickly summarised today's matches before putting on the glad rags and heading to the gala.

    R.S.A. Lions defeat France Coqs in an entertaining game.

    Division #1 Positions 9&10 Playoff.   R.S.A. Lions  Vs  France Coqs.

    It’s a rather a disappointing situation for the R.S.A. Lions that they have found themselves in, sliding after years of progressing up the rankings. The position of the France Coqs is not so unexpected. It’s a big step up from second division to first division for them. In a good display of football both teams were able to open up open up and score. The R.S.A. drew away in the final stages playing like the Lions of old.

    R.S.A. Lions   7 goals  9 behinds = 51 points  defeated  France les Coqs  3 goals  3 behinds =  21 points
     

    Chinese Dragons have edge over Japan Samurai neighbours.

    Division #2 Positions 3&4 Playoff.    China Dragons Vs  Japan Samurai.

    Bothe teams have been a surprise improvement. The Japan Samaurai  have been a welcome addition to the winners circle after years of struggling to impress on the scoreboard.  They were unlucky  to be bundled out by the physical Croatia Knights in the last game. The China Dragons have improved relatively quickly and they forced out by the German Eagles, another physical team. It might be said that finals football wins out over good football.In the “battle of Asia” it was a very close affair all day with China edging Japan and holding on to will in a low scoring affair with much of the play on the dead wing.  Jamie Pi was chaired off after the match, going out on a high after completing his fourth IC tournament for China.

    China  Dragons  4 goals  8 behinds = 32 points    dfd    Japan Samurai  3 goals  5 behinds =  23 points.


    European Crusaders dominate the Pakistan Shaheens women’s team

    Women  Positions 7&8 Playoff.     European Crusaders  Vs  Pakistan Shaheens.

    It’s been a tough outing for both teams. The European Crusaders have played some good football but that was almost always in defence.  They were unfortunate not to trouble the scoreboard more.  The situation for the Pakistan Shaheens women’s team has been more predictable, with football for them being more in the developmental stage - they were always going to struggle. Play was very congested and sometimes the entire group of players were within the 45m arc. The European Crusaders won with a predictable result with the Shaheens managing to score a maiden goal.

    Europe Crusaders 8 goals 16 behinds = 64 points dfd Pakistan Shaheen 1 goal 0 behinds = 6 points

    Fiji Vonu consolidate their improvement with a win over P.N.G. Flames

    Women  Positions  5&6 Playoff.     Fiji Vonu   Vs   P.N.G. Flames

    The women’s division has been another close affair with percentage determining positions three through to six.  Both P.N.G. and Fiji have seen significant development in women’s football and it’s no surprise that they are competing so strongly and could found themselves in a higher position. 

    The Vonu were extremely unlucky not to defeat the Northern Lights in the very first game. A win there might have ste the the Fiji Vonu up for the grand final (all things being equal). The Flames started slower and have ramped up whilst the Vonu have trailed off a bit. With both teams playing a similar style of football and it was thought to be a very competitive game. Playing in a strong wind much of the play often found it’s way to the dead wing. The Flames were a chance in the 3rd quarter  but the Vonu drew away and maintained control.

    Fiji Vonu   5 goals 7 behinds  = 37 points  defeated    P.N.G. Flames   1  goals 1 behinds = 7 points


    Canada Northwind just hold off Fiji tribe in close affair.

    Division #1 Positions 7&8 Playoff.    Fiji Tribe   Vs   Canada Northwind

    Knowing how better prepared the Canada Northwind  was for this competition than the last International Cup it was surprising not to see any improvement on the scoreboard by them. Indeed the Fiji Tribe are also a much improved team from their last appearance with considerable investment again.  This game was always going to be an interesting  clash. They are equally matched but of differing styles. True to form this was a close and interesting match. Surprising the styles of play did not clash. Canada established a small lead and hung on resolutely for a narrow win.

    Canada Northwind 3 goals 6 behinds = 24 points defeated Fiji tribe 2 goals 9 behinds = 21

     

    Pakistan Shaheens repeat their win over arch rival Indian Bombers in the sub-continent derby.

    Division #2 Positions 7&8 Playoff.    Pakistan Shaheens  Vs  India  Bombers

    These two teams are very evenly matched.  Their losses are very similar and when they played each other in round three there was a close win to Pakistan. These two countries take any sort of competition between themselves as very serious and there was expected to be a big crowd in attendance.

    Both India and Pakistan are still developing. Pakistan were unable to bring the players they wanted from the homeland so the men’s team has a lot in common with the team of 2014. The Shaheens were always in control in a wet and cold Western Oval. 

    India's Sudip Chakraborty suffered a broken arm early in the match.

