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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

older | 1 | .... | 102 | 103 | (Page 104) | 105 | 106 | .... | 134 | newer

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    No weather concerns for the AFL IC17 Women's Grand Final. Under the closed roof of Etihad Stadium. Pre game both sides warm up with no worries of a torrential down pour as blighted the men at the MCG earlier this morning.

    4:20 pm - The team photos taken pre game - the field is cleared. Umpires enter. 4:25 pm - Players and umpires assemble - national anthems played. Canada kicking to the 'left of screen' - the Northern or Footscray Rd end. No noticeable breeze!!!

    .

    Squad Stats
    Canada Ireland
    Avg Ht cm 167.1 169.9
    Avg Wt kg 66.7 66.4
    Avg age 30.9 29.1

    First Quarter2:00 : GOAL Canada all the early attacking. Legault sends inside F50 - a free kick to Nicole Robertson (in the back) and a goal. Canada 1.0.6 Ireland 0.0.0 Fitzpatrick on top of Gomez in the ruck - but Canada winning the clearances. Ireland yet to get past CHF.5:40: GOAL Repeated Irish inside 50 entries. After a mark from Keating the loose ball inside 50 is swooped upon by Moriaty who blind turns with aplomb and levels the scores. Canada 1.0.6 Ireland 1.0.6 Ireland warming to the task - attacking more now. Winning clearances and looking more dangerous. Moriaty continues to be important - but suddenly the Lights rebound via Legault clearance from D50 and Moreau on the burst through the centre. Stoppage Canada CHF.9:30 : Moreau tackles Corrigan-Duryea deep forward pocket - kicks to hot spot in front of goal - Kirwan can't find space and is done for holding the ball. 12:00 :Legault is everywhere - another intercept mark and Canada goes forward. Corrigan-Duryea is happy to escort the ball over the line. Nicole Robertson just too far out - shot drops short and skipper Corrigan-Duryea marks - Ireland repel again.14:00 : BEHIND The battle of the captains again - Legault long shot is bouncing goalward - but Corrigan-Duryea is there to get hands to the ball and see it through for a behind. Corrigan-Duryea brings the ball back into play. Canada 1.1.7 Ireland 1.0.616:15 : Canada attacking again - Connelly has been getting busy up forward - a snap from Geraghty out on the full beside left point post.17:00 : Breen for Ireland get's sandwiched in a Legault and Ireland tackle/bump combination.

    Goals Behinds Points
    Canada 1 1 7
    Ireland 1 0 6

    Goal Kickers: Canada:N.Robertson Ireland: Moriaty

    Second Quarter Ireland early forward movement - stoppage just inside F50 near the logo. Gillespie and Breen getting busy - Canada under pressure.2:00 : McCann chases down Canadian defender - draws a frew deep in the pocket on the boundary - shot goes out on the full on the near side.3:20 :Legault again - sends ball forward - N.Robertson marks strong and kicks into space for Kirwan to run onto - but there's Corrigan-Duryea - a solid bump and the ball is safe out of bounds.4:20 :Now it's Canadian skipper Legault again clearing from the D50 - a boundary throw in on the back flank and from the clearance it's Legault again on the run who delivers forward to Perry who kicks precisely inside 50 and it's Moreau on the lead marking and kicking deep towards the top of the square.6:45 : GOALBall sent forward by Hilmi, and it's Legault crumbing the pack - dishes out to Charnelle Willis in space who marks the Irish pay. Canada 2.1.13 Ireland 1.0.68:30 : BEHIND Canada attacking - Irish under pressure - Legault goes goal ward but it's rushed through. Canada 2.2.14 Ireland 1.0.69:40 : GOAL Moreau hits up the top of the goal square - Corrigan-Duryea unlucky not to be paid - ball spills and Hainsworth is in the back of Rolfe who takes the free and can't and doesn't miss. Canada 3.2.20 Ireland 1.0.6 Canada on top but a couple of frees give the Irish the chance to control the ball - desperate to get back on the board - Quinn unlucky not to get the mark but draws the free at wide half forward - the pass to McGee drops short - throw in sharked by Moreau back towards the centre circle but it's Ireland with a quick kick marked by Behan. 13:30 : GOAL Inside 50 - contest 35m out - Gillespie runs onto it and left foot straight through the middle - massive goal for the Irish. Canada 3.2.20 Ireland 2.0.12 Ireland have a spark - Moriaty, Keeting and Behan in the play - Gillespie takes a mark but the stoppage kick is Gaelicesque in the extreme even if the word doesn't exist. Breen had a chance but fumbled and the eventual right foot snap went nowhere. Across the face and a stoppage in the Irish right forward pocket - only for guess who - Amiee Legault runs it out. Ball comes back in - but the Irish are messing around a bit - Cullen is pinged for holding the ball - and again Canada find Legault to clear the D50 - she IS everywhere - or there might be 4 of her out there.

    Goals Behinds Points
    Canada 3 2 20
    Ireland 2 0 12

    Canada dominated the early part of that quarter - and kicked out to a 14 point lead. Ireland were nearing the point of no return and responded as should be expected and won the 2nd half of the quarter. Staying in touch - 8 points down at the main break. Legault has been covering more territory than the early explorers for the Northern Lights.

    Goal Kickers: Canada:N.Robertson, Willis, Rolfe Ireland: Moriaty, Gillespie Third Quarter Surprise not - Legault sends Canada forward - but Breen takes a vital mark in the D50 from the Hilmi kick in. Ireland get out of trouble - Canada getting pressured and forced to concede ground on the wing - a ball 20m Irish side near the Toyota Logo and Gomez and Fitzpatrick resume hostilities of a duel that looks set to run all afternoon. 3 scoreless minutes - another stoppages - Moreau can't clear and is shut down quick smart but the ball spills again to Legault. Still no one marking clear head way - being played within a 30m radius of the Toyota logo - but then a free to Moreau and Canada is able to work the ball inside F50 -eventually a throw in 30m around from the left point post.5:20 :Still no score - right foot snap from Moreau doesn't make the distance - boundary throw in around from the right point post for Canada - spills to Hilmi who shoots across goal and another stoppage. Canada not able to hit the board despite minutes spent deep forward. Nearing 8 scoreless minutes - both teams having chances but fumbles and mistakes are thwarting clean movement. Both sides seem to be tiring - 9:00 : GOAL - suddenly it's Ireland who get the ball inside F50 and against the trend of play the ball bounces kindly for Connolly to run onto it and put Ireland right back in the contest on the scoreboard. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 3.0.1811:00 :Ireland looking dangerous but the delicious irony of Canada's Ireland marking in D50 and clearing to repel this particular foray.12:20 : Canada back inside F50 after a free against Flannery - stoppage again - Legault kicks towards the hot spot - 25m out from goal - eventually it's Moreau who has a high kick to the top of the square - ball ends up over the line for a throw in beside the right point post. This is Canada's trouble this quarter - plenty of F50 time but nothing to show for it.14:15 : Corrigan-Duryea gets the clearing kick and finds Behan on the wing - pressure off - after another stoppage - it's a mark to Keating - and Ireland inside F50 - a mad scramble as the ball works towards the boundary near the intersect with the arc. Another stoppage and no one is going anywhere quick. Nearing last minute and a half.17:00 :Donnelly draws the hold from Willis - kick attacks the goal square where Moreau saves the day - clearing kick as the quarter ticks down - play is paused as Roarty is down for the Irish - the siren sounds as the trainers arrive.
    Goals Behinds Points
    Canada 3 3 21
    Ireland 3 0 18

