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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Elsternwick Park - the fine home of the VAFA (Victorian Amateur Football Association) played host to International Footy when the New Zealand Hawks dropped by to take on Ormond AFC in a pre International Cup warm up game. Scheduled for 6pm, or there abouts, the weather unfortunately closed in and light drizzle grew gradually more steady. After the customary Haka - eventually the game got under way and the Hawks shook off the cobwebs and by early in the second quarter had kicked a couple of goals clear and wouldn't be headed running out comfortable if inaccurate victors.

    Team Goals Behinds Total
    New Zealand 6 16 52
    Ormond 3 2 20

    New Zealand running on

    New Zealand pregame Haka.


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    In four attempts at the International Cup the Great Britain Bulldogs have finished 6th, 6th, 9th and 7th.  But this time around there's confidence that the squad is the best yet to represent Great Britain, with youngsters coming through and increased big match experience through the European Championships and the Euro Cup.

    Footy in Britain

    The game has seen a steady increase in activity since the last tournament and expanded markedly in central England and Scotland. The quality of the game has increased, with more youngsters getting involved and staying with the game, many of whom travel into London to get increased exposure to the full 18’s game, as well as the 9’s they play regularly with their regional clubs. The Bulldogs squad has maintained a good level of activity leading up to the 2014 International Cup and been increasingly professional in preparation, testing and conditioning work, with Physio extraordinaire Claire Shapland taking a lead in optimising this regime.

    Strengths and Weaknesses

    The Bulldogs have worked hard to address the issues that became evident at the last IC, with the South African and New Zealand teams particularly showing the gulf that existed at that time. Fitness and speed has received greater emphasis in preparation and the accuracy of delivery has been ramped up to increase efficiency on the oval. The Bulldogs have always played a physical game, with many players bringing a rugby background with them and this should serve them well in what will undoubtedly be some hard opening matches. The squad benefits greatly from the number of players getting experience playing in the top level of London 18s competition and from those based in Australia, developing their footy around the footy homeland.

    Players to Watch

    There are increasing numbers of players in the squad who will catch the eye. Ruckman Anthony Trigg was named in the 2011 World Team and the ever versatile Luke Matias is competing in his 4th consecutive IC, having decided he really liked Melbourne when visiting for the 2005 event. From the younger members, Captain Sean Walton has been a mainstay of the European Legion team facing the AIS Academy group each year and Sam Willatt was named Best on Ground for the Legion in the Easter series this year.

    Form Guide

    The Bulldogs preparation has been solid and is built from the foundations laid by the management team, going right back to 2010. If the European Championships in 2013 are anything to go by, losing by a single point to European and International Champions Ireland, this squad can push forward and surprise some of the more-fancied teams.


    This is the strongest squad that the Bulldogs have ever brought to the event and will be looking to make early statements to the rest of the participants. It will be essential to settle early, but this group has the experience behind it and the raw talent and athleticism to make this another step forward for the British game.


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    Not all the action of the International Cup happens on the field. This Saturday at 1.30pm the tournament will be launched at Federation Square in Melbourne.

    Where previous launches have been somewhat “locked away” from the public and/or the squads, the 2014 version will be out in the open for all to see and attend.

    All the teams will be present (the travel gods willing) for the official start of the football carnival that will see 15 days of footy and will include 18 countries, 62 matches, 18 men’s and seven women’s teams and 18 venues.

    One thousand players and support staff will be officially welcomed by Senior Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin.
    Following the welcome each nation’s flag and team captains will be presented on stage at Federation Square.
    Dignitaries and footy celebrities will be involved in the welcoming of the teams to Australia and the locals will see a great display of colour and entertainment – a taste of what is to come in the tournament.
    Teams will then follow their flag through Birrarung Marr on a march to the MCG which should once again be a great visual for Melbournians.
    A Parade of Nations around the MCG will be completed prior to the Hawthorn v Melbourne match giving all participants a chance to walk on the famous turf, just an entrée for those who will return to play in the men’s final on August 23rd.