    Pakistan Shaheens   6g   7b =  43 points defeated  Indian Bombers  4g 2 behinds =26


    Croatan Knights dominate European neighbours German Eagles to become Division two premiers

    Division #2 Grand Final for positions 1&2.     Germany Eagles  Vs  Croatia Knights

    Both the German Eagles and the Croatian Knights teams moved into the Grand Final by defeating the other’s  pool leader. For both teams it is their maiden International Cup appearance and both teams play a similar physical style of play. Of course both have played each other Europe and have a  healthy respect for each other.  The descriptor “clash” is literal for this game.  The Germans stayed with the Croatians for one quarter then the Croatians drew further and further away.  Celebrations ensued, including one or more flares and a duck.

    Croatian Knights 11 goals 8 behinds =  74 points defeated German Eagles 1 goal 2 behinds = 8 points

    G.B. Swans come from behind to defeat U.S.A.Freedom in exciting win.

    Women  Positions 3&4 U.S.A. Freedom  Vs  G.B. Swans

    These two teams have seen great improvement and the women’s competition has been very tight. The Canadian Northern Lights went within a whisker of going done to Fiji. The G.B Swans only went down to Irish banshees in the final minutes. Both teams styles of play and team make-up are similar so this should be a very close affair. In very close affair the G.B. Swans kicked the last two goals late in the quarter to come from behind and defeat the U.S.A. Freedom

    G.B. Swans 5 goals 2 behinds = 32 point defeated U.S.A. Freedom 4 goals 1 behind = 25 points

    Division #2  Positions 5&6 Playoff.    Sri Lanka Lions  Vs  Indonesia Garudas

    It’s a much better Indonesia Garudas that has returned to the International Cup this year. They started with a win over the Sri Lankan Lions and today faced a replay. The Sri Lankans have been surprisingly good for their first attempt after having been formed for only about a year.  The result was closer this time as the Sri Lankans have picked up confidence and experience as the competition has progressed and the Sri Lankans ran out winners by a point.   Was the result due to Sri Lanka's accuracy or Indonesia's inaccuracy?

    Sri Lanka 7g 2 b = 44 points to Indonesia 5g 13b = 43 points

    Ireland Warriors too experienced for U.S.A Revolution.

    Division #1 Positions 2&3 Playoff.  U.S.A. Revolution  Vs  Ireland Warriors

    The men’s division one has been a tight affair with one grand final place being decided by percentage. The U.S.A. Revolution  have seen a big improvement and the Irish Warriors are as strong as ever. The U.S.A. Revolution held there own but could threaten the lead. The Irish Warriors drew away in the final quarter.  It should be noted that a number of Irish players that previously competed in the tournament were absent today.

    Ireland Warriors 7 goals 6 behinds =  48points  dftd   U.S.A. Revolution 2 goals  4 behinds = 16 points

     
    Nauru Chiefs are too experiencied for G.B.Bulldogs in low scoring game.

    Division #1  Positions 5&6 G.B. Bulldogs  Vs   Nauru Chiefs

    Always a relatively close match on the scoreboard and on the field in the end the Nauruan had better finishing and composure with ball in hand.

    Nauru 8g 5b = 53 points    defeated G.B Bulldogs 5g 2b = 32 points


      ...


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    On a frosty, early morning both the Dragons and Samurais were out warming up, full of energy despite the cold conditions. The strong gusts of wind whipped across the ground that had potential to make kicking a challenge today.


    Both sides stood tall and sang with pride as their national anthems played for one last of the tournament.


     

    The game began in typical fashion with both teams going in hard for the ball in the middle. Team China’s style of play throughout the game was pushing the ball forward at all costs, which worked out well as majority of their players played in front and were able to capitalise on the loose ball. In comparison to team Japan, who approached the game with a more technical game by hitting up targets and creating space for each other to run and carry the ball forward.

    The first quarter saw a lot of scrappy play, with targets being missed and most of the play being on the ground. It took both teams a while to hit their stride but when they did, Japan was first to hit the scoreboard with Taisei Matsumura (#20) kicking a goal from 30m out on a slight angle.


    China then answered back, and locked the ball in their forward 50m, with relentless forward pressure resulting in a quick snap for goal from the pocket by Dean Wei. A few opportunities were missed by China to take a commanding lead heading into quarter time.
    CHN 1.4 (10) JAP 1.0 (6)

    The Japan coach instructed his players at quarter time to go into the second quarter with more commitment to the ball, with at least two players at each contest and spreading the play. China dominated the second quarter in terms of possession but did not capitalise on opportunities in front of goal, only managing three behinds. Japan showed a good passage of play by breaking through the Great ‘defensive’ Wall of China and spreading the ball through the open space that was created and locking the ball in their own forward half but only troubling the scorers with one behind. Notable mention of the quarter was Hao Zhang (#1) for China with a goal saving tackle in Japan’s goal square.
     