    Goal Kickers: Canada:N.Robertson, Willis, Rolfe Ireland: Moriaty, Gillespie, Connolly

    Final QuarterRoarty is okay to start - but there's an infringement that delivers Canada a free from the centre and the kick inside F50 is marked by - Roarty for the Irish who clears back into the centre square. Canada send it back in though and this time the pack contest and the ball goes to ground. Ball up - Kirwan handball out to Rolfe but it's Mulcahy who repels for Ireland. Willis sends Canada back inside F50 where Moreau has a chance but can't connect.2:00 :Corrigan-Duryea concedes free for high contact on N.Robertson for Canada - but the distance just too far - ball falls short and Kelly handball allows Corrigan-Duryea to clear the danger zone. Canada again having the ball in their forward half for most of the first 4 minutes - Hilmi puts them inside F50 - just - ball spills for the Irish but near the boundary and Corrigan-Duryea can't keep her kick in play - out on the full - the kick back in though is marked by Quinn for the Irish and an attempt is made to switch play to the city side - eventually via a handball out to Corrigan-Duryea who sends the clearing kick to the AFL house wing.5:15 : BEHIND Ireland force it forward and the Connolly again gets in space but her shot goes left for a minor - the first blemish for the Banshees but also the first score of the quarter. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 3.1.197:15 : GOAL Now it's Irelands turn to camp the ball inside forward 50 - Corrigan-Duryea has pushed forward to help out and her ruck work knocked the ball toward the goal square where Colleen Quinn is able to grab the ball and throw it on the boot to put Ireland in front for the first time today. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 4.1.258:45 :Boom crash....and down goes Breen, met heavily after her kick - play is stopped - the free comes back for Ireland and again it's Corrigan-Duryea who gets on the end of it to clear the zone by foot.11:00 :The good players are getting involved for both sides - but a couple trying just too much to make something happen - but no one clears and it's a stoppage midfield - now it is Legault again who clears but it's Breen who takes the saving mark for the Irish. Then it's Kirwan who gets the ball, runs her measure and kicks inside F50 for Canada - mark to Moreau - kick near the top of the square but a field of green shirts on the green field of Etihad.13:30 :MOREAU you beauty - a big mark - but about 40 out - just too far, runs around on the mark and still the shot falls just short - goes wide - out of bounds right forward pocket. The Irish defender panics a little and puts it out on the full. But still too far out. Another clearing kick and marked by Nguyen - her kick forward finds Hilmi - but again outside her range.15:30 : Entering last 2 minutes - ball still inside Canada half - city side flank - the scrimmage moves inside the F50 and a free for Canada - they go deep into the pocket where all but 2 players are inside the F50 for Canada who trail by 4 points.16:45 :The kick forward - Robertson in good position but Kelly spoils for Ireland. Another stoppage, Hilmi can't get a clear kick - time is running out and siren goes - Ireland have regained the trophy and taken revenge for 3 years prior.

    The Irish were behind for most the day but in front when it counted. They defended grimly and made it very hard for the Northern Lights forwards - no space was left available. For Canada - Legault couldn't have done much more and with 6 scoring shots to 5 - the Canadians gave themselves every opportunity.

    Goals Behinds Points
    Canada 3 3 21
    Ireland 4 1 25

    Goal Kickers: Canada:N.Robertson, Willis, Rolfe Ireland: Moriaty, Gillespie, Connolly, Quinn

    Carol Breen is awarded the best on ground medallion. And Laura Corrigan-Duryea accepts the trophy......and.....it's party time. ...


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    The 2017 AFL International Cup World Team was announced last night at Crown Palladium. The full team is listed below.

     

     

      IC17 World Team  
    FB Greg Paul Aki Josip Habljak Ryan Gartright
      (PNG #30) (CRO #32) (USA #27)
    HB Saleh Tyebjee James Kusel John James Lavai
      (USA #13) (NZ #55) (PNG #3)
    M Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas Ben Carpenter-Nwanyanwu Eric Klein
      (NZ #7) (USA #4) (CAN #19)
    R Paul O'Hallaron Andrew Howison Juita Vateitei
      (IRE #18) (NZ #10) (FIJ #6)
    HF Kenneth Oppenheimer John Ikupu Jakob Jung
      (NAU #11) (PNG #26) (GER #3)
    FF Michito Sakaki Padraig Lucey Andrew Walkden
      (JAP #12) (IRE #22) (GB #17)
    INT Julien Dagois Tshoboko Moagi Shaoliang Chen
      (FRA #29) (SA #20) (CHI #16)
    INT Fiachra O'Dheasmhunaigh Hewago Paul Oea Benjamin Hick
      (IRE #17) (PNG #1) (NZ - #32)

    Coaches of the World Team are Coaches – Rob Malone (NZ), David Lake (PNG)
    Assistant Coach – Josip Kravar (Cro)

     

      ...


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    The 2017 AFL International Cup Women's World Team was announced last night at Crown Palladium. The full team is listed below.

     

      IC17  World Team  Women's 
    FB Matelita Tuilevuka Coline Duquet Elma Emil
      (FIJ #2) (EUR #4) (PNG #30)
    HB Litia Matanisigadrau Beth Bailey Bevin English
      (FIJ #14) (GB #16) (USA #5)
    M Carol Breen Lara Hilmi Valerie Moreau
      (IRE #12) (CAN #24) (CAN #5)
    R Clara Fitzpatrick Aimee Legault Lucy Jones
      (IRE #15) (CAN #10) (GB #7)
    HF Danni Saulter Laura Corrigan-Duryea Gillian Behan
      (GB #17) (IRE #11) (IRE #23)
    FF Brette Brower Nicola Kirwan Brigid Gaur
      (USA #3) (CAN #8) (PNG #1)
    INT Hilary Perry Colleen Quinn Frankie Hocking
      (CAN #12) (IRE #22) (GB #8)
    INT Salote Matakibau Myra Ahmed Katie Klatt
      (FIJ #12) (PAK #13) (USA #10)

    Coaches – Brendan Kelly (IRE) , Jason Arnold (CAN). ...


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    The Kingdom Kangaroos have made it into their first ever grand final by downing the Edinburgh Bloods by 15 points in their preliminary final. It is a great occasion for the club, having joined the SARFL competition back in 2013. Whilst other clubs have started in recent years, the Kangaroos have managed to survive their infant stage and now reach the biggest match in the club’s history.

    It sets up a huge grand final match when the Roos will take on the Greater Glasgow Giants tomorrow at the Linlithgow Rugby Club.

    Whilst the Giants will go into the match as favourites, the game will not be a one-way street. The Kingdom Kangaroos defeated the Giants only a few weeks ago and have to be rated a chance of an upset by doing so again.

    The clash is also important to showcase the development of the game in Scotland, with both teams the newest additions to the league (of those playing this year) and creating a season where neither of the traditional rivals – the Glasgow Sharks or Edinburgh Bloods have reached the biggest day of the footy year.

    The match kicks off in just a few hours, and a raucous and appreciative crowd is expected to support the teams – but you can bet your life that the crew from Kirkaldy, Fyfe, will be the most vocal they have ever been, trying to now steer their Kangaroos to their maiden SARFL premiership.

