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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

older | 1 | .... | 27 | 28 | (Page 29) | 30 | 31 | .... | 134 | newer

    0 0

    The Carlton Blues may be having their issues on and off the field recently. But on the weekend a shining light for the club was the debut of Irishman Ciaran Sheehan (who first trialled with Carlton in 2009)  for the club on Saturday against the Gold Coast.

    The lad from County Cork had 8 kicks, 5 handballs, 5 marks and two tackles.  He also had two "goal assists" with some impressive delivery to Carltons forwards.

    Video of Sheehan in action and interview after the game can be seen below. 

    ...

    0 0

     Meet the players - Masaya NAKAMURA (Japan).

       
    Name : Masaya NAKAMURA (#1)
    Club (Home) Tokyo Bay Suns
    Club (Other) Box Hill North Demons (2009)
    Age : 25
    Hgt : 177cm
    Pos : CHB
    Fave AFL team : Collingwood Magpies
    Fave AFL player: Jamie Elliot
    Years playing : 7
    How found footy : I was recruited by Komazawa University footy team.
    IC14 Tips  
    Mens Japan
    Womens Canada
    Tightest (stingiest) teammate : Jun Sekiguchi(#9) Always fighting in the melee
    Least want to sit beside on plane : Kuno Yosuke(#8) (When he is hungry, he gets angry, like HULK)
    Favourite Food : Sushi
    Sporting Idol : Masahiro TANAKA (NY Yankees)
    Funniest/embarrassing footy moment : When I went out to watch a footy game with T-shirts like OZ in the winter, I was so freezed out.
    Footy highlight : When I came to Mel in 2008 for the IC, Fev could not kick 100th goal....
    Simpsons or Futurama Simpson
    Star Wars or Star Trek Star Wars
       
    Team mate most likely to become President/PM Jun SEKIGUCHI(#9) (He has a fighting spirits)
       
    ...

    0 0

    Meet the players - Thembinkosi "Dinho" Zwane (South Africa).

    Name : Thembinkosi "Dinho" Zwane
    Club (Home) Hurricanes
    Age : 24
    Hgt : 186 cm
    Pos : Back pocket
    Fave AFL team : West Coast Eagles
    Fave AFL player: Andrew Gaff
    Years playing : 5
    How found footy : Was told by a friend
    IC14 Tips
    Mens Not really sure
    Womens Who ever plays hard
    Tightest (stingiest) teammate : None
    Least want to sit beside on plane : Atang (talks too much)
    Favourite Food : Pasta
    Sporting Idol : Both Gary Abletts
    Funniest/embarrassing footy moment : Funniest I just scored my 1st goal ever since I played for Lions
    Footy highlight : Meet and greet with the Hawks
    Simpsons or Futurama Simpsons
    Star Wars or Star Trek Star Wars
    Banana or Check-side Banana
    Team mate most likely to become President/PM None
    Team mate who spends most time in front of the mirror Walker
    ...

    0 0

    The Round 2 match between Nauru and Great Britain was for 3 and a half quarters a ripping game. Several times it looked like Nauru was set to run away only for the Bulldogs to claw their way back and with less than a goal in it at 3/4 time it was anyone's game. Nauru kicked out again in the last and 18 pts up the crowd wondered whether the Bulldogs had another burst left. Enter Steven Maguire.








    With an open forward line Maguire led into space running through true centre half forward....

    ....marking, Maguire played on straight away heading goal ward.....

    ....decides to bounce....

    .....oops....that wasn't supposed to happen...

    ....gotta win it back...

    ....and screw it 'round the corner, dribbling it perfectly along the ground - Bulldogs still alive (but not for long).
    ...


    0 0

    We preview tomorrow's Community Round with teams playing across Melbourne and into country areas Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong among others.  The battle to finish in the top four is well and truly on and results of many of the matches will be eagerly awaited.

    Men’s Division

    Ireland v Nauru 5:30pm Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo  after the 2.20pm Castlemaine v South Bendigo (BFNL) match.  The formline suggests that Nauru are a chance to upset the Irish in Bendigo.  Nauru accounted for Great Britain convincingly enough in the end.  They showed that despite a lack of key position players they can beat a side that does have them.  GB went down to Ireland by just a point in the Euro Cup last year so theoretically they should be very close to Ireland.  Two factors that may come in to play is that the Australian based Irish weren't at the Euro Cup and Nauru's Adam Otto will miss the rest of the tournament due to suspension coming out of the game against GB.

     

    GB v Fiji 11:40am Koonung Reserve, Bulleen curtain raiser to the 2pm Manningham v Dragons (VAFA) match. Great Britain will be hardened by their match against Nauru and should show out as the more experienced side here. Margin won't be huge though and if Fiji can get a run on then anything could happen.

    France v Indonesia 12:00pm Diggers Rest Reserve, Diggers Rest followed by the 2pm Digger’s Rest v Rupertswood (RDFL). France barely scored aginst Ireland but showed they can use the ball and link up. They should have an easy win here but the Indonesians could score multiple goals.

    PNG v South Africa 12pm St Mary's Oval, Geelong followed by the 2.10pm St Mary’s v North Shore (GFL). What a battle of beautiful footy this should be. PNG will run away with this one though and their harder bodies will prevail.

    Tonga v Japan 12:50pm Elgar Park, Box Hill North followed by the 2pm Box Hill North v Hawthorn (VAFA). Japan should not be underestimated here, although Tonga will be hard at the man and the ball we expect the Japanese to stick to a disciplined game plan and running hard in numbers to sneak home with a win.

    India v Pakistan 4pm Highgate Recreation Reserve, Craigieburn following the 1pm Richmond v Essendon (VFL) match. Playing in front of both Richmond and Essendon that are clubs embracing the Indian community in Australia we will back in the Indians here with superior fitness and experience.

    New Zealand v USA 12:30pm Montrose Recreation Reserve, Montrose followed by the 2.30pm Montrose v Blackburn (EFL) match. The US will definitely be the underdogs here but we have seen them defend well and work well around the ball, if their forward line can fire NZ could be beaten. We expect the US to throw everything at the Kiwis here as it is do or die for them - and that sort of attitude can be dangerous.

    Canada v Sweden 11:45am Ben Kavanagh Reserve, Mordialloc played before the 2.30pm Mordialloc v Skye (VWFL) match.  Canatda will be smarting from their close defeat to the US on Wednesday and if they can straighten up their kicking they should overcome Sweden.

    China v Finland 11:10am Eureka Stadium, Ballarat  curtain raiser to the 2pm North Ballart v Williamstown (VFL) match.  Both teams will be eager to notch their first win and we think it should be China.  Forward line of both teams an unknown quantity at this stage but China have looked the more competent at linking up chains of possession so far.

     Women's Division

    Ireland v USA Liberty 2pm Plenty Park, Plenty following the 12pm Diamond Creek v Melbourne Uni (VWFL) match.  Banshees to win this one easily.