    CHN 1.7 (13) JAP 1.1 (7)

    The Dragons went into the third quarter knowing they have had bad luck in front of goal with instructions to shepherd more, keep up the pressure and to tackle hard.
     

    “If you win the third quarter then you win the game!” Yelled the Dragons coach from sideline.
     

    Although the Dragons started off quickly with the first goal coming from Brian Chueng, deep in the forward pocket, the game flipped and the Samurais started controlling the third quarter with majority of the possession, winning the hard ball and hitting many leading targets. With Jumpei Ito (#21) capitalising by producing a long drop punt from 50m out, the result of relentless forward pressure.
     

    CHN 2.7 (19) JAP 2.4 (16)

    The Samurais went into the final quarter being reminded of their commitment to the footy and how much they want the win, having been fired up they started the fourth quarter with an aggressive intent as did China. With both teams well into their stride by now, it was by far the most entertaining quarter as third place was on the line. The first goal of the last quarter came from China’s Honghui Lin (#23) as he marked the ball 40m out, played on running towards goal and just managed to drop the ball on his boot as he was tackled producing a remarkable Daicos-esque style goal. Japan instantly replied with Sohei Tada (#17) smothering the ball in the forward 50m then unloading a huge kick from 40m out to bring them back within two points with nine minutes remaining. The sealer for China was scored at the 12 minute mark with Shaoliang Chen (#16) swooping in on the crumb with one hand, from a pack mark on the 50m line. He then wheeled around on his right boot and snapped the goal from 40m with the wind helping it curl straight over the goal umpires hat.
     

    The last five minutes was an incredible defensive effort by China to hold Japan scoreless and win the match, with lucky #88 dominating and commanding the entire ground as he pushed forwards and backwards to ensure the win.
     

    FINAL SCORE CHN 4.8 (32) JAP 3.5 (23)


    CHINA
    Goal Kickers: H. Lin, B. Chueng, S. Chen, D. Wei
    Best Players: B. Chueng, D. Wei, Z. Chen, X. Deng, H. Zhang, S. Chen

    JAPAN
    Goal Kickers: S. Tada, J. Ito, T. Matsumura
    Best Players: T. Matsumura, M. Sakaki, H. Oura, J. Ito, T. Nasu, J. Fujita
      ...


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    2017 International Cup Round 5
    Royal Park, Melbourne
    Friday 18th August. 2.15pm

    Men’s Division 1   U.S.A. Revolution   Vs  Ireland Warriors

    Playoff for positions 3 & 4.
     
    The men’s division has been a tight affair with one of the grand final place being decided by percentage.  It could easily have been these two teams in the big dance. A marking infringement saw New Zealand kick a goal after the siren for them to qualify for the Grand Final and in doing so PNG moved into the Grand Final on percentage and eliminated Ireland. So close.
     
    Both the U.S.A. Revolultion and the Ireland Warriors play a similar style of football and have the same profile of players. This contest on paper was impossible to pick a winner. The Warriors had the experience of previous International Cup appearances as well as European Cup appearances.  Many of the Revolution players lacked international contests but their tall team had garnered impressive wins except for against PNG.
     
    Ireland was probably favourite going into this game. They had defeated the PNG Mosquitos in round one and had only lost to New Zealand with the final kick of the day in round four. The U.S.A. has had a slightly easier run with the draw but was beaten comprehensively by the Mosquitos in round three.  Overall  the Revos have seen another big improvement in standard. They’ve improved over and above other teams that have also improved. But the Warriors' team always consist of a totally competitive unit.
     
     
    The first quarter commenced with a strong wind blowing across the ground. As both teams were pumped for a win it was a close affair. Michael Finn #9 was marking and providing drive around the ground and it was him that led, marked and kicked wide for Declan Nannery #14 to gather and snap true for the only goal of the quarter to Ireland. #26 for Ireland  was also providing drive for Ireland.Tim Lindfelt #33 missed a good opportunity after a good buildup by the Revolution.
     
    1st qtr.
    Ireland 1.7
    USA 0.2
     
    The second was another good effort by the Revolution to maintain the margin to a 5 point deficit. The rain came down at the break and threatened to make the Revolution’s job that much harder but it  quickly cleared to have no effect.Ben Carpenter-Nwanyanwu #4 was held after he kicked and goaled from the resulting free kick. U.S.A had the lead and were threatening. However shortly after Gavin Murray #11  marked on the arc and kicked a very good distance goal to the Irish. Declan Nannery #14 was providing options around the ground. The U.S.A. bounced back with a sliding mark and goal to Michael Linehan #22 after much discussion between the umpires. In reply William  Gleeson #31 gathered and goaled for the Warriors.
     