    It is a historic day for the SARFL competition and AFL Scotland, but an especially historic day for the Kingdom Kangaroos as they sit just a couple of hours away from potential glory. Already the sounds of ‘Mon the Roos are echoing across Scotland. It is sure to be a great day for Scottish foot ...

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    At the completion of the 2017 AFL International Cup here are the final positions of all the competing nations across the Men's and Women's competitions.

    In the Men's Papua New Guinea now level their ledger with 3 championships and 3 runners-up, an incredible run stretching over 15 years and 6 International Cups.  Nauru's 5th spot was their equal best, as was Great Britain's 6th and France's 10th.  Fiji's climb continues, finishing 8th after 13th (2011) and 10th (2014) previously.  A lot of the improved rankings came at the expense of South Africa who crashed to 9th, their worst finish since the first Cup in 2002.  Croatia (11th) and Germany (12th) impressed on IC debut.  Keep an eye on China too, up to 13th after a previous best of 15th and more recently 17th, but went very close to a higher finish.  Sri Lanka's 15th was a good debut.

    In the Women's Ireland and Canada continued to keep the Grand Final to themselves, but Great Britain announced themselves as a genuine threat with 3rd on IC debut.  PNG looked like their program is on track, being very competitive after a 6 year absence, and we welcomed the European Crusaders and Pakistan for the first time.  Hopefully we see both again but if things go well perhaps we'll see some of the Crusaders return representing their own nations as standalone teams.  And on that note we'd really hope to see New Zealand debut in 2020 and if so they might just jump up into the top echelon given they already have a significant program going.

    Men's Competition
    Pos Team
    1 PNG
    2 New Zealand
    3 Ireland
    4 USA
    5 Nauru
    6 Great Britain
    7 Canada
    8 Fiji
    9 South Africa
    10 France
    11 Croatia
    12 Germany
    13 China
    14 Japan
    15 Sri Lanka
    16 Indonesia
    17 Pakistan
    18 India
    Women's Competition
    Pos Team
    1 Ireland
    2 Canada
    3 Great Britain
    4 USA
    5 Fiji
    6 PNG
    7 European Crusaders
    8 Pakistan
    ...

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    First quarter action in the 7th place play off at Ransford oval saw North Wind player Morgan Whyte launch from behind over a couple of Fiji Tribe opponents to pull down a super contested mark - allowing Canada to transition from defence into attack during a vital phase of blunting the effectiveness of the Tribe with what looked to be the scoring end.

    A quality one grab mark controlled all the way.

    ...

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    The Women’s International Grand Final between the Alfa Ireland Banshees and the Canada Northern Lights was held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday the 20th August at 4:30pm.

    On paper this Grand Final looked like it would be a close encounter between two teams who know each other very well when it comes to the pointy end of the International Cup. As both teams have played in the past two grand finals, one win each with the Alfa Ireland Banshees winning the 2011 Grand Final and Canada Northern Lights getting the chocolates in the 2014 Grand Final.


     

     

    The first term was tight and even from both teams. Nicole Robertson slotted through Northern Lights first goal of the match from about 30m out. There was hard and ferocious tackling the early stages of the first quarter and this was the start any footy fan would want for a Grand Final. Maebh Moriarty was able to kick the Banshees first goal in a tight opening term.

    The Northern Lights had a lot more of the footy than the Banshees, but there ineffective ball use was letting them down when going into their attacking 50. Aimee Legault the Northern Light’s captain was everywhere for the Northern Lights in the first and she was becoming a headache for the Banshees. The Northern Lights were up by one point at quarter time over the Banshees.

    The second quarter was very close and Aimee Legault was leading from the front for her team. Alfa Ireland Banshees had a lot more of the footy in the second term but there ineffective ball use was letting them down and the Northern Lights were a bit smarter and cleaner with their ball use.

    Tricia Rolfe kicked truly for the Northern Lights first 6 pointer of the second term from the goal square after she was paid a free kick from a big push in the back. In the second, the Banshees only were able to manage a single goal via Aisling Gillespie who slotted through the goal off her left foot.

    The Banshees had more of the attacking play towards the end of the second, but all their hard work did not pay off because of their ineffective kicks into their 50. Canada’s Northern Lights had the slight ascendency on the scoreboard with an 8-point lead over the Banshees.

    The third quarter was a tight tussle again to begin with the Northern Lights only able to manage a behind and the Banshees only a goal in the third. There were plenty of stoppages in the third and this was reflective of the how both teams pressure and intensity level lifted in the third. Linda Connolly was able to rove and slot through the Banshees first and only goal of the third quarter.

    Credit goes to the Banshees who were able to keep the Northern Lights goalless in the third term. The Banshees were down by 3 points heading into the final quarter of this nail biter of a grand final.

    In the final term of the grand final, the Banshees were able to put a halt to the Northern Lights scoring and the Northern Lights were kept scoreless in a frustrating final quarter for them. Credit goes to the Banshees defense that withstood the immense pressure from the Northern Lights who had plenty of kicks inside 50, but they were unable to capitalize with goals. The Banshees were able to boot through the one and only major of the final quarter via Colleen Quinn who was able to kick an easy goal from the goal square after the ball bounced kindly for her.

    In the dying minutes of the fourth quarter the Banshees were barely holding on with the Northern Lights with all of the attacking play in their forward half. Fortunately, for the Banshees the Northern Lights were not clean with their ball use and that was the difference in the end, as when it mattered in the final term the Banshees were able to use the ball more effectively. Therefore the Banshees were able to secure and win their second International Grand Final over a brave Northern Lights outfit by 4 points. The standout player for the Northern Lights was Aimee Legault the Captain and Carol Breen for the Banshees was the best player of the match.

    This Grand Final did not disappoint as it ended in a thriller and was a great spectacle of Women’s international footy. At each quarter break only less than half a goal separated each of the teams and the Northern Lights held onto a narrow lead at the end of the first three quarters, but the Alfa Ireland Banshees were in front on the scoreboard when it mattered on the final siren to hold on and win. ...


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    Post Match Player Interviews:

    I interviewed Hilary Perry the Canada Northern Lights Vice Captain, because Aimee Legault the Captain had possibly broken her right hand and was on her way to the hospital with her coach. I interviewed the two co-captains of the Alfa Ireland Banshees Laura Corrigan Duryea and Onora Mulcahy.

     

    Hilary Perry – Canada Northern Lights Vice Captain Interview:

    How do you think the game went?
    I think it was a really good game, I mean we knew Ireland would come out with some really good skills. There are a kicking and marking team and that’s what exactly they did in order to kind of dominate the movement of the ball. Our girls really fought through it. Love to see our girl’s push through push through and Ireland just a very skilled team.

    Is footy growing in Canada?
    Footy is growing in Canada, our national side has become quite competitive we had about 70 girls try out for our national team. We have about 250 girls throughout the country playing, it is slow moving but is growing every year and just trying to build up from the local level then feed it into our national level.

    Laura Corrigan Duryea and Onora Mulcahy – Alfa Ireland Banshees Co-Captains Interview:

    Onora Mulcahy Alfa Ireland Banshees Co-Captain Interview:

    How do you think the game went?
    Probably not to our game plan initially we made it to the end. We made a tight game, but got there in the end. Pretty delighted with the win, so that’s it.