    Brett Kirk launches IC11 at Luna Park, Sydney. ...

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  • 08/06/14--07:35: IC14 previews complete
  • With less than three days to go before the matches begin we're pleased to announce that all our 2014 AFL International Cup previews are complete.  They've been published over the last few weeks but you can conveniently access them from our IC14 clickable graphics area on our home page or go straight there by clicking the images below.  Please note squad lists have been added where available.


    Men's:  ...

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  • 08/06/14--08:30: WFN IC14 tipping competition
  • is pleased to announce a friendly tipping competition for the 2014 AFL International Cup.

    This year's competition will be different to 2011 when you had to tip each match. This time around we're asking competitors to predict the finishing order for both the men's and women's events.

    For a bit of extra incentive we'll organise a prize, to be advised later.

    The competition will be open to everyone that is a member of our site (including WFN staff, but they are ineligible to win the prizes). Not signed up? It's free, we don't spam you with adverts, and it allows you to post comments (purely used to stop spammers). Sign up here. You can also sign in with your Facebook credentials.

    Apologies for the late notice so please hurry to get your tips in - competition closes 9am Australian EST Sunday 10th August.

    Read on for the details of how to enter.

    The tipping competition will involve all matches from both the men's and women's competitions, so the final ladders will be specified by the AFL at the completion of all games. The competition is open to anyone. There is no entry fee, and the main intention is a bit of fun. If you wish to remain anonymous then create a discreet user profile, but please only one entry per (real) person.

    To enter the competition, simply click here to send an email to our ic14tips account. Just let us know your name, where you are from (country) and list the men's and women's teams in predicted finishing order. Each entry will be rated based on a point for each position removed from the actual finishing position, e.g. if you tip Ireland at #1 but they finish #3 that's 2 points added to your total score. The lowest overall score wins (e.g. 0 would mean you got every position correct).

    Usual disclaimers apply, the judge's (WFN) decision is final and will use our discretion to resolve any issues. In the event of an unbreakable tie for the top tipster position WFN will organise a "playoff" round to be advised if that occurs (such as tipping the AFL finishing positions).

    Any questions about this competition can be posted on this thread or asked by emailing ic14tips at the address linked above.

    Competing teams including men's seedings, see here: Seedings and draw ...

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    The Port Adelaide Football Club is delighted to announce that it is the major host sponsor of the China national team for the upcoming AFL International Cup tobe held in Melbourne from August 10-24.

    The AFL International Cup is held every three years, with teams from 23 countries around the world competing in this year’s tournament; all players must be nationals of the country they are representing.

    The participation of a representative team from China for the 2014 competition had previously been in jeopardy due to a lack of funding.

    Most of the team are students from universities in southern China where the game is growing rapidly through the South China AFL competition.

    Port Adelaide has been working on a range of initiatives as part of its broader China strategy. These include a formal partnership with the Hong Kong Football Club where Port Adelaide recently held a highly successful Sports and Community Luncheon. Over 200 Australians working in the region and local business people attended a presentation on Port Adelaide’s strategy in the region.

    The club is also working extensively with the Chinese student community in South Australia and sees this opportunity to partner withTeam China and ensure their participation at the 2014 AFL International Cup as a strong statement of intent in terms of Port Adelaide’s commitment to its strategy.

    Team China will join 22 other teams in Melbourne when the competition commences on Sunday 10th August.

    Port Adelaide has brought the full team into Adelaide prior to this for a training camp and a range of cultural and promotional events.Team China will be special guests of Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval for the club’s blockbuster against Sydney tomorrow night.

    The club is also working in partnership with the Williamstown Football Club (VFL) who will beTeam China’s official hosts when they are in Melbourne.

    Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas affirmed the club’s commitment toTeam China and to ensuring their participation in the 2014 AFL International Cup.

    “When we heard that participation ofTeam China was in serious doubt due to their funding requirements we asked how we could help and what support was needed,” Mr Thomas said.