    2nd qtr.
    Ireland 3.2
    USA 2.3
     
     
    The third quarter is known as the the “premiership” quarter and this was certainly true today. The Americans were held to a solitary point. Ronan Cull #31 started with another goal from a snap close in.Donald Lee  #55 was doing well in the and even better around the ground.Christy Devaney  #34 burst out of the centre for a short pass to Declan Nannery #14 who marked and goaled. Gavin Murray #11 took an uncontested mark after a quick passage of play to mark and goal. The U.S.A. were playing well but Ireland were hurting them on the rebound breaks.
     
    3rd qtr.
    Ireland 6.3
    USA 2.4
     
    For the Revolution Donald Lee  #55 was contesting well in the ruck against Paul O’Halloran #18 and in the last quarter lifted tremendously taking many marks around the ground as well as in the packs. Declan Nannery #14 also lifted for Ireland. It was a very even quarter but that was not what the U.S.A. wanted. Bryan Dragus#18 marked on the wing to pass to Declan Nannery #14 on the arc for a goal and a solid finish for Ireland.
     
    Final
    Ireland 7.6 (39)
    USA 2.4 (16)
     
    It was a thoroughly deserved 23 point win for the Irish Warriors who were in control for most of the game.  Some small solace for missing out on the Grand Final.
     
    Editor:  Also noted was the apparent absence of Padraig Lucey, one of Ireland's stand out players this tournament.  We suspect with Ireland out of the final he returned to Sydney for club football (unconfirmed but worth noting given his dominance in this tournament and a sign of Ireland's strength that they won comfortably without him).
     
     

      ...


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    The Europeans Crusaders have won their first match and the Pakistan Shaheens have left it until the last minute to ICe their first IC goal

    The battle for 7th and 8th spot in the Women's Division kicked off under an overcast sky and as assured by the Melbourne locals, a typical bitter wind. With Linn Gardell in ruck and kicking with the wind the Crusaders were quick to attack and push the ball into their forward line and confidence took a huge leap when Berengere Portal drilled the Crusaders' first International Cup major. Using the wind to their advantage the Crusaders kept the ball in their forward half and peppered the goals, Mathilde Coombes slotting the Crusaders' second IC goal.

    First Quarter Scores: Crusaders 2-5 (17) Shaheens 0-0 (0)

    The second quarter started much the same as the first with the Crusaders maintaining the pressure and repelling each foray the Shaheens managed to make towards their forward fifty even though they were beginning to string a few kicks and hand balls together. Eraj, Majeed Samina and Ul Nisa Noor were beginning to make their presence felt for Pakistan, However Crusader’s captain B. Portal brought up her second goal and Marine Assemat added another for Crusaders.

    Half Time Score: Crusaders 4-10 (34) Pakistan 0-0 (0)

    With the wind at their backs again the Crusaders produced probably their best quarter of footy with captain Portal kicking her third, but the Shaheens continued to battle hard with some good tackling from Khan Asma and Murtaza Memoona and strung some good passages of play to force the ball into their forward fifty. Goals from Ana Barisic and Naima Ait El Mouden came despite the Shaheens successfully repelling several attacks from right in the Crusaders goal square following goal attempts from Frances Finn. The Shaheens were looking better as the game progressed and a hope of Shaheens breaking the goal drought was beginning to look a little more possible.

    Three Quarter Time Scores: Crusaders 7-14 (56) Pakistan 0-0 (0)

    Still without a score for the tournament yet steadily improving, time was running out for Pakistan to hit the scoreboard in 2017. The Pakistan girls started the last with several forays into their forward fifty but only to see the Crusaders race back down the field and B Portal kick her fourth for the match, Noor, Habib, S Bano, C Mushtag and Eraj were beginning to string kicks, marks and handballs together and keep the ball in their forward lines longer. For the last ten or so minutes of the quarter Shaheen pressure and tackling kept the ball within range of Pakistan goals and confidence grew and desperate footy played out in those last minutes of the game. When it looked like the Shaheens might not ever get that “magic” IC score, a Crusader kick out of the forward zone was intercepted. As the kick was taken a Crusader stepped over the mark and the kick was then taken 25m closer to goal. G Amir took the mark in the pack (or was it a free kick, we haven't been able to confirm) and she was able to go back and from about 25 metres out on a slight angle kick truly. The Shaheens celebration was frenzied but then all had to wait for the goal umpire to ok the goal. Soon after the siren sounded and even the Crusaders helped in the celebration. Great spirit befitting two teams that have struggled on field but bought so much to IC17.

    Final Score: Crusaders 8-16 (64) Pakistan 1-0 (6)

    Best for Crusaders: B Portal, L Gardell, M Assemat, M Coombes, A Barisic, Carmille Portal and Dagmara Ratinski and Lara Guass should earn a mention.

    Crusader Goals: B Portal 4, M Coombes, N Ait El Mouden, M Assemat, A Barisc 1.