    Laura Corrigan Duryea Alfa Ireland Banshees Co-Captain Interview:

    How do you think the game went?
    We knew what it would take to win the game, but we knew it would be a hard battle. But we thought we had a bit more in the tank than them so if we kept on persisting and laying hard tackles and trying to play to our game style. We knew we would get across the line.
      ...


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    Why in the Battle of Opposites Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes defeated New Zealand Hawks
     

    PNG 4.5 (29)NZ 4.4 (28)

    A Cup of Mosquito Euphoria

    Why did the Mosquitoes win?


     

    How was this battle between a small, fast and dangerous insect and a high-flying bird of prey, the Mosquito and the Hawk, played out?
    Why did the Mosquitoes beat the Hawks in the grand final, winning 4 5 29 to 4 4 28, by one point?
    In part, it was luck and more or less ability to score from shots for goal and, even earlier, a kick for goal after the siren which determined the finalists.


    Can we reveal the answer in this battle of several opposites, which characterise the International Cup itself?
     

    One, New Zealand, is closer and developed, with few major cities, and a long history of footy, as well as a large pattern of cross-‘Ditch’ (aka trans-Tasman) transmigration. A Caucasian predominance, with some Pacific, Asian and European influence, has joined with affluence to produce bigger and taller bodies.
     

    The other, Papua New Guinea, is farther away, an undeveloped country, with difficult travel between its major points and in footy a predominance of smaller, but faster, players.
     

    Auckland is a mere 2623 kms away from the MCG with fairly frequent flights. In contrast, Port Moresby is 3156 kms from the G, with no direct flights, only indirect ones via Brisbane and Sydney.
     

    How important is the proximity factor?
     

    Ireland is the only distant country which features at the top of division one, although this is also supported by the number of players living in Australia. In fact, IC17 has restricted the number of Australian based players in a squad.
     

    Participating in the Cup is expensive. How many of the best players from Canada or Japan or Nauru or South Africa or France did not run onto Ransford or McAlister ovals in Royal Park due to the fact that they had neither the money nor the time?
     

    How important are local connections? Connections with footy clubs in Australia, from country and suburban to AFL clubs?
     

    This welcome development has seen links between Golden Square in Bendigo and India, now followed up by Essendon. This has involved Golden Square visiting India. Local club connections may be the key element in the future in strengthening footy around the world. In an ideal world, clubs would be linked to all the overseas countries where footy is played by over 100,000 people.
     

    What is the biggest factor in success?
     

    Is it
    • proximity,
    • Australian-based players,
    • AFL-linked players as with three Hawks linked to St Kilda and Sandringham,
    • ability to train together (often prevented by geographic dispersal of players),
    • coaching of skills and strategies,
    • ability to afford to come to the IC17, including the role of sponsorship,
    • luck when it comes down to percentage, for it was the last kick of the day when New Zealand defeated Ireland by a goal after the siren which put PNG into the Grand Final
    • ability to play on the slightly smaller grounds in Royal Park,
    • ability to cope with the joys of Melbourne weather in August
    • and the age profile of teams and years of experience playing footy, including previous IC experience?
     

    Is it one of these or something else?
     

    In Division 2 of the men’s competition the skill and system of the Japan Samurais dominated the German Eagles on the wide open spaces of Elgar Park North, but they could not compete with the eventual Cup winners, Croatia, on the tighter spaces of Royal Park ovals, before the Croatians went on to defeat Germany in the grand final.
     

    At the MCG, between the Mosquitoes and the Hawks, a game won by one point could have gone either way, especially after Kiwi forward Barclay Miller hit the post from close range.
     

    Did the sun lift the mood of the Mosquitoes after the earlier rainstorm? Or was the fact that half the team had played in the last IC17 grand final a key factor?
     

    Or was there a crucial difference between the two teams which fought out a gritty encounter? Like an AFL match, there were high level skills and equally high level errors, due to the pressure of an often congested game. 


     

    For bad, rather than good, most IC coaches now play the same AFL forward press which led to a scrappy game.
     

    At the MCG, the International Cup grand final was followed by a game of scrimmageball, when Geelong ‘won ugly’ against Collingwood, according to coach Chris Scott. But that is another story.
     

    Despite the smaller size of most players, the PNG rucks, particularly double goal-kicker, Amua Muzza Pirika, Jeffrey Namete, John Ikupu and Clyde Pullah, managed to nullify a potential NZ advantage from stoppages of the height of the Hawks’ 192 cm Ty Smith.


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    With the Hawks only one point ahead (4.4.28 to 4.3.27) at three quarter time, the game could have gone either way.
     

    Only when I went to the happy warriors victory rooms after the match, armed with SLR and high quality media lanyard (big ID pass, two straps not one) did I understand the difference.
     

    First, there was coach David Lake, whose dedication shone through as his job continued in the victors’ rooms.

    Thoughtful in victory, PNG Coach David Lake.
     

    Second, was the sponsor, who had made it possible for the players to come south and was always ready to do every job around the team.
    Third, was the PNG government, which was represented by the chairman of AFL PNG, John Ma’O Kali, the Secretary of the Department of

    Personnel Management, who came to the rooms with a message from the Prime Minister.
     

    On this day, however, the camera did not lie. The photos of the celebrating players, except for 16 year old man of the match, 16 year old ‘Ace’, Hewago Paul Oea , told the story.
     

    The Mosquitoes were no longer small and light ‘insects’. They had been in the gym and had a strength, and presumably a fitness, which meant that when they threw themselves at the ball in dispute on the ground, they left the Hawks behind.
     

    When they cleared the ball, their running did not stop in the last quarter when both sides were struggling after a long and hard campaign as well as the demands of the granny.
     

    Upper body strength was the real difference reinforced by running fitness.

    Strong Upper Bodies Deliver Joy
     

    Next, the PNG government is about to investigate elite performance training in South Africa.
     

    A sporting move to put PNG on the international map.
     

    IC20 teams beware.
     

    In 2020, the Mosquitoes will be back, fitter, stronger and more skilled than ever.
      ...


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    Nearing half time in the early game on Ransford oval on Friday - South Africa had controlled general play but only had a 2 goal lead to show for it. Kicking to what appeared to be the scoring end - ruckman Malibongwe Mlamli was trying to be everywhere. In the absence of rucking partner Usenzile Gotyana who was injured the week before in Geelong - Mlamli was rotating forward with the much shorter Aubrey Velele giving him a 'chop out' in the ruck.

    When skipper Tshoboko Moagi unleashed again with his lethal left foot - from half back - his target forward of centre was the big number 28. And Mlamli didn't let him down - reeling in the ball for a clean mark - and with the quarter ticking away he took the game on, playing on, breaking away from the first French opponent, the stumbling skipper Sylvain Maylie who could just watch on as Mlamli took off.... ....running inside the arc, reaching out with the old "Don't argue" to fend off another French opponent -

    steadied and then launched goal ward - for an important goal in a contest that very much tightened up in the 3rd quarter when again, it was Mlamli who snapped a late goal to restore a 2 goal margin going into the final break. He had a day out - clearly the most impactful player with 4 goals in a super display to wrap up the tournament. ...


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    GB Swans captain Laura Turner shares her thoughts in review of the IC17 tournament

    And that's a wrap! IC17 is over and true to form it culminated in two nail biting finals which both went down to the wire. PNG survived late surges from New Zealand to win by one point at the MCG and later at Etihad Arena the Irish Banshees swarmed the ball in the dying minutes to stop Canada from capitalising on their late possession inside the forward 50.