    USA Freedom v Tonga 4:30pm Kings Park Reserve, St Albans following the 2pm VU Albans v Darebin (VWFL) match .  Expect Tonga to continue to improve but the Freedom by 4-5 goals. 

    Canada N Lights v Fiji 10am Mulgrave Reserve, Wheelers Hill before the 12pm Eastern Devils v Cranbourne (VWFL) game.  Northern Lights in a big win here. ...


    0 0

     

    All the results from the 2014 AFL International Cup - Round 3 Community Round - Saturday 16th August - locations across Victoria.

    Where possible quarter by quarter scores will be added throughout the day.

    Matches are 4 x 17.5 minute quarters.

    We suggest you refresh your browser regularly to see the latest results.  Match reports will follow later.

    We'll publish to a Round 3 photo album on Flickr after the day's play and post a separate story linking to it.

     

    ...
    10am Wheelers Hill - Women - Canada NL vs Fiji
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Canada NL        
    Fiji        
     
    11:10am Ballarat - Men - China vs Finland
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    China        
    Finland        
     
    11:40am Bulleen - Men - GB vs Fiji
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    GB        
    Fiji        
     
    11:40am Box Hill North - Men - Tonga vs Japan
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Tonga        
    Japan        
     
    11:45am Mordialloc - Men - Canada vs Sweden
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Canada        
    Sweden        
     
    12pm Diggers Rest - Men - France vs Indonesia
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    France        
    Indonesia        
     
    12pm Geelong - Men - PNG vs South Africa
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    PNG        
    South Africa        
     
    12:30pm Montrose - Men - NZ vs USA
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    NZ        
    USA        
     
    2pm Plenty - Women - Ireland vs USA Liberty
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Ireland        
    USA Liberty        
     
    4pm Craigieburn - Men - India vs Pakistan
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    India        
    Pakistan        
     
    4:30pm St Albans - Women - USA Freedom vs Tonga
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    USA Freedom        
    Tonga        
     
    5:15pm Bendigo - Men - Ireland vs Nauru
    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Ireland        
    Nauru        
     

    0 0


    As one of the elder statesmen in the Nauru Chiefs team, Trent Depaune has the responsibility of leading the way for his team mates to follow. A brief chat with Trent gives an idea of his background in the game.

    “Our great grandfathers came to school here in Melbourne, then they established the game of football in Nauru.” “I've been playing since 13 years old. My team in Nauru is the Cats.”

    Trent has been a mainstay of the game back home in Nauru. “This will be my third International Cup and my third time as a captain.”

    Back home in Nauru the game is built around “speed and rough surfaces” which might just assist the team now playing on softer grassed fields. Rent also believes accuracy will be a key to their performances.

    Who does he believe will win the men’s and women’s competitions? “Time will tell for both. May the best team win.”

    We wish the Nauru Chiefs, and Trent Depaune, all the very best for the remainder of the 2014 International Cu ...

    0 0


    St Kilda AFL team boast Joe as an international scholarship player, and he is a part of the New Zealand juggernaut that is hoping to take away their second International Cup title in 2014. So, what do we know about Joe?

    “I discovered AFL while I was at college when my P.E class entered our local tournament called the Hawks Cup which was at the start of April last year. So I played that then got told to trail for the Under 18's New Zealand team that plays against the VAFA team here from Australia. Then I also played for the Under 16's in the game against the Under 16's Flying Boomerangs. I then played for our senior New Zealand team against the AIS. This is my first International Cup!”

    “The game in New Zealand is [going through] development each year. I'm from Wellington and our season is during summer. We have four teams that play each weekend. So it is not a long season at all.”

    “I'm on an international scholarship with St Kilda FC. I got signed when I was 16 trialing for the Under 18's New Zealand team by Ameet Bains (Recruiting Manager) and Chris Pelchen (Head of Football). So one day I hope to play AFL footy. Whether that's next year or the year after that, it is the ultimate goal that I have set myself for footy.”

    “My tips for the event? Obviously the New Zealand Hawks in the men’s competition and I hope the Canada Northern Lights can win the women’s.”

    “I'd also like to say a big thanks to the New Zealand staff that have brought us on the tour, and wish good luck to all the teams competing in the International Cup ...

    0 0

    This report courtesy of Martin Davies.

    The South African Lions today put in a spirited performance to hold off a fast finishing PNG Mosquitoes side, South Africa ultimately triumphing by 9 points.

    At St Mary's Oval in the shadows of Simonds Stadium, home of AFL club Geelong, the pre-game preparations saw the PNG side warming up on the ground, whilst singing and clapping was reverberating from the South African rooms. The sides ran out at 12pm – PNG bunched in a tight huddle by the fence, waiting for everyone to come from the rooms, whilst South Africa ran out in a line like the players couldn't wait to get out there.

    The national anthems were sung with passion, followed by PNG's impressive war cry. The first quarter opened at a blistering pace, with South Africa into attack towards the river end. But the Mozzies defence held up well and repelled the ball forward, where Willie Asi kicked the first goal of the game for PNG from a boundary throw-in.

    The South African attack continued, with the PNG backline able to hold them off, but not able to clear the ball back past the centre. South Africa got two goals on the board through Benji Sobetwa and Vuyisile Sokoyi. Jurie Wessels took a mark in the goal square, but played on and the desperate PNG defence managed to get a touch on it as it crossed the line.

    A free kick awarded to South Africa's Thabiso Phakedi for a tackle resulted in a shot from 50m out on the boundary, which was also touched on line.

    The game proceeded at lightning pace, with desperate tackling by both sides. Marokoane had a running shot on goal for the Lions, but it drifted wide. David Topeni was providing good run out of defense for PNG, but the South Africans kept attacking, playing on quickly and using precision passing to set up chances. Paul Philip slotted through a skillful goal for PNG against the tide to close the gap, but the South Africans kept pushing forward. A PNG kick out on the full on the siren gave Valele a chance to put the Lions further ahead, but his kick from 50m fell short.

    1/4 time: South Africa 3.8.26 to PNG 2.0.12

    PNG went forward early in the second quarter, but Theo Gavuri missed his chance at getting the Mozzies' first for the quarter. A few minutes later some great roving off a boundary thrown-in on the half back flank by Moshoeshoe led to another South African forward charge, ended in a great snap goal to the Lions. Amua Pirika had a chance to get one back for PNG but his shot went of the side of his boot. PNG received a 50M penalty off halfback, which set-up a clever play-on and attacking move into the forward 50, but only one point resulted.

    At the 10 min mark, Moshoeshoe took a courageous mark and was crunched from behind. The resulting 50m penalty saw another entry into the scoring zone, but the Mozzies repelled the attack and another fierce (this time legal) bump by PNG's Ezra Gotuno typified the tension in the contest.