    “We felt it was important to take away any uncertainty and do what was needed to ensure the team could get to Australia to compete. Therefore we have agreed to effectively underwrite their participation in the AFL International Cup. ”

    Team China will take part in kick to kick at Adelaide Oval this morning and will meet the Port Adelaide playing squad. ...

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  • 08/07/14--22:23: Chinese squad for IC14
  • With the 2014 International Cup now just hours away players from all teams are just itching to get out on the fields in and around Melbourne to show their skills and seek rewards for their efforts. The Chinese team is certainly out to make a mockery of their 15th seeding and are keen to pull off upsets galore.


    Below is the Chinese squad, featuring names and their team local team. The team will be captained by Shaoling Chen from the Guangzhou Scorpions. He is part of a group of 23 Scorpions in the squad, along with one from the Beijing Bombers, one from the Dongguan Giants, four from the Southern Dragons and two from La Trobe.

    # No. Surname                   Given Names                           Club
    1   ZHANG   HAO                     GUANGZHOU
    3   CHEN             HAICHENG         GUANGZHOU
    4          HUANG                 BINQUAN                 GUANGZHOU
    6                 PI                 JIAMING               DRAGONS (Vic)
    7 (c)               CHEN          SHAOLIANG           GUANGZHOU
    8 (vc)        ZHENG        YIFENG                 GUANGZHOU
    9                 ZHU           JIANGSHENG         GUANGZHOU
    10                YU             ENDA                     GUANGZHOU
    11          LIU             SIRUN                     GUANGZHOU
    13        LIU             KUNSONG             GUANGZHOU
    14        DENG         MINGJIE                 GUANGZHOU
    15        CHEN         ZHUSHEN             GUANGZHOU
    16       LIN               QIJIAN                 GUANGZHOU
    17       ZHUANG       YAN                       GUANGZHOU
    20       LIU               SHENG                 GUANGZHOU
    21     LIN             HONGHUI           DONGGUAN
    23      ZHANG       JIYAO                   GUANGZHOU
    24        SUN               SHAOQIANG       GUANGZHOU 
    25      QIU               JIANXIANG         GUANGZHOU
    26        GAO             PENG             DRAGONS (Vic)
    27       YANG           FAN                 GUANGZHOU
    28    OU                             XINYU              GUANGZHOU
    33      ZHANG               ZEFAN             GUANGZHOU 
    34     SHEN           QINGMING         GUANGZHOU
    36      YANG           MING               LA TROBE (Vic)
    40     QIU               HAO               DRAGONS (Vic)
    47    FAN              IRYOUNG       LA TROBE (Vic)
    50     YANG           YANG               DRAGONS (Vic)
    67     CHEN         JIANHAO             GUANGZHOU 
    5       DING         GUAN QUN         BEIJING
    18     LIU             HUANZHANG       GUANGZHOU ...

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    Bringing both mens and womens squads to Melbourne for the International Cup, including travel, uniforms, and over 2 weeks of accommodation and food - is no small undertaking for any nation. For AFL Fiji the support of others is crucial and the opportunity exists via 'MyCause' to make a donation to assist. Donations can be made at Bring Fiji to AFL International Cup. ...

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    In a story that has been splashed across the mainstream media of Australia, AFL players have been taxed by the New Zealand government for matches played in Wellington over the last two years.

    The first-ever match on foreign soil to be played for premiership points saw the Swans take on the Saints in a historic clash in 2013. The Saints then returned to Wellington in round six of this year to take on the Lions.

    However, it has been revealed that the players who took part in the matches were taxed a portion of their match fee because the Kiwi government deemed them to be ‘entertainers.’

    This does not occur for regular Trans-Tasman competitions involving NZ and Australian teams such as the Super 15, NRL, NBL and the Netball.

    However the yearly AFL game is viewed as an exhibition game and therefore the “ New Zealand Inland Revenue Department have reviewed the Anzac Day game…and sought to tax each player who competed…on the basis that you are considered to be `entertainers’ in New Zealand.