    You might be concerned that with the women's finals showcasing the same teams as in 2014 that the tournament had been a predictable affair. Quite the contrary, as the landscape of Australian Football outside its homeland is shifting and this is most prominent within the women's tournament.

     

    With an additional four teams entered into the competition this year there were some exciting debuts for Pakistan, European Crusaders and Great Britain and a welcome return from PNG who were absent during IC14. The AFL must have high hopes for IC20 of even more female teams entering using the success of AFLW as a springboard to showcase the women's game and inspire women to take part.

    It was incredibly motivating for the women participating to meet a number of AFLW players who came to watch games and support the teams over the fortnight. Western Bulldogs marquee player Katie Brennan opened the doors to her performance centre and welcomed the USA, Great Britain and Ireland squads who benefitted greatly from her expertise and can now use this when training in their home countries. The interest shown by these ladies and the relatively smaller gap in playing standards in the women's game gives hope that the International Cup can be used as an event to cherry pick the best international talent to enhance the AFLW league.

    The phenomenal support lead by the PNG female squad during the grand final at the MCG must have left the Kiwis wondering if this gave their opponents the edge in that game. There certainly is huge merit in the team spirit and passion provided by doubling your squad when your country is competing so far away from home.

    Pakistan and PNG fought valiantly but the their lack of playing experience was evident. One thing is for sure, these women are hooked on the sport and will be back stronger in three years. The European Crusaders team allowed many European women to experience the tournament for the first time and with the support of AFL Europe this will hopefully be the groundwork to an additional European nation entering a women's team in three years time.

    Fiji came and did what Fiji do best, they played hard and physical and they played with passion. Their gift for shutting teams down lead to some close results against the higher placing teams but their goal kicking must improve for the team to turn possession and territory into score line results. USA will be disappointed to drop a place in the world rankings and will have some work to do over the next three years to break back into the top 4. Katie Klatt's experience playing at Melbourne University in the VFL made her a standout in the squad.

    Great Britain's first entry to the tournament threw a cat amongst the pigeons with most nations unsure what to expect. Many were surprised with the ferocity the traditionally 'reserved' nation played with. With the significant growth of the 18 a side London League which now boasts 2 women's tiers in a 12 week competition one would expect that Great Britain will be a team to watch out for in the next IC.

    Canada are another team to have benefitted greatly from having women playing in the VFL and Collingwood draftee Kendra Heil's input into the squad has also buoyed the team. They can take consolation in that their loss to Ireland in the grand final was a very close affair with the pendulum of victory swinging throughout the game.

    The luck of the Irish some might say but during the last two weeks they really have managed to produce the goods to get themselves out of trouble in the final quarter of both the semi final and the grand final. With the most Australian based players the Irish squad has strength, depth and experience.

    The challenge faced by all countries now is how to build on the successes of 2017 and provide opportunities for players to compete in the 18 a side version of the game in international fixtures to avoid the common 2 year quiet spell frequently seen post-IC.

    The Canadians and Irish were in the in the grand final but as anyone who witnessed the fixtures during these last two weeks will tell you, it won't look this way forever. The other nations are out to get you and they are closing in fast... ...


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    With the recent success of a new wave of Irish recruits into the AFL system, what major Gaelic football prospects are on the horizon for a code switch to Aussie rules? This year would seem to be a ripe time for such recruits, with the continuing success of AFL players from Gaelic backgrounds, such as Geelong’s Zach Tuohy, Hawthorn’s Conor Glass, and Essendon’s Conor McKenna.

    Additionally, the International Rules Series will be held in Australia once again this year, and the Ireland Warriors recently placed third at the 2017 International Cup. Jim Stynes (RIP) and Tadhg Kennelly might not be winning AFL premierships anymore, but it’s safe to say that the Irish experiment is alive and well in footy.

     

    One of the main challenges for recruiting and retaining Irish players is not just the transition to a different sport, but also the cultural differences and general homesickness that many ex-Gaelic footballers experience. Nevertheless, there are a number of AFL clubs who are keen on recruiting several more Irishmen in the coming months as category B rookies.

    Two youngsters from Donegal GAA, Jason McGee and Eoghan “Ban” Gallagher have taken a trip to Australia to trial for the Brisbane Lions. The Lions have taken a chance on top-level Gaelic talent before, most notably with the Hanley brothers, Pearce and Cian, the latter of whom is still on the team’s international rookie list (Pearce was traded to the Gold Coast Suns last offseason). Although Cian Hanley’s AFL career has been marred by injuries thus far, he could be a catalyst at the club to see if Gallagher and McGee could make the transition to Aussie rules.

    The North Melbourne Football Club is also looking at the Gaelic talent pool, as they’re interested in GAA youngsters Rian O’Neill and Jack Kennedy. Both players visited Australia several weeks ago and got to see fellow Irishman Conor Glass’ excellent performance in the Hawthorn-Sydney clash at the MCG. The Kangaroos have recruited several Gaelic players in the past, but none have played for the club at senior level yet.

    Possibly the most talented Gaelic footballer that is currently being scouted is David Clifford of County Kerry GAA. The 6’2” Clifford is an outstanding athlete and has Kerry poised to push for another all-Ireland championship, but he will definitely be a hot topic among AFL clubs who are captivated by his potential.

    Two other prominent Gaelic prospects to watch are Cillian McDaid and Stefan Okunbar, who were impressive at the NAB AFL Academy in the US earlier this year. McDaid has excellent speed and ball skills, while Okunbar has also been praised for his size and work ethic by scouts. AFL international talent manager Kevin Sheehan has confirmed that both McDaid and Okunbar will be appearing at the AFL Draft Combine in October.

    It will be intriguing to see which Gaelic football converts will be chosen as international rookies this offseason. Under current AFL bylaws, clubs may select one Irish player as a category B rookie, but additional prospects will count against a club’s picks in the AFL rookie draft.
      ...


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  • 08/24/17--14:54: IC17 Grand Final photos
  • We had some great photos of the action from across the 2017 AFL International Cup, courtesy of our many contributing writers - and thankyou to you all.  A large collection of those pictures can be viewed on our Flickr page here.

    We were also lucky enough to have access to professional photos by Stephen Skok.  You can view his full IC17 gallery here or see a selection of images from the three Grand Finals below.

     

     

     

     

     

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    The fabulous Finals final Friday is one of the best days of IC footy - evenly matched teams playing for rankings - but there is also slowly building atmosphere is levity as the games reach their conclusions - the last on field gatherings - hugging opponents and in many cases IC friends that there is no guarantee will be seen in 3 years time. That mood bubbles over a few hours later - as the evening lights up at the AFL International Cup Gala night at the Palladium Room at Crown.

    For many participating players - such an evening is a million miles from their normal. It's still largely invisible in the AFL world. The Adelaide Crows were hosting the Sydney Swans - meanwhile few in attendance at Crown were perusing their phones to check on scores - there's too much going on. There was irony the following Monday - when, senior AFL Executive (and currently footy ops fill in) Andrew Dillon was quizzed on SEN radio about happenings at Adelaide Oval on the Friday night - he didn't admit that he was at the IC17 Gala night.