    Best for Pakistan: G Amir, M Ahmad, Habib, S Bano, C Mushtag, N Ul Nisa.

    Pakistan Goals: G Amir 1. ...


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    It was a cold windy winter's morning in Melbourne for the Women’s clash between Fiji Vonu and Papua New Guinea Flames at Royal Park – McAlister Oval. 
    The winner would claim 5th spot and the loser 6th spot in the IC17 Women's Division.
     
    The first term was tight and scrappy with neither team able to gain clear possession in the centre. It wasn't until halfway through the first that Fiji Vonu was able to get on top in the centre over the Flames. Fiji Vonu had lots of inside 50s towards the end of the first, but the Flames defence held up well with great interception marks in their defensive 50. Both teams were goalless at quarter time with Vonu the only team able to score, managing two points and keep the Flames scoreless.  Given the extreme pressure Fiji has exerted even on the top teams this was no surprise.
     
     

     The attack on the ball in the second term was ferocious from both teams, but Vonu looked to be the stronger team. Both teams made it hard for their opposition to score goals, as neither team dropped off their pressure and intensity from the first. In the second, Vonu had the footy in their forward half for most of the quarter, but they were unable to make the most of their opportunities when they went inside their attacking 50, as their ball use let them down. Illiseva Ratudina took a strong diving mark, but as she took the mark she hurt herself in the process and she was on the ground and hardly moved. The trainer brought her to the bench where the AFL First Aid Official assessed her as she had lost consciousness on the ground. So the AFL First Aid Official took Illiseva Ratudina to the doctor for a concussion test to see if she was ok to go back on the ground and she did not play for the rest of the match. The ferocity and pressure level in and around the ball increased in the second. It was incredible to watch how both teams threw their bodies hard into each and every contest. Vonu tried extremely hard to score a goal in the second but they were unlucky with two behinds. The Flames were down by 4 points at half time and were still kept scoreless by Vonu. 

     
    The third term continued to be a tight tussle between the two teams. Early in the third, the Flames finally slotted through their first goal of the match and you could see from their bench that they were relieved. Both teams were tackling incredibly well and the physicality of the match lifted and lots of players were coming off second best in the contest. A fight erupted between the two teams halfway through the third and Matelita Tuilevuka came to the bench holding her nose. It was great to see how both teams threw everything at this match and gave it their all. Miriam Agita went to ground with what looked like concussion after a hard knock and the clock stopped and she was slow to get up. The trainer and AFL Official First Aid helped Miriam Agita to the bench and assessed her, but she was ok as she sat on the bench. Both teams fierce attacking on the ball will result in the majority of the players being extremely sore after the match. Towards the end of the third, another Flames player went down behind play after another hard contest where she was slow to get up. The stretcher ran onto the ground immediately and play was stopped once again and the Flames player was stretchered off. Miriam Agita and her coach were in tears on the bench after they saw their player being stretchered off, it was sad to see. Play continued and again a player was tackled, but this time a Fiji Vonu player came off second best, but she was ok just a bit sore. The third term ended as a tight tussle with both teams finding it difficult to score a goal. Vonu had a narrow lead of 5 points going into the final term against the Flames. 
     
    The final quarter was tight once again and Vonu’s bench was very vocal from the onset of the last. Early in the final term, Jenifer Goodsir came off with the blood rule to the bench. Vonu were able to score the first goal of the last and were beginning to break away from the Flames on the scoreboard. Another Vonu’s player came to the bench and this time it was their ruckmen Verenaisi Caginavanua who was knocked heavily to the ground and she was in the hands of the trainers. The Vonu players were dropping like flies, but their will and never say die attitude was admirable to watch, as they kicked another goal. The last quarter showed how even though it was very even that Vonu was able to capitalise on their limited opportunities when kicking at goal. Another Vonu player was down but was able to back to her feet and continued to play. The AFL First Aid Official was working over time with lots of players from both teams hurting themselves. Towards the end of the match, you could see all the players from both teams extremely sore and walking gingerly. Valerie Mai injured her right chin and straightaway when she came to the bench her chin was wrapped up in ice. It began to drizzle late in the last and Vonu stepped up their intensity and pressure and as a result were able to boot through two more goals. Vonu ended up kicking three goals to the Flames nothing in the last quarter and they were victors by 30 points. 
     
    The first three quarters of the match were so close and even between the two teams with less than 5 points separating each of the teams. Perhaps 5 matches in less than 2 weeks and Fiji's fierce tackling finally told on the smaller PNG players, as in the last term the Vonu were finally able to get on top in the contest and string four goals together to come away with the win over the Flames. 
     
    FULL TIME SCORE: Fiji 5.7 (37) to PNG 1.1 (7)
     

      ...