    The South Africans finally broke through for another goal from a set shot at the 12 minute mark, which was the final major for the quarter.

    The growing crowd of onlookers who were assembling for the Geelong FL match between St Marys and North Shore were vocally appreciative of the quick and entertaining contest, with some North Shore supporters remarking “This isn't an exhibition match - these guys are fair dinkum.”

    1/2 time: South Africa 5.9.39 to PNG 2.3.15

    PNG attacked early in the third term, not allowing the ball past halfback and rebounding well. Three Mosquito forward attacks were repelled by South Africa, with Tshoboko Moagi doing well and his Lion teammates getting numbers back behind ball,

    6 minutes in, Scott Johnson snapped a point for PNG. Two minutes later, Gregory Ekari towered over his opponent to mark and waltz into the goalsquare - finally getting PNG a goal to reward the efforts of the previous 30 minutes of football. In this arm-wrestle of a contest, it was to be the only goal kicked by either side for the quarter.

    The tackling of both teams impressed the crowd. Emmaus Wartovo put on an impressive spoil and led the pressure to hold the ball in PNG's half, but the Mozzies couldn't convert their opportunities into scoreboard pressure and the Lions were able to hold on well.

    3/4 time - South Africa 5.11.41 to PNG 3.6.24

    With the Mozzies eager to break out of the deadlock in the middle of the ground, PNG's John Ikupu received a free kick in the centre early in the final term, moving forward to Gideon Simon, who found Amua Pirika on the lead. Pirika converted from 40m on a slight angle, bringing the margin back within two goals.

    Shortly thereafter, Pirika took another mark in the centre, and received a (double) 50m penalty from an overly exuberant attempt at a spoil from his South African opponent, which put him in the goalsquare, dead in front. The resulting goal brought the scoreline to South Africa 5.11 to PNG 5.6.

    Game on.

    PNG attack off half back, but Tshoboko Moagi made it back to thwart attack at defensive 50, spearing the ball back into the Lions' scoring zone. Phakedi split the middle of the goalpost to give the Lions breathing space. PNG received a couple of (possibly lucky) free kicks, with Gideon Simon running well through middle, and Amua Pirika providing a great target up forward, goalling from 45m out.

    South Africa went forward, desperate to answer, but a reckless soccer shot on goal resulted in a free for a kick in danger.

    Ikupu took a great mark for PNG, but his kick toward the centre resulted in a turnover to the Lions. Great unselfish team play resulted in handball to a loose Lion player in goalsquare provided South Africa with some breathing space, with just four minutes to go fast.

    Sensing victory, South Africa lifted, getting numbers to every contest. The Lions started trying to maintain possession and run down the clock, but the tactic backfired when a kick backwards saw a turnover, Brendan Beno marking and playing on to kick a goal and bring the margin back within a single goal.

    A free kick paid downfield to South Africa proved costly for the Mozzies, and South Africa kicked the sealer from a set shot 20 metres out.

    PNG had one last roll of the dice with Beno finding Agita in range, but Agita's kick was rushed through on the siren.

    Full time - South Africa 8.11.59 d PNG 7.8.50

    The talk in the huddles post match was that South Africa had beaten PNG at PNG's own style of footy. The Lions will go into the final four confident that they can keep pace with the best.

    The Mozzies, for their part, played 20 minutes of good footy in the last quarter, but paid the price for not respecting their opponents early on. Still, the Mozzies will scrape into fourth place on percentage in front of Canada, and still have a shot at lifting the Cup. At their best, they are capable of beating any side and can definitely win from fourth.

    South Africa 3.8 5.9 5.11 8.11 (59)
    PNG 2.0 2.3 3.6 7.7 (50)

    Goals

    South Africa: Sokoyi 3, Sobetwa 2, Phakedi 2, Mongia

    PNG: Pirika 4, Asi, Savere, Beno

    Best players

    South Africa: Moagi, Sokoyi, Sobetwa, Figlan, Zwane, Sikiti

    PNG: Ikupu, Agita, Pirika, Gavuri, Namete, S ...


    0 0

    France achieved a big win over Indonesia today, Les Coqs running out 106 point winners over the Garudas in their match at Digger’s Rest.

    As expected, a good crowd was in evidence at the ground and they had warmed to the occasion. Some locals were sporting colours of the International countries. In true Aussie tradition there was plenty of support for the underdog Indonesians.

    France started from the first bounce down using their superior strength, height and now experience to continually push the ball into attack to produce many scoring opportunities.

    Better accuracy would have seen Les Coqs comfortably in front. #13 Gregoire Patacq was already giving a lot of drive and contributed to the second French goal via #8 Jean Rosado who was providing a focal point up forward. Just before the siren #13 Gregoire Patacq threaded his way past multiple defenders only to push the ball wide of the big sticks with his kick.

    Certainly, France has progressed from a very Rugby looking style to a well balanced team with tall rucks, key positional players and handy midfielders that more often than not choose the best option, whether it be the lead, the handpass, the long kick or the shepherd. The Garudas played with plenty of heart and athleticism. They were still in touch on the scoreboard but it was hard to see where they could manufacture the scoring opportunities.

    From the bouncedown of the second quarter #26 Clement Coste thumped the ball forward to #39 Joevin L’Hotelier who ran, executed the “1~2” and kicked a great goal from just inside the 50m arc. The Garudas rebounded with athletic endeavour only for the ball to return to #39 Joevin L’Hotelier for a second goal. The game opened up allowing the Garudas to make numerous forays forward and their first score was roundly received by the crowd.

    However, the experience of the French became evident in their reading of the play and confident in defence. #13 Gregoire Patacq snapped for truly Les Coqs truly and whilst #15 Mahenra Gilang Saputro for the Garudas received attention for his arm injured in defending #96 Henry Tiefenbach for the Les Coqs kicked a booming goal. Mahenra Gilang Saputro later left the ground with the other arm injured.

    The French were getting on top but a good passage of play saw the Garudas run into goal and hit the goalpost when they probably should’ve steadied and taken a kick from a mark .

    But it did lift the Garudas and #21 Hasanema Ziso Daichi marked around the ground and roved bringing team mates into play. #36 saved a certain goal when he repulsed a French attack outnumbered at least 3:1. However it was shortlived as the ball was pushed wide for a set shot where #13 Gregoire Patacq marked in the goal square and converted.

    Undoubtedly a better quarter for the Garudas getting their hands on the ball a good percentage of the time and making the French chase however Les Coqs regained their composure and were able to systematically able to punish the Garudas on the scoreboard especially when Indonesia had pushed numbers forward leaving the defence under manned.

    Once again the third quarter commenced with Les Coqs into attack through their ruck ascendancy Clement Coste #26 and #20 Julien Gil to #13 Gregoire Patacq. A poor defensive effort gave an easy goal to #7 William Tapia Les Cogs. The Garudas persevered and there was a nice cameo run by #9 Frenky Warumu.