    This years edition of one or the AFL's most unique events - in the Australian domain of footy - was again heralded in with the entrance to the room of the captains bearing their national flags. This imagery is consistent with the twisted tales narrative of the preceding fortnight. For regular followers of the game there was the opportunity to see and hear 'our' game in a different and unfamiliar way. First and foremost - we generally only hear the Australian national anthem - at finals - and the Irish anthem for those hybrid International Rules matches. Pre game war dances have never been associated with the world of AFL and yet those of us who have followed the international game know full well which games to get to in time to have cameras at the ready and to experience these cultural glimpses from a few paces away rather than from the grandstands at perhaps an international Rugby match. The cultural diversity of the participating teams provides a whole variety of languages and appearance and demeanour. There's no 'sameness' - from squad to squad the differences are often stark. An observation from the schools hosting round 2 matches was that the Indonesia vs Croatia match appeared like boys against men. The glory of 3 ovals running games back to back all day at Royal Park is a trove of footy exploits - in which each side is a national flag bearer. Each player is living an Australian footballing privilege (not often available to Australians themselves) - representing their nation. As one of the French side commented - his on field highlight was his first experience of singing the national anthem. So - no matter the mismatch - the effort is sustained - the pride is real. The skills - well, some squads 'bat deeper' than others. The team balance - again - some squads have the typically right sizes in the right spots. It can be a cliché to refer to a rich tapestry - but that is what it is. The richness of this 'tapestry' is most apparent when all are assembled in the one room - at the one time - at the Gala evening. That backdrop of national flags sets a scene - however - rather than a singular focus on the main stage - the glory of the night would be missed were that the assembled diners be ignored - and that is where the eye is so often drawn to take in all that is great about the tournament. The players and support personnel of - in this years instalment - 26 teams representing specifically 17 nations (although of course the Great Britain sides can be broken down further as well as the European Crusaders women's squad) ; some have been here before, some may never be here again. For some - as suggested by a gnarly veteran of 5 tournaments - for some, coming here could be equated as momentous a journey as for other folk would be going to the moon.

    The official proceedings for the evening shine a light on some of the best performed individuals. Sure - there are 2 Grand Finals still to be played - and there is a debate for another day as to whether the Gala evening should be held over for an extra day. The announcements of the players of the tournament for each division, top goal kickers and then the men's and women's world teams. Some names are well known - it's very hard to represent everyone. 34 year old IC veteran - Japanese Samurai Michito Sakaki has been here before - a veteran of all 6 tournaments and a previous member of the world team - he was announced the Div 2 player of the tournament and was selected forward pocket in the world team. At the other end of the scale - "Ace" - the PNG prodigy - Hewago Paul Oea, yet to turn 16 - was named on the bench. The following day he would produce a 'BoG' performance in the Div 1 Grand Final - his IC legend is just beginning and perhaps the footy world may yet be his oyster - but, for the IC17 Gala night, he'd be drinking water irrespective of having a GF the following day. The men's jumpers were awarded by Melbourne FC's Christian Salem, whilst the women's by AFLW Carlton star Darcy Vescio. And probably the biggest cheer of the night came when Pakistan's Myra Ahmed was announced on the bench in the women's team. One could try to analyse the moment - suffice to say the room stood, applauded and I suspect many an eye had a tear of joy and pride welling within.

    Matthew Richardson - former Richmond Great - provided some roving reporting from the floor - interviewing the next days GF captains. This was apt - the main stage feels a little too formal - the attention of the room is more naturally focussed back within. Soon it was over to the Fijian men to provide some dancefloor entertainment - being joined shortly by many within the room ringing the dance floor to capture the moment - and then being joined on the dancefloor by the room - as a DJ up on stage set the tone for the very literal letting of hair down - although the conga line earlier in the evening attested to the fact that there already had been at least a figurative letting down of hair.Walking around the room - the mingling, the comradery, the Samurais dancing with the Banshees, Shaoliang Chen with the broadest of smiles (this weekend having debuted for Port Adelaide Magpies reserves) and soaking up the night with his teammates, everywhere you looked there were broad smiles and no worries in the world - for one night at least.

    And while the weather played some August tricks - Spring-like winds; cold wintry showers and then suddenly sunshine - well, really, it's Melbourne and it's a winter sport - as Saleh Tyebjee from the US Revolution put it - the most respected IC opponent was "The Cold"!!! There were different highlights for different squads across their time in Australia and around Melbourne in particular. Different schools playing host, and the community weekend ensured different experiences - but also the local hosting clubs and some of the one off visits such as the French to the Giants Centre. Even the launch back on August 5th was a highlight for many - the visit to Government House in itself was a highlight but so too the South African dancing. Around the on field action there was recovery and celebration. Ice baths and wading in freezing pools or the waters of the bay - recovery is as important a part of a 5 match tournament as anything. But celebration too - the German Eagles found time to make their way to the Munich Brauhaus to celebrate making the Div 2 Grand Final.

    While not all sides can face each other - there are opponents and sides that draw respect. Whether it be the New Zealand or Ireland teams in general or the South African or Japan captains individually - there is respect and admiration across the divide. The biggest disappointment may depend on expectations or finishing - for the US Revolution, not making it to the MCG, for the Germans, losing the Div 2 GF, for the Fijians the 2 narrow losses to South Africa and Canada but - at the same time - even though they were soundly beaten by New Zealand - the encounter proved a highlight nonetheless. The Fiji Tribe now set their sights on going better in 2020. The Germans - even in going down could see the funny side - with the final siren seconds away - a handball from an Eagle to the Croatian captain just so he could be brought down in a tackle right at the end - huge smiles all round as the siren sounded. It's good to remember - it's just a game.

    The final siren of the IC Grand Finals on the Saturday signalled the official end of the tournament. Some were heading straight back home, back to normal, whether that be a couple of hours away, or a day or two of connecting flights. Meanwhile there were those who would be in the position of making a bit more of their time here - off to Adelaide for a week, or to upgrade the hotel room and properly explore Melbourne, or off to New Zealand meeting up with the parents for a few weeks. Hopefully IC2020 will bring many back and many new visitors to Melbourne for another instalment - a further addition to the tapestry - we're all the richer for it.

    ...

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    The AFL has released the twenty-first intake into Level One of the NAB AFL Academy.  Of World Footy interest is the inclusion of 15 year old  Hewago "Ace" Paul Oea. 

    Ace comes to the Academy via PNG's participation in the AFL Queensland development pathway and first came to prominence when he starred in Queensland's U16 team at the recent National carnival.  As well as winning the best on ground medal in the recent International Cup grand final, he has recently also been playing senior football for Broadbeach in the AFLQ competition. 

    The 22 players will receive a NAB AFL Academy scholarship and under the guidance of AFL National Academy Head Coach Luke Power, will come together for accelerated AFL football and personal development camps to be held in Australia and overseas over the next 12 months.

    This intake was selected from the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships which recently concluded in Queensland with players aspiring towards the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.

    Over two decades, the NAB AFL Academy has produced:

    464 players drafted – 81 percent of all NAB AFL Academy players
    43 AFL All-Australians (including Dylan Shiel, Josh Kelly, Paddy Ryder, Tom Mitchell, Joe Daniher and Matt Crouch named in 2017)
    10 current captains (Travis Boak, Trent Cotchin, Jack Viney, Jarryd Roughead, Shannon Hurn, Jarrad McVeigh, Marc Murphy, Joel Selwood, Steven May & Jack Ziebell)
    3 Brownlow Medallists (Chris Judd, Patrick Dangerfield & Adam Cooney)
    4 Norm Smith Medallists (Luke Hodge, Chris Judd, Andrew Embley, Cyril Rioli)
    7 NAB AFL Rising Stars (Brett Deledio, Joel Selwood, Daniel Rich, Jaeger O’Meara, Lewis Taylor, Jesse Hogan, Callum Mills)
    17 of the last 19 years since its inception produced the No. 1 Draft selection 
     

    AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the NAB AFL Academy has helped promote the code in Ireland, South Africa, Europe, New Zealand and the United States.