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    Just a week after their last match together a quirk in the way the playoffs fell meant Pakistan faced off against India again in the IC17 Men's Division final round.  The tone of the match was set by the traditional rivalry between Pakistan and India that we typically see on the cricket pitch. In this case they have swapped the bat and ball for an oval shaped ball but the intensity and aggression was still evident during play.
     
    The teams' respective national anthems played as the sun shone down on them in what was calmer conditions compared to earlier that morning. The Pakistan Mens Shaheens were joined by the Women Shaheens for the national anthem which added a unified addition to their line up.
     
    Pakistan came out in dominant fashion in the first quarter, they constantly launched the ball forward, deep into their forward 50m and their roving from ruck contests was at a semi-elite level, proving that they also dominated hitouts as well as possession. The first goal of the match came against the run of play with India’s Darius Fernandes (#12) being awarded a free kick for a push in the back 15m out, directly in front. India looked very controlled with their ball movement in contrast to Pakistan’s getting it forward at all cost, which finally paid off with two goals coming from their impressive roving skills from Kashif Khan (#7) and Takashi (#35) both snapping for goal and using the breeze to their advantage. Whilst in the last two minutes of the quarter Muqeet Qureshi (#4) pounced on the loose ball in the forward pocket, wheeled around and snapped a bouncing goal on his right boot.
     
    1/4 time
    PAK 3.1 (19)
    IND 1.1 (7)
     
    The Bombers were instructed to start the second quarter with more forward leads and structure, utilising their skills and to lock it in their forward half with good pressure. Which unfortunately did not work out for them as Pakistan started the second quarter where they left off in the first, piling on another three goals in the quarter, Zaheer Hussain (#3) slotting a great goal from the boundary line roughly 20m out, Nawid Najafi (#15) snapping a goal from the back of the pack 30m out bouncing through the goal posts and Haseeb Qureshi (#1) being awarded a free kick on a slight angle 30m in which he scored with ease. Pakistan also had quite a few missed opportunities in which they should have capitalised and extended their margin. The only consolation prize for India was Darius Fernandes (#12) being awarded a holding free kick in the goal square, in which he converted to give him his second goal for the match.
     
    1/2 time
    PAK 6.5 (41)
    IND 2.2 (14)
     
    After an epic spray from a leadership player for their undisciplined free kick count, Pakistan players were told to man up and not be drawn into unnecessary free kicks. Shortly after Melbourne turned on its typical ‘four seasons in a day’ weather routine and what started off as calm conditions at the beginning of the match soon turned into horrible, wet and windy conditions. With the rain coming in sideways and the wind feeling incredibly icy both teams started to struggle with their skills as they were clearly not use to wet weather conditions. Eventually a switch flicked and many players saw the best way forward was to kick the ball off the deck, which is where it was for most of this quarter. Although Pakistan looked promising moving forward at times, neither team managed a goal, the Melbourne weather had defeated them both.
     
    3/4 time
    PAK 6.6 (42)
    IND 2.2 (14)
     
    The final quarter was very similar to the third, with the elements proving too much for both the Shaheens and the Bombers. Combined with the pressure and fatiguing bodies, the ball was too slick to handle with a lot of dropped marks and fumbles at ground level. The fire had not gone out of the sides though, with numerous niggly scuffles at stoppages occurring as tensions rose high. Team India started to show their frustration as they knew it would be a too hard a task to kick four goals in one quarter with the conditions they had to face. Their efforts were rewarded with two late goals, with Aashish Sharma (#5) paddling the ball forward then wheeling back on himself snapping a great goal and Akash Malhotra (#44) getting his first goal of the match.
     
    India can take consolation in winning the last quarter in tough conditions but Pakistan proved too strong in the first half and there was no catching them, doubling up on their victory a week earlier.
     
    FINAL SCORE
    PAK 6.7 (43)
    IND 4.2 (26)
     
     
    India
    Goal Kickers: D. Fernandes 2, A. Sharma , A. Malhotra
    Best Players: S.Rajbanshi, KSingh, S.Chakraborty, D.Fernandes, A.Bara, A.Ashraf
     
    Pakistan 
    Goal Kickers: K. Khan, M. Qureshi, I. Takashi, Z. Hussain, N. Najafi, H. Qureshi
    Best Players: H. Qureshi, Z. Hussain, M. Qureshi, N. Mansoor, N. Dawood, I. Ul Haq
     

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    It was a freezing cold wintry day in Melbourne as Royal Park's Western Oval hosted the clash between the Indonesian Garudas and the Sri Lankan Lions in the 3rd / 4th playoff in the IC17 Men's Division 2. This match was tight and even from the opening bounce to the final siren with a point separating both teams at each quarter break and this was the margin at the conclusion of the match too - a remarkable scoreline throughout the battle. 