    The Australian government has since stepped in and reimbursed the players. In the end it is pretty straightforward- any tax paid in NZ is given as a tax credit on earnings in Australia. No player is any further out of pocket.

    For more:- ...

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  • 08/08/14--20:30: IC14 Audio
  • We are trialling some live streaming audio today. You can access it via the embedded player below. The player should either play live or the latest recording from earlier in the day.

    Note that there are now numerous episodes listed - the horizontal bars icon accesses all our recordings.

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  • 08/09/14--01:35: IC14 officially launched
  • The IC14 launch took place this afternoon at Federation Square in front of the competitors of the many countries and nationalities competing in the tournament, as well as international footy fans, friends, family and interested onlookers.

    All twenty five teams, 18 men's and seven women's, were represented at the launch however the most of the Chinese team will not arrive in Melbourne until tomorrow morning.

    The teams were welcomed by Senior Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin and presented with a branch of a gum tree and invited to each take leaves from it.

    The Premier of Victoria Dr Denis Napthine welcomed the teams to "the world’s most liveable city" "I wish you all the very best for the competition, a spirited competition, competitive games and may the best teams win," Dr Napthine said. "It is really fantastic to have so many teams here and I wish you well for a great competition."

    AFL general manager people, customer and community Dorothy Hisgrove said the International Cup was renowned as a prestigious tournament. "The International Cup is one of the standout events on the AFL calendar, as it reflects the inclusive nature of Australian football and the continued enthusiasm of the game around the world," Ms Hisgrove said.

    Former International Cup coach of the Peace Team - Robert Dipierdomenico came to the stage and put his own spin on the welcome - firing up the enthusiastic crowd. The Irish captain took the oath on behalf of all players.

    Each country's captains were welcomed onto the stage and stood in front of their country's flag, and were given a welcome present and posed for photos with the cup. They then exited the stage and assembled for their march to the MCG while their captains changed to their playing gear for official photos.


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    Following today's launch the International Cup teams paraded from Federation Square to the MCG. Decked out in team uniforms and following their nation's flags and banners the 18 countries marched joyfully to the home of Australian Football, the MCG.

    Once inside they all queued expectantly until the nod was given and onto the hallowed turf they went. The parade of nations allowed all those who have come so far - not only to Australia but in their footy journey's to represent their countries - to have the amazing opportunity to walk the boundary with their team mates ahead of today's AFL match between Melbourne and Hawthorn (an official crowd of 37,082).


    Following the parade the nations filed into their seats in the Great Southern Stand looking for inspiration ahead of tomorrow's kick-off at 9.30am of 15 great days of international footy.





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    Cam Holmes takes a look at the World Footy News World Rankings and how they may change during the first two rounds of IC14. More info on how they are calculated and links to the results used to calculate them can be found at World Rankings

    Round One
    In all but two of Round 1 matches, the rating gap between the competing nations is greater than +/_ 10.00 rating points. When the rating gap exceeds +/- 10.00 no advantage is gained by the higher ranked nation and likewise no points are lost by the lower ranked nation. The Ranking Scheme predicts that the higher ranked nation will win more often than not so in this case it would extremely unlikely for any of these matches to go the way of the underdog.

    However if the lower ranked nation does actually cause an upset the points exchange can only be the maximum of +/- 3.00. This has only occurred once in 252 eligible International matches e.g. Great Britain upset Ireland in April 2013. (Rating gap +/- 11.26)

    The Ranking Scheme predicts that the higher ranked nation will win more often than not and as WFN World Rankings are calculated using a 'Points Exchange' system, in which sides take points off each other based on the match result. Whatever one side gains, the other loses.

    The two matches where the Rating gap is less than +/-10.00 are South Africa (6th: 49.03 rating points) v Pakistan (debutant: 40.00) and Canada v China. The rate exchange for the Lions v Shaheens match is +/_ 0.29 rating points which has South Africa creeping an itsy bitsy bit closer to Nauru and the Shaheens slipping to 39.71 rating points but as they are provisionally ranked only, no change in rank occurs for them.