    The diminutive Indonesian roving division was seen to be thrown out of the ruck at times without the benefit of any free kick. The umpires did see the holding by Indonesian rovers much to the displeasure of the crowd and player feelings intensified.

    #13 Gregoire Patacq received the ball on the outer of a pack and slotted a major but it was a good result by the Garudas to contain Les Coqs to just two majors credit due in part to #36 solid in defence and #21 Hasanema Ziso Daichi around the ground. A good passage of play #22 Handri Aan Susanto from defence to #13 Dimas Adi Prasojo to #16 Egy Dwi Tanto only to find the woodwork was not just reward for hard work

    The tempo lifted in the last quarter opening up for some good passages of play. #39 Joevin L’Hotelier kicked a good bannna goal on the run figured prominently around the ground with #13 Gregoire Patacq.

    After some frantic passages of play #13 Gregoire Patacq drilled a long attempt. The Garudas were playing their best football but with #26 Clement Coste having little opposition in the ruck and some good passes #39 Joevin L’Hotelier ran in for an easy goal. That was followed by another lead, mark and goal and an overhead mark and goal to #39 Joevin L’Hotelier and a very sharp angled mark and goal to #42 Thibault Picard.

    The Garudas showed influences of another game when they occasionally kicked the ball out of mid air. It was another disappointing result as the Garudas strung together their best passage of play only to push the ball wide from short range just before the final siren.

    Typifying the attitude of the International Cup was #13 Gregoire Patacq giving a hand up to an opposition player that he had just shirtfronted (legally) and pandemonium broke out when the French celebrated in their unique style and Indonesia joined in.

    France Coqs 2.6 7.9 9.12 16.14 (110)
    Indonesia Garudas 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.4 (4)

    Goals
    France: Tiefenbach 5, Patacq 4, Tapia 2, L’Hotellier 2, Picard, Dandaleix, Rosado
    Indonesia: -

    Best players
    France: Picard, Dandaleix, Tiefenbach, Coste, Patacq, L’Hotellier
    Indonesia: Santtoso, Wood, Ibadurrohman, Halim, Suputro, Da ...


    0 0

    With the last game of Round 3 completed tonight we can reveal the preliminary finishing positions and which teams go to the top 4, which to Division 1 and the remainder to Division 2.  Please note that we stress at this early stage these ladders are our own calculations and official confirmation is of course by the AFL.

    The Women's is straight forward and only goes to finals after 5 rounds (4 matches each).  But the Men started divided into 3 pools, with the complication being that the top 4 that go through to the semi-finals after 3 rounds are the top of each pool and then the next best based on combining all the teams - hence we've also shown a Combined ladder.  That also determines the teams that make what the AFL has called Division 1, i.e. teams 5 - 12, and Division 2, i.e. teams 13 to 18.

    Our expectation is that the 4 nations through to the top level men's semi-finals are: Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

    Teams into Division 1 (the second tier) should be: Canada, Tonga, Nauru, Fiji, USA, Great Britain, Pakistan, France.

    The remaining team go into Division 3 (third tier): Sweden, Japan, China, Finland, India, Indonesia.

     

    2014 AFL International Cup Ladders - completion of Round 3 (Saturday August 16th)
    Men's Pool A
    Pos Team W L %
    1 Ireland 3 0  469
    2 Nauru 2 1  310
    3 Fiji 2 1 281 
    4 GB 1 2 143 
    5 France 1 2  58
    6 Indonesia 0 3  2
    Men's Pool B
    Pos Team W L %
    1 South Africa 3 0 372 
    2 PNG 2 1 660 
    3 Tonga 2 1  316
    4 Pakistan 1 2  61
    5 Japan 1 2 25 
    6 India 0 3
    Men's Pool C
    Pos Team W L %
    1 NZ 3 0 3277 
    2 Canada 2 1  517
    3 USA 2 1 264 
    4 Sweden 1 2  30
    5 China 1 2
    6 Finland 0 3
    Men's Combined Division
    Pos Team W L %
    1 NZ 3 0 3277 
    2 Ireland 3 0  469
    3 South Africa 3 0  372
    4 PNG 2 1 660 
    5 Canada 2 1 517 
    6 Tonga 2 1 316
    7 Nauru 2 1  310
    8 Fiji 2 1  281
    9 USA 2 1 264 
    10 Great Britain 1 2 143 
    11 Pakistan 1 2  61
    12 France 1 2 58
    13 Sweden 1 2  30
    14 Japan 1 2  25
    15 China 1 2
    16 Finland 0 3 13
    17 India 0 3
    18 Indonesia 0 3
    Women's Division
    Pos Team W L %
    1 Canada N/Lights 3 0 2811 
    2 Ireland 3 0  1005
    3 USA Freedom 2 1 196 
    4 Canada M/Suns 1 1 55 
    5 Tonga 0 3
    6 Fiji 0 2 6
    7 USA Liberty 0 2

    * Note the ladders are WFN's unofficial calculations.  Percentage is points for divided by points against mutliplied by 100, as per the AFL method. ...


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      The following was released this evening by the AFL.

     

     

     

     

      THE LADDER

     

    POS

    TEAM

    P

    W

    L

    D

    F

    A

    GD

    %

    PTS

    1

    NZ

    3

    3

    0

    0

    426

    13

    413

    3276.92

    12

    2

    Ireland

    3

    3

    0

    0

    239

    51

    188

    468.63

    12

    3

    South Africa

    3

    3

    0

    0

    301

    81

    220

    371.6

    12

    4

    PNG

    3

    2

    1

    0

    429

    65

    364

    660

    8

    5

    Canada

    3

    2

    1

    0

    269

    52

    217

    517.31

    8

    6

    Tonga

    3

    2

    1

    0

    325

    103

    222

    315.53

    8

    7

    Nauru

    3

    2

    1

    0

    316

    102

    214

    309.8

    8

    8

    Fiji

    3

    2

    1

    0

    267

    95

    172

    281.05

    8

    9

    USA

    3

    2

    1

    0

    243

    92

    151

    264.13

    8

    10

    Great Britain

    3

    1

    2

    0

    152

    106

    46

    143.4

    4

    11

    Pakistan

    3

    1

    2

    0

    137

    225

    -88

    60.89

    4

    12

    France

    3

    1

    2

    0

    119

    205

    -86

    58.05

    4

    13

    Sweden

    3

    1

    2

    0

    91

    306

    -215

    29.74

    4

    14

    Japan

    3

    1

    2

    0

    79

    321

    -242

    24.61

    4

    15

    China

    3

    1

    2

    0

    27

    334

    -307

    8.08

    4

    16

    Finland

    3

    0

    3

    0

    37

    296

    -259

    12.5

    0

    17

    India

    3

    0

    3

    0

    13

    489

    -476

    2.66

    0

    18

    Indonesia

    3

    0

    3

    0

    11

    545

    -534

    2.02

    0

     
     