     “The NAB AFL Academy has also given our best young players the opportunity to play for their country against a variety of opponents,” he said.

     “The Academy’s motto is to develop better people and better players. The coaches and mentors involved in the Academy over the two decades have helped shape our future players into becoming stars of the game and great leaders who can succeed on and off the field.

     “This is a truly national program that continues to go from strength to strength.

     “In addition to the NAB AFL Academy (Level One) group the AFL has introduced a new development list to meet the needs of the AFL industry comprising of taller players aiming to play in the ruck or key positions in the AFL. Eight players have been include in this category.

     “All 30 players will attend their first camp in Melbourne in December 2017 where they will receive specialised coaching and personal mentoring aimed at accelerating their development as young people and footballers.”

     National Australia Bank’s General Manager Brand and Products Marketing, Michael Nearhos spoke of NAB’s ongoing support of the talent pathway and the important role that the NAB AFL Academy plays in fostering the future of football.

     “NAB has partnered with the AFL for well over a decade. During this time we’ve seen the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program shape and support some of the country’s most outstanding young footballers. We’re thrilled that through our support of this program and the NAB AFL Academy in particular, we can continue to play a genuine role in growing the game,” said Mr Nearhos.

    “In its 20 years, we have seen many superstars get their start in the NAB AFL Academy. We look forward to hearing the announcement of the Level Two squad later in the year. We congratulate all the young players who will take part in this year’s Level One program and look forward to watching their careers develop,” he continued.

    The 2017-18 NAB AFL Academy Squad

     Level One

     NSW/ACT: Liam Delahunty (Coolamon) Josh Rayner (Willoughby/Mossman- Sydney Swans Academy)

     Queensland: Connor Budarick (Broadbeach), Hewago Paul Oea ( Papua New Guinea /Port Moresby)

     South Australia: Kysaiah Pickett (Woodvill-West Torrens/Port Districts), Dylan Stephens (Norwood/Walkerville), Cameron Taheny (Norwood/Eastern Range)

     Vic Country: Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power/Fish Creek), Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers/Echuca), Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power/Warragul), Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons/Colac), Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays/Somerville)

     Vic Metro: Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers/Boroondara), Emerson Jeka (Western Jets/Altona), Jack Mahoney (Sandringham Dragons/ St Kevin’s College) Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons/East Brighton), Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges/Rowville/Rowville Sports Academy), Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers/Boroondara), Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers/Surrey Park)

    Western Australia: Rhai Arn Cox (East Perth/Mt Lawley), Luke Jackson (East Fremantle/Bullcreek Leeming), Deven Robertson (Perth/Aquinas College)

    Development List

     Jack Buller (Claremont/Christchurch Grammar-WA), Matthew Conroy (Townsville/GCS Academy-Qld), Andrew Courtney (Sandringham Dragons/ Beaumaris-Vic Metro), Anthony Davis (Claremont/Hale -WA) Aaron Gundry (Bendigo Pioneers/Sandhurst-Vic Country), Harry Ireland (Hobart City-Tasmania), Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays/Rowville Sports Academy-Vic Country ), Jeremy O’Sullivan (Calder Cannons/ St Bernard’s- Vic Metro)

    The NAB AFL Academy is part of the Rising Star Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL. The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program comprises the following elements:

     • NAB AFL Rising Star

    • NAB AFL Draft

    • NAB AFL Draft Combine

    • NAB AFL Trade Period

    • NAB AFL Under-18 Championships

    • NAB AFL Academy

    • NAB AFL Under-16 Championships

     NAB has been supporting footy from grassroots to the elite level since 2002

      ...


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    The Port Moresby senior competition in Port Moresby is resuming this weekend.  The season did stall after Round 8 due to the high number of IC representatives coming out of the competition and also because of the situation surrounding the extended PNG elections that dragged out and caused security concerns in the nation's capital.

    With their hometown heroes returning with the International Cup and the election issues now being cleared the season is ready to push through to the end and see some great footy played. The Lamana Dockers are leaders in both the Seniors and Reserves men's competition, while the Gerehu Magpies lead in the women's competition (and have the bye this week). 

    See the full draw below for Round 9 and the current ladders.
     

     

                 
     
    Bye this week is Gerehu (Women)

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    worldfootynews.com has been publishing unofficial Men's World Rankings since 2006 and has been using a consistent methodology since 2010.  In establishing that methodology we consulted with our readership and that influenced the final decision.

    Although some informal updates were published during IC17 our last formal edition was in late 2016 and we're due to issue a post-IC17 update, but find ourselves confronted by some difficult decision regarding which teams qualify.

    It has been suggested that a match involving Canada B could be included, as well as games by the hybrid sides Indochina and Asia Lions.  There's also a match between the USA and Canada way back in 1993 that has been suggested as needing to go into our statistics. In the spirit of the 2010 debate, we're seeking feedback from our readers as to their thoughts.

    We do acknowledge that many people have had difficulty signing up to our website due to ongoing technical issues, so if you have something to add, please try to sign in / sign up for an account, or use Facebook to log in (see the Facebook login on the left), or post thoughts on Facebook itself, or send an email to "world" at the domain name of this website and we'll help you create an account.

    Canada B would seem an obvious exclusion but in starting to develop the Women's rankings in recent years the US and Canadian B teams were included due to the severe lack of nations competing and eligible games to add to the statistics.  Personally I don't think this justifies adding Canada B in the Men's rankings, which have far greater statistics to support them.

    Indochina debuted in October 2016 at the All Asian Championships.  It drew players from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and at the time also looked headed for IC17.  It was with this expected continuity that they were added to our World Rankings.  We'd love feedback as to whether they are likely to continue to exist for the foreseeable future.

    Information on the continuity of the AFL Asia Lions is less firm.  We believe they were pulled together from various countries to provide China with opposition in the match that featured with the Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast AFL match in China this year.  Countries represented were Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. For this hybrid to be included in our rankings there would need to be an intention to repeat the concept regularly and use the same core nations, otherwise the ranking they establish will have no bearing on their ability from one match to the next and effectively just be throwing random statistical noise into the rankings system.

    The 1993 USA vs Canada match was recently put forward by Bill Frampton, founding president of the Canadian Australian Football Association (CAFA), the forerunner to AFL Canada.  Bill argues that:

    "With the International Cup coming up I was reading your pages about the rankings and matches used to compile them when I noticed that you're missing the earliest match which would meet your criteria. That match was played when Canada hosted Great Britain at Centennial Park Oval in Toronto on the 3rd of October 1993.

    I remember it well as I made the long trek from Moncton to Toronto to attend it and in the event acted as timekeeper. The sides played 18-a-side with at least half nationals. Canada won 10.6 66 to 6.7 43 on a cool overcast autumn day with occasional light drizzle."