    In the event of a Canada (13th: 37.08 rating points) win over China (17th : 34.36 rating points) the rate exchange is +/_ 2.18 rating points which will see Canada creep closer to Fiji but would see China fall one place below Germany to 18th place. If either/or Canada and South Africa were to win by more than 40 points the effect on the Rankings would be the same tho the rate exchanges would be slightly greater.

    However if China were to upset Canada the rate exchange would be the maximum +/- 3.00 which would have China leap up to 13th and Canada falling to 18th , in effect, a swap of places.

    Round 2

    Round 2 is much more exciting as all but 3 matches will see rate exchanges take place with as many as 13 nations rising or falling in Rank.

    “Tune in for the next exciting episode” on Tuesday 12th August to check out the various permutations!! ...

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    Kevin McSorley has waited a while to get out on the field and debut with the Irish Warriors at an International Cup. Originally selected as part of the Warrior’s squad for IC11, Kevin sustained an injury which ruled him out of making the trip.

    But tomorrow, his second chance arrives when the Irish Warriors take on the Fiji Tribe as stage one of the team’s quest to win back to back International Cup titles and win their third men’s title.

    But Kevin’s road to Melbourne has been both exciting and varied. “The mix of GAA and rugby gave me the fundamental [football] skills along with the compromised rules series Ireland v Australia. I was introduced at age 19 to the Irish club Belfast Redbacks.”

    “A few years with Belfast Redbacks led to Irish trials and Euro 9’s cups in Belfast and Edinburgh winning both. Then the Euro 16’s last year, also playing for European Islands [in the curtain-raiser match] before Bulldogs v Power in London and also the European Titans v AIS/AFL Academy. Now there is this IC14 [which is] a great pathway and [offers] excellent opportunities.”

    Kevin is very confident about Ireland’s chances at this event. “Ireland for both!” he says about the predicted winners of this year’s event. “We hope to go all the way [with] well prepared great players and great coaches give us a great shot.”

    When asked about the current Australian Rules environment back in Ireland he says it is “fairly healthy, but would love to see it grow further from youth level. As Development Officer in Ireland I'm putting strategies in place to ensure this happens.” Certainly, if Kevin’s groundwork now can take root, Irish Australian Rules teams may continue to dominate for years to come.

    As a final comment, Kevin gives a nod to the value of the International Cup concept. “It's an excellent run competition. [It is] a credit to the AFL and an experience of a lifetime. It is great to share the interest with nations worldwide and hopefully we will proudly lift the cup.”

    Let’s see if the luck of the Irish can hold, and that Kevin gets to enjoy his debut at this even ...

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    Meet the players - Erik Vig (Sweden).

    Name : Erik Vig
    Club (Canada) Karstad Eagles
    Age : 27
    Hgt : 186 cm
    Pos : Full Forward
    Fave AFL team : WC Eagles
    Fave AFL player: me
    Years playing : 2
    IC14 Tips
    Mens Swedish Elks
    Womens Canada
    Sporting Idol : Jörgen Jönsson (Ice Hockey)
    Simpsons or Futurama Simpons
    Star Wars or Star Trek Star Wars
    Banana or Check-side Banana
    Team mate most likely to become President/PM Chris Mårtensson
    Team mate who spends most time in front of the mirror Me

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    World Footy News Women’s World Rankings

    We haven't yet formalised Women's Rankings since few games have been played, but if exactly the same criteria and World Ranking Scheme is applied to the Fifteen (15) Women’s International Tests/Matches played so far the Women’s World Rankings would look like:

    1. Australia
    2. Canada  43.72    8 matches played*
    3. USA         40.12    8 matches played*


    Ireland 49.37 5 matches played #
    PNG 33.51 5 matches played #
    AIM@ 33.29 4 matches played #

    Three 49th Parallel Cup matches since 2010 and International Cup 2011 matches*
    International Cup 2011 matches#
    Australian Indigenous & Multicultural@

    Yet To Play:

    Fiji 40.00
    Tonga 40.00
    Canada 2 Midnight Suns 40.00
    USA 2 Freedom 40.00

    “Tune in Tuesday 11th August to check out World Ranks after Round 1 Women’s IC14” ...