     
    THE SEMI FINAL ROUND

     

     

    Tuesday, August 19

     

     

    MEN'S SEMI FINALS

     

    Time

    Ransford Oval

     

    11:30am

    1 v 4

    New Zealand v PNG

    1:30pm

    2 v 3

    Ireland v South Africa

    3:30pm

    5 v 12

    Canada v France

     

    McAlister Oval

     

    11:30am

    6 v 11

    Tonga v Pakistan

    1:30pm

    7 v 10

    Nauru v GB

    3:30pm

    8 v 9

    Fiji v USA

     

    Western Oval

     

    11:30am

    13 v 18

    Sweden v Indonesia

    1:30pm

    14 v 17

    Japan v India

    3:30pm

    15 v 16

    China v Finland

     

    THE FINAL FOUR

    POS

    TEAM

    1

    New Zealand

    2

    Ireland

    3

    South Africa

    4

    Papua New Guinea

     

    ·The top placed finisher based on wins, losses and percentage from pools A, B & C will progress into the Semi Finals

    ·The 4th place in the Semi Finals will be awarded to the country with the best points and percentage based on their wins and losses from the first 3 rounds

    DIVISION 1 & 2

    ·The remaining countries will be re-ranked from 5 to 18 based on their win/loss record and percentage from the first 3 rounds.

    ·The points and percentage from the first 3 rounds of matches will carry over to the 4th round of matches.

    ·Countries 5 -18 will be split into 2 Divisions.

     

    Division 1

    Countries 5 -12

     

    POS

    TEAM

    5

    Canada

    6

    Tonga

    7

    Nauru

    8

    Fiji

    9

    USA

    10

    Great Britain

    11

    Pakistan

    12

    France

     

    Division 2

    Countries 13 -18

     

    POS

    TEAM

    13

    Sweden

    14

    Japan

    15

    China

    16

    Finland

    17

    India

    18

    Indonesia

     FINAL ROUND MATCHES

     

    Grand Final: the two Semi Final winners will progress to the 2014 AFL International Cup Grand Final at the MCG on Saturday 23rd August.

     

    3rd Place Playoff: The two losing semi-finalists will play off for 3rd on Friday 22nd of August.

     

    Division 1: For the final round teams will be re-ranked based on points and percentage accumulated from the first 4 rounds and play off for rankings 5 through to 12 on Friday 22nd August.

    -Matches will be scheduled as follows 5 v 6 (play off of for 5th), 7 v 8 (play off for 7th), 9 v 10, (play off for 9th) 11v 12 (play off for 11th).

     

    Division 2: : For the final round teams will be re-ranked based on points and percentage accumulated from the first 4 rounds and play off for rankings of 13 through to 18 on Friday 22nd August.

    -Matches will be scheduled as follows 13 v 14 (play off of for 13th), 15 v 16 (play off for 15th), 17 v 18, (play off for 17th)

    ...

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    Round 3 - International Cup China v Finlandby Andrew Sawitsch

    Foggy & windy conditions greeted the Finnish & Chinese teams as their buses arrived at Eureka Stadium, North Ballarat.
    On paper, This was likely to be a pretty close one, the wide expanses of the oval, combined with the wind, made it seem a certainty.

    Match began at 11:10, first quarter saw China doing a lot of the attacking, but unable to capitalise, kicking several attempts at goal out of bounds. In fact the ball spent most of its time this quarter in their forward half, with lots of stoppages & crowded packs. It seemed to go by in a flash & a totally scoreless first quarter seemed a surprise. China's Ruckman GaoPeng was starting to take some marks inside 50 & present as a good target.

    Second quarter, both teams attempted to get some run into space. Finland linking up well for the first goal of the game. China wasting opportunities & perhaps trying to be too 'cute' by hand. China pace was starting to become evident, but Finland were defending very well by getting numbers back for intercepts. A courageous jump into the pack by a Finnish player saw him stretchered off & cause a brief delay in play. This reduced their bench to just three players.

    In the third quarter China started to get on top, their youth and pace was beginning to show. China's playing coach, Jiaming Pi was stationed at full forward due to a rib injury, but was peppering the goals, kicking four behinds in the 3rd quarter alone. Lampi (#6) of Finland was all over the ground causing a lot of problems for China, kicking Finland's second goal to give them back the lead. However China's tall forward target, Chen Shaoliang, snapped truly from 30m out to give China the lead going into the break.

    It was a tight and tough last quarter that really could have gone either way. The crowd had grown & started to really get into the match, creating an electric atmosphere. A crucial goal was finally kicked by Jiaming Pi (he ended up kicking 1 goal 5 behinds!) but Finland wouldn't lie down, Lampi kicking another goal and narrowly missing a few others. the final few minutes saw every single player in Finland's forward 50m ark, ultimately they run out of time. China hung on for a win, their players ecstatic & emotional.

    There were great displays of sportsmanship & camaraderie as both teams gathered for handshakes & photos after the game.

    The match was a curtain raiser to North Ballarat v Williamstown VFL match, of which players from both China and Finland stuck around to watch, China giving a lot of vocal support to their Melbourne host club, Williamstown.

    China 0.0 0.1 2.5 3.8 (26)

    Finland 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.4 (22)

    Goals

    China: Peng Gao, Chen Shaoliang, Pi Jiaming

    Finland: Lampi 2, Lofbacka

    Best

    China: Chen Shaoliang. Deng Mingjie,Zefan Zhang, Chen Zhushen, Liu Kunsong, Yu Enda

    Finland: Lampi, Puntila, Lofbacka, Karlsson, Nurmikoski, Muhonen

    ...


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    After a pleasant Saturday afternoon drive and a coffee next to the busy Irish pub in downtown Bendigo I made my way over the QEO. Maybe I should go in and tell them the real Irish show was up the road I thought? I have driven past the QEO hundreds of times in my life on my way to/from Melbourne but never watched a game there.
     
    I watched the end of the Bendigo Football League match where hosts South Bendigo went down to Castlemaine.  Before the end of the third quarter I wandered through the Nauru change room under the old grandstand (the word grand is right there in the title and here it is apt). They were in various stages of preparation, more than an hour out from their match. The pump up music was going.  And already the balls were being flipped around by hand, and the tackle pads were out with Chiefs players receiving the ball and cannoning into the pads.
     
    I wandered over to the social club rooms where most of the Irish boys were congregated. They were all looking pretty relaxed and not ready to get changed yet, watching the BFL match with not much more than a passing interest. After a while they started to filter out across the visitors change rooms. Contrasting preparations to be sure.
     
    The final siren sounded as the Castlemaine team took the four points. As they left the ground they mingled with the Irish who had formed a guard to see them off and all posed together for a photo. Nauru and Ireland had a good twenty minutes of warmup as the sun headed down towards the west horizon. The lights had been turned on already towards the end of the previous match.
     