    We needed to draw a line somewhere and set 1994 as our start point, which in no way diminishes this game but makes it fairly clear it should be excluded.  We'd also have concerns that it would fail other criteria.  These days we require teams to be mostly nationals but back then such games were rare so there was some leniency.  From our criteria page page:

    "For matches played prior to IC2002, games must have been at least 12-a-side and more than 8 players being nationals."

    Seven years after we wrote those rules they are seen to not quite be as thorough as intended.  8 out of 12 meant two thirds being nationals but if it was 18-a-side I believe our intent would've been to have two thirds be nationals, so at least 12 of 18.  And again, the cutoff was 1994, which was not suggesting that prior games did not occur. Admittedly their exclusion from our tables may result in future presentations of tables of wins/losses that omit such games.  But we're certainly not keen to retrospectively change all our tables over the last 7 years.  We'd also then have to make sure of any other 1993 games.

    This query has also caused a revisit of the criteria, which were steadily tightened for later periods.  The current rule applicable is:

    "For matches played since IC2008, games must have been at least 16-a-side and at least 12 players on each team being nationals (ideally all players)."

    I believe this should now be superceded by a rule stating:

    "For matches played since IC2017, games must have been at least 16-a-side and all players on each team being nationals."

     

    Thoughts please on Canada B, Indochina, AFL Asia Lions and the 1993 and post-IC17 criteria. ...


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    The inaugural NAB AFL Women’s State of Origin match will be played at Etihad Stadium tonight.

    Entry to the match is FREE of charge.  It will be streamed here (we assume worldwide).

    The AFL and Etihad Stadium have announced a heavily reduced parking fee for the event – a flat rate of $10.

    The NAB AFL Women’s State of Origin match will be broadcast live nationally on the Seven Network and FOXTEL/FOX FOOTY.

    Key match-day info:

     Match commences at 7:40pm Saturday, September 2

     Tickets: FREE entry

     Parking: $10 flat rate at Etihad Stadium

    An Under-18 State of Origin match will be played as a curtain-raiser featuring players in the All Australian squad. The match starts at 5.20pm. The NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 All Australian team will be announced after the match.

    NAB AFL WOMENS STATE OF ORIGIN SQUADS

    Victoria

    1 Brianna Davey Carlton

    2 Alicia Eva GWS Giants

    3 Jamie Lambert Collingwood

    4 Karen Paxman Melbourne

    5 Emma Kearney Western Bulldogs

    6 Daisy Pearce Melbourne

    8 Sarah Hosking Carlton

    9 Ellie Blackburn Western Bulldogs

    10 Kaitlyn Ashmore Brisbane Lions

    11 Lauren Spark Western Bulldogs

    12 Jess Dal Pos GWS Giants

    13 Lauren Arnell Carlton

    14 Lily Mithen Melbourne

    15 Kara Donnellan Fremantle

    16 Jasmine Garner Collingwood

    17 Steph Chiocci Collingwood

    18 Melissa Hickey Melbourne

    19 Sarah D'Arcy Collingwood

    21 Nicola Stevens Carlton

    23 Moana Hope Collingwood

    28 Sarah Perkins Adelaide

    30 Alison Downie Carlton

    Coach - Debbie Lee

     

    Allies


    1 Emily Bates Brisbane Lions

    3 Katie Brennan Western Bulldogs

    4 Emma Swanson GWS Giants

    5 Elise O'Dea Melbourne

    7 Tayla Harris Carlton

    8 Emma Zielke Brisbane Lions

    9 Kate McCarthy Brisbane Lions

    10 Ebony Marinoff Adelaide

    11 Leah Kaslar Brisbane Lions

    12 Ebony Antonio Fremantle

    13 Jessica Sadunary Adelaide

    14 Sabrina Frederick-Traub Brisbane Lions

    15 Renee Tomkins GWS Giants

    16 Stevie-Lee Thompson Adelaide

    17 Dana Hooker Fremantle

    20 Hayley Miller Fremantle

    22 Courtney Cramey Adelaide

    23 Kirby Bentley Fremantle

    24 Jess Wuetschner Brisbane Lions

    26 Chelsea Randall Adelaide

    35 Bianca Jakobbson Carlton

    60 Emma King Collingwood

    Coach – Bec Goddard

    The State of Origin squads were initially based on the 2017 Virgin Australia AFL Women’s All Australian squad. Selection is based on where a player is born, not which state they are currently playing in.

      ...


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    The third round of the Australian Rules Football Russian Championship for 2017 took place on 2nd September at the Moscow State University stadium. This round, called the Concrete & Steel Cup, was played in fine conditions in front of a modest but committed crowd. The Cats won the day and have now set up their chance to take the AFL Russia title for 2017.

    The final scores saw the Cats lead at every change against the home team before holding on to a five-goal victory – 81 to 51. Our Cat reporter in St.Petersburg, Alexey Andryushin, sent his report about the day and its ramifications.

     As soon as Koalas got the win in the first match of the 2017 season (back in April at MSU Stadium, Moscow – winning 65 to 44), the Cats were ready to take revenge. There was also second round of tournament in St.Petersburg on 29th April, but the Koalas didn’t show up in St. Petersburg, so the Cats got the forfeit win 30 to 0).

    The third round of the tournament took place at Moscow State University stadium. The weather was perfect, and both teams were in their best conditions to compete against each other. 

    In the first quarter, the Koalas tried to shoot long distance, but decent defence from our guest team allowed them to score only one goal and five behinds for the Moscow team. Then the Cats managed to extend the lead up to 11 points by the halftime whistle. The host team, however, tried to make comeback, and they succeeded. In the beginning of third quarter, they scored two fast goals and maintained the lead for a short time. Unfortunately, for them, the Koalas spent almost all their energy in that burst. In the fourth quarter, the Cats responded with four goals, one after the other, and their opponents had no answer for this. The final score was 51 to 81 in favor of Saint-Petersburg team.  

    St.Petersburg Cats now have 2 wins (one of them being a forfeit), and Koalas have only one, so according to the AFL Russia 2017 regulations if the number of wins is equal, the team without forfeit losses has an advantage. The only thing the Cats need to win 2017 Championship is to show up to the fourth round match on the 16th of September at St.Petersburg’s Kirovets stadium. 

    St.Petersburg’s club in 2017 continued to bring new recruits into the squad, so this summer the first Saint-Petersburg Championship was started. Two teams have now been made: the SPb Cats & Northern Tigers, and three matches have already been played between these squads – the Cats now lead 2 to 1.  

    The Cats also expect to organize a friendly match against Helsinki Heatseekers this September and prepare to participate in Euro Cup in Bordeaux next month as a part of Team Russia.

    Quarter by Quarter:

    Lazy Koalas 11 St.Petersburg Cats 13 (Quarter Time)

    Lazy Koalas 24 St.Petersburg Cats 35 (Half Time)

    Lazy Koalas 48 St.Petersburg Cats 56 (Three-Quarter Time)

    Lazy Koalas 51 St.Petersburg Cats 81 (Final Score)

      ...


    0 0

    Mason Cox will remain a Magpie after signing a three-year contract extension with the club which brought him from the United States to Australia.

    The 211cm American first began honing his AFL skills at Collingwood as a Category B international rookie in 2014 playing in the VFL.

    Since, the Dallas native has played 20 AFL games – including nine as a key forward and ruckman in 2017.

    Speculation in recent weeks around his contract had seen him linked to Hawthorn, Richmond and Brisbane as possible destinations for the American. ...


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