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  • 08/09/14--09:51: Photos from the IC14 launch
  • Photos taken by various WFN reporters at the IC14 launch at Federation Square and treking down to the MCG.


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    All the matches in Round 1 went pretty much as the Ranking Scheme predicted, that is, higher ranked country prevailed over its lower ranked opponent. Six of the seven matches that had a +/- 10.00 rating gap all produced over a +100 point wins for the favoured nation, although Great Britain’s win over France couldn’t be called close or lineball either, eg 12.17 (89) to 1.1 (7).

    The two remaining matches that were expected to result in changes in rating points also were +100 point wins, South Africa 23.22 (160) d. Pakistan 2.2 (14) and Canada 19.5 (119) d. China 0.1 (1). This loss by China as predicted has seen China (31.36 rating points) fall to 18th below Germany (34.09).

    Click full story to see the World Rankings standings after today's play.

    World Footy News Men's World Rankings 10th August 2014

    nb "Games played" refers to international matches played at least 16 a side, under IC eligibility rules.

    Rank Country Points Games played
    1. Australia N/A N/A
    2. Ireland 55.15 45
    3. PNG 54.56 30
    4. NZ 53.00 34
    5. Nauru 51.17 23
    6. Sth. Africa 49.47 23
    7. G. Britain 46.88 50
    8. USA 46.61 38
    9. Tonga 44.73 10
    10. Denmark 43.67 47
    11. Croatia 40.35 8
    12. Fiji 40.18 10
    13. Canada 40.08 38
    14. Peace Team 36.46 11
    15. France 36.09 9
    16. Sweden 35.74 31
    17. (+1) Germany 34.09 16
    18. (-1) China 31.36 12
    19. Japan 30.39 25
    20. Finland 29.02 14
    21. India 28.45 12

    Provisional Nations

    Rank Country Points Games played
    ## Indonesia 40.00 1
    ## Pakistan 39.56 1
    ## Iceland 35.64 4
    ## Timor Leste 27.40 6

    Dormant Nation (over five years since last played an International)
    Samoa, 41.85pts, 18 games pla ...

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    Report by Harley Vague.

    With the temperature dropping a little, with a rising cold wind, conditions were good for football, though the centre squares were slippery from the previous night's rain. Throughout the day, play wasn't affected which was fantastic considering the earlier predictions. The quarter started with the ball locked into a very large Tonga forward line.

    As the quarter progressed the Canadians were able to string some good football passages together which looked as they had been well-practiced. Halley Costanza was responsible for bursting through traffic to set up the only goal for the quarter as well as a number of other good movements.

    The second quarter saw the Storm apply midfield and forward pressure and manufacture a goal mainly through the efforts of Nelma Ongolea who roved tirelessly around the ground. The Suns steadied and eventually established a systematic classical style of play. They did so with a spearhead in the form of Veronica Fernandez who marked and kicked truly and responsible for two other dangerous-looking points. Eventually this would be shown as the quarter where the Suns won it.

    The third quarter was a very even affair with first one side and then the other almost grafting a score. Indeed the siren went when the Storm had managed to string together a series of marks and were pressing close for a score. The standout for the quarter was Nelma Ongolea who was everywhere and Holly Carlson probably was the hardest worker for the Suns.

    The sun made a welcome appearance and it was the battle of the defences in the last quarter. Where previously the Suns had a spearhead Nina Alofaki was running off her opponent and the Storm strung together some good passages of play usually involving Nelma Ongolea. Their physical style of play prevented the Suns settling into their previous comfortable (and scoring) style. The Suns may be the second Canadian side but obviously they have benefitted from training beside the Canadian Light's players and will be competitive in this tournament.