    The teams assembled for national anthems, as flags of both teams were waved by supporters who had clearly come to see these two teams play. There was a little confusion after the anthem as the Irish walked away. It looked like Nauru was going to perform their war dance – but as the Irish returned it seems they had second thoughts.
     
    As the teams went to position, now almost dark and the lights coming into effect I headed over towards the commentary box. The commentary team from the BFL team were still packing up so off I went without the team lists. The weather after a fine afternoon was cool probably around 10 degrees but quite still and perfect for footy. The ground although clearly heavily used was in very good condition.
     
    Nauru was quick out the blocks. Two quick goals in the first minute. This looked ominous. Only recently hearing the results of some of the other matches from today (South Africa’s win over PNG in particular) my mind raced to the possibilities of a fairy tale upset. As Ireland looked to respond they could only kick behinds. Four of them. It all looked to be coming true. I moved up into the commentary box and the view was better and reality was restored as Ireland kicked two straight ones to go into quarter time with a four point lead.
     
    Muiris Bartley for Ireland came from the ground during the match after a heavy collision. This followed a heavy knock in the first match of the tournament against Fiji. He had been playing well to that stage of the game. I spoke to him after the game and he said he was fine (and he looked to be that).
     
    Just to prove that the first quarter start was no mistake Nauru burst out of the blocks yet again putting the first on the board. Ireland started to look like taking control though. Mick Finn was playing loose behind the play across half back and cutting off most of the Nauru pushes forward. Ireland added three goals for the quarter with Padraig Lucey looking very dangerous, the size mismatch was obvious but his confidence in grabbing the ball became more apparent at each contest. Oppenheimer was able to kick a late one to keep Nauru in touch, the margin 10 points as the teams went to the change rooms at half time to make way for the Auskick kids.
     
    In the third quarter the game turned back Nauru’s way. Lucey went into the ruck for Ireland and Paul O’Halloran went forward. For some reason this didn’t seem to work out so well. Lucey was dominating the ruck the same way that O’Halloran did in his battle with Teabuge and Charles Dagiaro (who both outjumped the Irish on most occaisions but regularly missed the tap). But up forward they could only add one goal. Perhaps some of the difference was that Nauru had worked out not to kick the ball out of defence without looking and gave themselves a decent chance at getting to a position where they could be shooting for goal. Yoshi Harris and Tiana Waidubu across the backline and the hard work of Lennox Agege and German Grundler also helped to turn things around. The ground was abuzz at three quarter time as the Chiefs had pegged the Irish lead back to just three points.
     
    The final quarter started disasterously for me as the streaming broadcast equipment failed to start. After a reboot I was back up and running. Was this going to be it for the reigning IC champions?
     
    Maybe Ireland had a reboot at three quarter time. Because they really turned it on. John O’Reagan goaled to steady things for Ireland. Padraig Lucey went back to full forward and became the difference with long accurate kicks finishing with five goals for the match. Coach David Stynes lead from the front and Geraghty, McCluskey, McSorley and Fanning all contributed heavily to Ireland’s dominance as they added four for the quarter to win by 27 points.
     
    Nauru battled hard at the packs for the ball, tackled fiercely and ran hard in numbers all game but in the end it was the dominance of Ireland’s big men that did them in.
     
    The Irish sang their song on the ground and in the rooms the clubs were thanked by the South Bendigo Football club President and invited to the social rooms for post-match socialising.
    I jumped in my ute and headed back to the big smoke.
     
    Ireland: 2.4 5.5 6.5 10.6 (66)

    Nauru: 2.0 4.1 6.2 6.3 (39)

    Goal kickers

    Ireland: Luce 5, Johnston, Stynes, O’Regan, McCluskey, Finn

    Nauru: Kenneth 2, Donatello 2, Snuka Tipung

    Best

    Ireland: Lucey, Healy, Finn, Fanning, O’Halloran, Stynes

    Nauru: Tiana, German, Lennox, Donatello, Dave, Kenneth ...


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    The Canadian Northern Lights defeated a much improved Fiji Vonu on a foggy morning at Mulgrave Reserve, hosted by the Eastern Devils for Community Round.

    Fiji were winning the early knockouts, with #14 Cathy Bale dominating in the centre, but the Canadians still read the play and took to early lead with #10 Aimee Legault opening up the scoring. The Lights kicked the only three goals of the quarter and kept the Vonu scoreless. To make matters worse #14 Bale received a concussion and had to sit out the rest of the match. Canada led Fiji 3.2.20 to 0.0.0.

    The Fijians fought hard and made things difficult for the Lights, but the Canadians still dictated the play and pulled away further on the score board. Tempers flared and unnecessary contact led to the start of a few tussles, but it was still to the benefit of the Canadians who led at half time 4.6.30 to 0.0.0.

    The third quarter was an improved one for the Vonu, who kept it in their offensive half for the start of the quarter. The Fijians finally got on the scoreboard with what, by the celebrations and dance moves, everybody thought to be a goal. Despite scoring no goals in the third quarter, the Vonu also kept the Lights goalless, allowing only two behinds through. Canada led 4.8.32 to 0.0.1 at three quarter time.

    The result was never in doubt by the final quarter, but the Fijians never gave up, including #12 Litia Matanisigadrau popping up all over the field. The Canadians continued their run, adding a five more goals, ending with Jen Nicholls’ second goal just before the final siren.

    Canada Northern Lights 3.2 4.6 4.8 9.3 (67)
    Fiji 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 (2)

    Goal scorers

    Canada: Nicholls 2, Ginocchio 2, Legault, De Brabandere, White Corrgian, Charles-Reilly

    Fiji:-

    Best

    Canada: Dickinson, Legault, Corrigan, Arnold, Ginocchio, Heil

    Fiji: Lawennabuka, Sigadrau, Matakibau, Tuilomani, Katonivere, Nabalaur ...


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    Aimee Legault has proudly led her team, the Canada Northern Lights, onto the fields of battle in this year’s International Cup. Aimee has taken the time to share her footy journey with us.

    “I first discovered footy in 2009. After a long soccer career I wanted to take a small break from the semi-pro soccer life and I found myself on an open ground with strange looking balls after my sister’s boyfriend, Ronan Shaughnessy, got my sister Margo and myself out to just come for a "kick". The first time I played my hands on a Sherrin, I fell in love. I engulfed myself with learning everything and anything about the sport. I think people were getting annoyed with all of my questions but I just wanted to learn as much as I could.”

    “I began playing in late summer of 2009. At this point in time there was only a men's 9 aside league in Montreal, ECAFL (Eastern Canadian Australian football league). Margo and I competed with the men at club level and we also travelled to play in the Ontario men's division 2 league, OAFL (Ontario AFL). Along with our men's provincial team, the Quebec Saints, we played in various 18 aside tournaments with the men. After much recruitment, we finally gathered enough ladies to create our female provincial team, the Montreal Angels. With this team, we would have to travel to Toronto, a six hour drive in order to play against other females.”