     
    The Indonesian Garudas started the match strongly with plenty of inside 50s, but they let themselves down in front of goal as they only managed the one goal from their six shots with near misses. Whereas the Sri Lankan Lions had less scoring shots than the Garudas but they made the most of their limited opportunities with two goals and led by a point at quarter time. The end of the first term was tight and even with scrappy footy from both teams and this was the tale of the remaining three quarters as well. 
     
     

    The second term began with the same intensity and pressure as the first with neither team able to trouble the scorers with a goal until about four minutes into the quarter. It was the Garuda’s who were able to break through with this goal, because they were able to withstand the tackling pressure of the Lions and kick truly with a major. The Garudas were on the wrong end of the whistle for the first half of the second term and their bench were bemused with the umpiring decisions that were going against their boys. Also the Garudas were tackling well in the second quarter, but were unable to string a few tackles together on the Lions who were hard to bring down. A highlight of the second term was from Damien Ratwatke who took a good chest mark in the forward line for them. Restu Ze Bua was the smallest bloke on the ground, but he did not let his size bother him, as his attack and hardness in and around the contest was second to none with him giving his all for his country. The Sri Lankan Lions were lucky to have a one point lead at half time over the Garudas, because they managed to slot through a 6 pointer just before the half time siren via Janahan Kumaralingam.  

     
    At the beginning of the third quarter the Garudas bench were trying to pump their boys up by chanting “Garudas”. The third term was goal for goal with both teams able to kick accurately. Both teams were tackling extremely hard and ferociously and the scoreboard was reflected of this, as neither team was able to lead by more than a point throughout the third. A highlight of the third quarter was a dribbling kick towards goal Eddie Betts style from a Garudas player, which was amazing to watch. Towards the end of the third it started to rain and the match became even tighter as it was wet weather footy. The Garuda’s had the slight advantage over the Lions by one point going into the final quarter. 
     
    It was wet and slippery to start the final quarter with neither team able to score in the early stages. The Garudas were on top early in the quarter with all the attacking play, but they were letting themselves down with there inside 50s and kicking at goal. So they were unable to get any reward for their effort. The Garudas tried everything to score a major and eventually their hard work paid off in front of goal as they were able to boot through the goal they longed for and they led by 9 points halfway through the last. After this goal, the “Garuda” chant began again as it did in the third quarter, because the Garuda’s were starting to take control of the match.
     
    But they say that bad kicking is bad football and Indonesia's team would pay the price.  Unfortunately it seemed the footy gods were against the Garudas, because in the dying two minutes of the match Dexter Vanderwert was able to kick truly with a goal and then with 40 seconds left on the clock the Lions struck again with another major. This broke the hearts of the Garudas players who thought they were home with a two-goal lead with two minutes left, but it was just not meant to be. 
     
    The scenes after the match were contrasting from both teams with the one point victors the Lions filled with excitement and joy and the Garudas dejected who gave it their all. After the match the Lions were so happy and relieved to scrape through with their second consecutive International win over a bold Garudas outfit. The Garudas should not be hard on themselves, as all of their players played one hell of a game and did their country proud, so they should hold their heads up high tonight. 
     
    Full Time Score
    Sri Lanka Lions 7.2 (44)
    Indonesia Garudas 5.13 (43)
     

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  • 08/18/17--17:36: Grand Finals - Live Scores
  • Q by Q scores from the Men's Div 1 and Women's Grand Finals of the 2017 AFL International Cup.

    Matches will also be streamed live here.

    MCG 11:15am
    Men's Div 1 Grand Final
    New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    NZ
    PNG

    Etihad Stadium 4:30pm
    Women's Grand Final
    Ireland vs Canada
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Ireland
    Canada ...

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    Melbourne provided a lie - early morning sunshine - nearing game time along came the dark clouds and the Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes and New Zealand Hawks warm up and pre game photos became rain drenched.

    Both sides now face the task of a 5th game in 2 weeks - on the vast expanses of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The surface of course is superb - there is no muddy centre wicket area - there's no patchy grass or exposed soil. There is though a 50 metre arc (not 45m) and wide wings. The capacity to cover territory and retain run in the legs will be critical. No height advantage is worth anything without supply.

    Under mostly blue skies the game gets underway - New Zealand kicking to the Punt Road end. PNG to the City end.