    The Storm took a while to find their balance of physicality and ball movement, but they should be more competitive here on in, having matched the Suns in three quarters.

    Canada Midnight Suns 1.0 4.4 4.3 4.7 (30)
    Tonga 0.0 1.1 1.1 1.1 (7)


    Canada: Fernandez 2, Fenton 1, Charles 1
    Tonga: Manu 1

    Best players
    Canada: Tonga, Gazerly, Carlson, Shannon, Fernandez, Lowden
    Tonga: Manu, Lelenga, Manu, Ongolea, Haamano, Alofaki, Faka’ilota’u


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    The 2nd game up on Western Oval would see one of the tournament heavy weights in New Zealand take on the Swedish Elks who would seek to fly the flag for Scandinavian footy. In the warm ups it could be seen that the Swedes weren’t quite clean enough in the blustery conditions and this played out as the game wore on. The Hawks coming off a solid warm up game on Wednesday night in the wet at Elsternwick Park over Ormond Amateurs were well prepared should the weather turn, but the game was largely played in sunny but very chilly conditions.

    The NZ Hawks were hot early slamming on 3 early goals through a mark to Leat (#1); a classy right foot snap by Christensen (#9) and an opportunist soccer tap in by ‘TK’ Tipene-Thomas (#7). The 4th came via Toomer (#21) and immediately following was the story of the day as the Hawks sharked the centre ruck and cleared in an instant and delivered long inside 50 for a chest mark and goal to Brendan Clark (26) to make it 5 unanswered goals for the term. At the other end alas Erik Vig was relegated to a distant observer.

    Too often even the Swedish kick ins after behinds were poorly executed resulting in turnovers. New Zealand – with Paul Hudson assisting on the sidelines (part of the interest of St Kilda FC in New Zealand footy) – were impressive from the outset with a well-balanced line up. Midfield dominance was established early and the Swedes were doing their best just to get their hands on the ball. As the first quarter progressed the Swedes got warmed up for the contest and were able to exert more defensive pressure and managed to thwart the kiwis on occasion however the ability to rebound with any penetration just wasn’t there.

    During the second quarter key forward Mundell (#17) was providing a strong marking target up forward and snared a couple of goals for the term while Christensen (#9) was a constant danger through mids or nearer to goal and By half time the scoreboard was unflattering for the Elks who were yet to score while conceding 11 to the Hawks; and by the end it was largely forgettable. Svensson continues to fight hard and still looks a class act when sharing the ball – hard not to envisage Melbourne’s Nathan Jones. Navarro (#32) worked hard supported by Nilsson (#70) but the Hawks pressure never let up.

    The second half was pretty well a procession – not that the Swedes gave up trying but today they were completely outclassed. Big ruckman Dan Koinberg (#56) rucked strongly and certainly didn’t lower his colours – however the Hawks mids were able to rove effectively to either ruckman and consistently drove the Hawks forward from the restarts. For the Kiwis Christensen (#9) was in a league of his own – clean and crisp and finishing with a bag of 4 majors he was able to impact the scoreboard in each quarter. Mundell (#17) added a third to his tally in the final term while Van Wijk (#4) finished strongly with 2 goals to cap off a fine midfield effort.

    Tim Stevens from the Hawks indicated that they were happy with the game having set out to control what they could control. They'd made some adjustments through the 2nd qtr that worked well and were pleased with how the side stuck to the game plan. And as an observer the structure and discipline of the Hawks was evident - it was in part a clinical display.

    New Zealand 5.4.(34) 11.8. (74) 17.14.(116) 24.18.(162)
    Sweden 0.0.(00) 0.0.(00) 0.0.(00) 0.0.(00)

    Koinberg and Smith provide a solid performance of Swan Lake

    Svensson to get to Miller

    Umpire watches Baker-Thomas fly

    Typically pressure kicks for the Elks

    Navarro chases down Miller

    Martensson provided a rare highlight for the Elks

    Ball tucked under the arm ...

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