    “In 2010, we created AFL Quebec where we then had three teams competing in the league with a mix of men and women. In 2011, we moved to four teams in the competition. And 2014 marks our start with the” first ever women's division in Quebec with 2 teams where we have divided to a men's comp and a women's comp, no more mixed teams.”

    “I have played for the Quebec Saints men's team, the Montreal Angels women's team, the Montreal Demons co-ed team, the Ottawa Swans women's team in the OAFL and I have been in the national team program with the Northern Lights since 2010. I moved to Australia in 2011 to learn from the best players in the world where I started on ball for the Eastern Devils in the Premier Division, learning from the great Lou Wotton, captain of the devils and my role model.”

    “After my season with the Devils in 2011, I was then named captain of the Canadian national team. We competed in the first ever international cup in 2011, where we finished runner up to Ireland.”

    “The women's game in Canada is quickly expanding and is played in five of the Canadian provinces. We have dedicated athletes across the country who train hard for a spot on the national squad. The majority of these athletes actually run their respective clubs back home and are highly involved in the development and recruitment of the players.”

    Despite such an impressive list of achievements to date, Aimee still has plenty of goals. “[For the team] to be International Cup champions. To be selected in the women's draft to play amongst the most talented and best players in the world. To see the women's game played professionally in Australia to start (as I have heard) in 2020. To continue to grow the sport in Canada and develop the game and skills across the nation.” But maybe Aimee’s biggest wish is still out there. “My ultimate dream is to play at the ‘G’ under the lights with an entire nation supporting the women's game.”

    What are Aimee’s tips for the International Cup? “In a tournament like this you will never know, but my money is on the Kiwis for the men’s and I will not comment on the women's until the end of this tournament. But for the women's I wish all teams the best of luck!”

    “I would like to thank the AFL International for creating this competition and promoting it as much as they did this year. We are grateful for the live streams and the community rounds as this raised awareness about women's footy and allowed our supporters to follow us across the globe.”

    “My only wish is that the AFL will continue to drive the development of the women’s game ...

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    The home of the Manningham (formerly Bulleen) Cobras at Koonung Reserve in Bulleen was the scene for a Pool of Death (Pool A) match between the Great Britain Bulldogs and the ever improving Fiji Tribe. With the local team in the VAFA, their reserves kicked off the early morning dew and by the time the IC match was ready to go the ground was bathed in weak morning sun glowing through the low clearing cloud and in fine firm condition to allow the players to showcase their wares to the local crowd.

    Great Britain sitting 1 and 1 after a first up win against the French followed by a tough and bruising loss against an impressive Nauru. Fiji first up showed a bit going down to the Irish and then had a percentage booster against the hapless Garudas. In the battle to sneak into the Division one 4th place this would be a tough ask – as neither side would give an inch.

    The first half was the entrée. A tight first quarter with only the Bulldogs classy forward Sam Willat splitting the middle while the Tribe had been unlucky not to hold a quarter time lead with 4 behinds. The second quarter was neck and neck as the Brits added 2.3 (again both to Willat) to the Tribe 2.2 and by the half the Bulldogs retained a slender lead 3.3.21 to 2.6.18.

    The Fiji Tribe came out hard early in the third term quickly registering a goal to take the lead. The ever dangerous and classy #23 Dylan Wolfgramm’s snap around the corner went wide but when the taller #22 Jeffery Pauli adopted the role of front and centre crumber and converted the Tribe had suddenly stamped themselves on the contest. Somewhat reminiscent of Wednesdays clash with Nauru – the Brits would have to dig deep. And once again it was #2 Sam Willat up forward to deliver with a long bouncing rolling snap that just beat the despairing dive on the line to bring the Brits back within a kick.

    The dagger through the heart late in the third was a near goal speccie to gun utility #11 Filipe Valesu who calmly went back and slotted the goal to give the Tribe a 9 point buffer at the final change.

    Willat slid in low to mark strongly on the lead to give the Brits an early shot at goal but unfortunately the long shot went just wide. Alas that was perhaps the last real chance as Fiji responded with the only 2 goals of the last quarter. One a ruck infringement perhaps a little harsh on Pitman who was called for throwing when his tap became more of a scoop but could have easily been let go.

    The Bulldogs were now 20 points off the pace and it would take a minor miracle and alas that wasn’t forthcoming on this day. The towel though wasn’t relinquished without a fight and the Bulldogs continued to press but failed to hit the scoreboard meaningfully – finishing with 4 further behinds. While Willat didn’t add to his tally – he displayed his developing talent as he both reads the play and the flight of the ball well and is also super competitive at ground level and often outnumbered is able to keep the ball in. His potential for the Bulldogs is immense. #1 Luke Matias was again a crucial midfield presence both as extractor and distributor and his short rests on the bench had to be carefully managed. At times some of the Bulldogs perhaps can focus too much on a free kick that might have been there and need perhaps to concentrate on playing too the whistle against such quality opposition. After Nauru on Wednesday there was an element of déjà vu about this game for the Bulldogs. But the real déjà vu happens again this Tuesday when the Bulldogs face up again to the Nauru Chiefs.

    While the Tribe missed out on a top 4 Div 1 finish – they have firmly announced themselves to the International Cup senior ranks as a nation to be very much respected. Their style of footy is super to watch and Tuesday match against the USA will be intriguing by how the Americans strategize to negate the flowing style of the Fijians. However the heady mix of skill and flair is complemented by a capacity for brutal tackling and a general willingness for the physical contest.

    Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final
    Fiji 0.4 2.6 5.7 7.7 (49)
    Great Britain 1.0 3.3 4.4 4.9 (33)

    Goals Fiji: Koroi 2, Valetiri, Valesu, Natadra, Pauli, RatuGreat Britain: Willatt 4

    Best Fiji: Valetiri, Nauuss, Valesu, Vatutei, Changkit, VunitabuaGreat Britain: Willatt, Walton, Aburto, Talbot, Worthington, Matias

    Footnote : The Manningham Cobras – home club now for Fiji’s Dylan Wolfgramm – were fine hosts and credit is due to both IC sides for remaining after the match to watch the following VAFA match and then party into the evening in again a fine advertisement for the style of bonding that this tournament encourages when done right.

    Koroi (#14) set to rove the pack

    Koroi (#14) seals the deal

    post match arm in arm ...


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  • 08/16/14--22:03: Shaheens take home Dosti Cup
  • The inaugural Dosti Cup was contested on Saturday at Highgate Reserve in Cragieburn, an outer northern suburb of Melbourne. Dosti is the Hindi and Urdu word for Friendship, the spirit in which India and Pakistan would play this game of football.