    Squad Stats
    New Zealand Papua New Guinea
    Avg Ht cm 182.7 177.7
    Avg Wt kg 84.1 80.2
    Avg age 25.7 22.8
    First Quarter

    New Zealand kicking to the Punt Road end. PNG to the City end. New Zealand the first inside 50 but PNG early on pushing numbers back.2:30: New Zealand find the way through with Donnell-Brown spotting up Barclay Miller finding space off his opponent to mark and get NZ on the board with 2 and half a minutes. NZ 1.0.6 PNG 0.0.06:30: After a failed PNG switch the ball ends up with Clince handball to Clark and a high kick from left half forward on the 50M arc - is marked by Sam McKenzie in the forward pocket. Drills the 2nd goal. NZ 2.0.12 PNG 0.0.09:10: Beno puts PNG on the board with a minor. NZ 2.0.12 PNG 0.1.110:30 PNG attacking – So-Ong kicks around the corner on the left to find Pirika unmarked – goes back and slots the goal. NZ 2.0.12 PNG 1.1.7 PNG getting into the game now - a lot of play on the Southern side. Both sides running the bench rotations. PNG trying to take the game on through the centre of the ground. Turn overs hurt early but PNG defence has tightened up. Switching working better now but transition from defence to attack causes concern. Last minute a ball trapped inside PNG F50. All players in the PNG half of the ground as the Hawks try desperately to hold onto a lead. And they do.

    SummaryTypical GF opening - multiple bounces, fumbling, more by PNG. NZ players with St K/Sandy experience having big influence early - settled quicker. Both playing the forward press but NZ long and more efficient handballs allowing kicks to a marking player. Both goals from marks inside F50. PNG getting numbers to the ball but rarely getting it out early. Half way through, their running game starts to click - Mosquitoes short passing working some of the time but after rain some dropped chest marks and turn overs threaten to derail. But we know the Mozzies won't die wondering.

    Goals Behinds Points
    NZ 2 0 12
    PNG 1 1 7

    Match Details:

    Goal Kickers: New Zealand: Miller, McKenzie Papua New Guinea: Pirika Second Quarter

    PNG kicking to the Punt Road end. NZ to the City end. 1:00 : Goal to NZ - pack mark by Johnson for NZ after long kick into F50 from Miller. NZ 3.0.18 PNG 1.1.73:00 : Goal to PNG - pack mark at the other end - Pirika and like Johnson 2 minutes earlier - kicks truly - goal for goal. NZ 3.0.18 PNG 2.1.13 5:45 : behind to 'Ace' - Hewago Oea. NZ 3.0.18 PNG 2.2.14 Contested play - NZ mostly in attack but PNG working hard, trying to switch and find open space but often dangerously coming back into the corridor. 11:00 : Behind to Faimolo with a shot from right forward pocket near the boundary. ...


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    Congratulations PNG Mosquitoes, 2017 AFL International Cup Champions 

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    We are delighted to have the GB Swans Captain Laura Turner preview the IC17 Women's Division Grand Final. Laura of course, over the past week or so has seen both of these teams close up.

    The 2017 AFL International Cup Women's Final will take place on Saturday and will feature two tournament rivals Canada Northern Lights and the Irish Banshees. Despite valiant efforts from newcomers to the tournament the GB Swans and the more experienced USA Freedom the final is the same match up as in IC14 and IC11.

    The game is expected to be a closely fought contest with the physicality and confident marking skills of the Canadians taking on the slick hands and fast paced passing game of the Irish. Ireland will be bouyed by the experience of AFLW player and co-captain Laura Duryea. Her free role and ability to read the game has seen her get her hands on the footy on a number of occasions and the Canadians will need to be aware of her deep kicks into the forward line.

    The Canadians have proven to be a very organised and selfless team, being one of the best at positioning, blocks and shepherds around the contest. This allows the speedy Valerie Moreau time on the ball to side step defenders, something the Irish mids and half backs will need to shut down quickly to avoid losing precious ground.

    Lara Hilmi's presence around the centre of the field will hope to neutralise the dominance of Clara Fitzpatrick in the ruck for Ireland but the game is likely to be a brutal event to be tipped by the team whose desire is most prominent.

    In the forward line Irish player Christine McCutcheon (under an injury cloud) will be eying the tournament top goalscorer spot, she is currently in third place with 6 goals. She will face stiff competition from Sally Fong (Fiji) and Valerie Mai (PNG) who both have 8 goals and Danni Saulter (GB) who has 7 goals. With all the remaining place final games on Friday these ladies will set the bench mark for the sharp shooter to reach.

    Overall the women's tournament has been a raging success welcoming in Pakistan as another new women's team and the wonderfully charismatic European Crusaders who have given women from all over Europe the opportunity to experience the International Cup. With an 8 team women's competition it is evident that participation has replicated the domestic growth of the women's game and with the access to free streaming of AFLW games this will hopefully continue to increase over the next three years.

    If you are going to the Canada Northern Lights vs Ireland Banshees Grand Final you will need to purchase a ticket to the Carlton v Hawthorn match to gain entry. Selected gates will open from 4pm.  The match is scheduled to begin at 4.30pm (AEST).  The match will be streamed worldwide live on the AFL International Cup Youtube Channel.

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