    The day began with a pre-match event, which ran concurrently with the Essendon vs Richmond VFL curtain raiser. Guest speakers addressed the audience, team captains were jointly interviewed, bollywood dancers and drummers entertained whilst players shared meal. A number of guests were present, including Ms Manika Jain, the Consul General of India (Melbourne) and Mr Abdul Aziz Uqaili, the Consul General and Trade Minsiter of Pakistan (Sydney). The common message being that both Pakistan and India offered a great growth opportunity to Australian Football, given their large populations, a passion for sport and access to cricket fields.

    As Essendon vs Richmond concluded, a crowd of very non-traditional Australian Football fans began to grow, with a few possibly at their first ever match. Pakistan flags were waived alongside a solitary Indian flag. The Pakistan contingent was evidently larger, and very vocal in their support of their nation, clearly unperturbed by any underdog status.

    Following both national anthems, handshakes were exchanged and players took their positions on the field. Within the first minute Pakistan had kicked a goal, and inside four minutes they had a second. The crowd was getting excited and India looked shaken. A number of quick changes were made by India and the game slowed, although India was unable to get the ball inside their Forward 50. By Quarter time Pakistan held a 24 point lead and India was still yet to score.

    Pakistan opened the floodgates in the second quarter. After an initial kick gone astray, they added five unanswered goals. India finally managed a set shot, but it went wide. Pakistan responded with one more goal of their own in what was an exceptionally accurate quarter. They took a 60 point lead into the main break.

    India was more competitive in the third term but were unable to score. Several of Pakistan’s attempts at goal were spolied, however they still added two majors to increase their lead to 78 points by Three Quarter Time.

    The final quarter gave India cause for minor celebration as they managed just their second goal of the tournament, off the boot of Darius Fernandes. Pakistan added three more of their own and ran out 94 point winners. Pakistan were understandably euphoric as they were awarded the Dosti Cup, and celebrated accordingly!

    More photos to follow

    Goal kickers
    Pakistan - Akhteyari 4, F Khan 3, Hussain 3, Shah 2, Siddique, Qureshi
    India - Fernandes

    Best
    Pakistan - Qureshi, Shah, Hussain, Siddique, K Khan, Mehdi
    India - Fernandes, Kailashnathan, Gill, Tirkey, Fariduddun, Himat

    Qtr Time - Pakistan 3.6 (24) led India 0.0 (0)
    Half Time - Pakistan 9.7 (61) led India 0.1 (1)
    Three Qtr Time - Pakistan 11.13 (79) led India 0.1 (1)
    Final - Pakistan 14.17 (101) defeated India 1.1 (7) ...


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    The AFL has once again done a wonderful job coordinating around 1000 players and officials from all over the world at the International Cup.  With the upset win of South Africa over Papua New Guinea we also have 4 genuine contenders for the overall championship in the Men's, and in the Women's it looks like the Canadians may have bridged the gap to Ireland, so the race is open there.

    However... there's a ticking timebomb that has already caused some damage to the image of the Cup and the AFL and could get worse.

    The fixture has major issues.  There's no doubt it's a difficult task trying to meet all the needs of the tournament - flexibility in the number of teams that will turn up, trying to ensure everyone gets a mix of games against the best and the lowest ranked, making sure the top teams have a fair chance to win it, and certainty for the Community Round so that the hosts could prepare for known countries in advance.

    But in any sporting competition the key requirement must be that it is as fair as possible.  A primary tool in achieving that is having reasonable seedings (the previous Cup positions making that straight forward) and ensuring a draw that, if matches go according to the seedings, results in the top teams facing off in the semi-finals and grand final.  It also needs to avoid, if possible, teams playing each other more than once, unless they work their way back to a grand final playoff.  This is especially so when players are spending small fortunes to travel around the world wanting to play against countries they've never encountered before or rarely.

    Unfortunately the IC2014 draw, with three Men's pools, has actively worked against the seedings.  It has pitted the 2nd ranked team in each pool against both 1st and 3rd, whereas 3rd has avoid playing top.  So if matches go according to seedings, as any good draw would anticipate, the 3rd ranked sides will finish above the 2nd ranked side.  Worse, because 4th spot for the semi-finals went to the 4th best positioned team overall, we very nearly had Canada make the semis.  All due respect to Canada, they are looking much improved, but they were seeded 3rd in their pool and lost to the team seeded 2nd (USA), yet almost made the final four.  Contrast with the USA who really never had much chance.  Only PNG's upset loss to South Africa avoided this scenario.  Canada's strangely smooth passage then sees them play the 12th ranked team overall, making their position at the top of Division 1 almost impregnable.  Basically when they were seeded 3rd in their pool, and 9th overall, they were all but guaranteed to finish in the playoff for 5th and 6th, or better had PNG not lost unexpectedly.  I'm a huge fan of Canadian footy and its potential, but surely even their biggest fan would admit they've had an unfairly soft draw.

    That situation must be avoided in 2017.  We also saw teams drawn to play multipe matches in which it was widely known the result would be 200+ point massacres.  Hardly good for morale or presenting a good image for international footy.  There are some reasons behind doing the draw that way, so we're less critical of that, but it can be fixed.  We'll put forward our own suggestions at a later date.

    Perhaps worse still, and the primary reason for this article, is that the draw is seeing the same teams pitted against each other multiple times.  There's even a chance that China and Finland will play each other three times out of five matches for the tournament!  If that was going to happen the AFL must step in, admit they made a mistake, and find a solution acceptable to all parties.

    We've spoken informally with several nations and its fair to say they are not happy.

    So far locked in is Great Britain playing Nauru in 2 of their first 4 games, and China against Finland 2 games in a row, with 3 in a row on the cards.

    The top 4 is set, and the top few teams in Division 1 will be deadly serious about winning their group, but surely a quick ring around of the lower sides in Division 1 and certainly in Division 2 would find managers and league presidents happy to discuss re-arranging the last 1 or 2 rounds to see teams set against each other that are of similar ability or haven't played each other yet.  At this stage of the tournament and with the issues emerging we believe that would be a call those teams would appreciate.

    A suggestion for Division 2:

    Sweden vs Indonesia, Finland vs India, China vs Japan then:

    Sweden vs China, Finland vs Japan, Indonesia vs India

    It would see a good mix of matches between teams that don't normally play each other, and ensure that all but one would depart this tournament with a win.  And surely that would be good for football. ...


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    By Tristan Waldock.

    Ariel Steinberg made his AFL debut this weekend for Essendon. He played in Canada at the age of 16 for a season with the Edmonton Australian Rules Football club. He was a big part of the club playing for the men's team and helped coach and umpire women's games helping build the foundation of Canada’s International Cup challenge.

    His parents were on a 1 year teacher exchange program to Edmonton in Canada.

    Ariel had 7 kicks, 4 handballs and 2 marks for Essendon vs West Coast Eagles.

    Ed. We ran a piece on Ariel prior to his drafting in 2010 - see the article here. ...


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