Articles on this Page
- 08/23/14--03:19: _Swedes wrap up Divi...
- 08/23/14--04:26: _IC14 Grand Final Pi...
- 08/23/14--05:42: _Ikupu's Grand Final...
- 08/23/14--06:29: _IC14 Men's Grand Fi...
- 08/23/14--07:11: _Bulldogs regain pri...
- 08/23/14--04:15: _Hawks take third pl...
- 08/24/14--02:40: _Heartbreak for Warr...
- 08/24/14--02:45: _New traditional riv...
- 08/24/14--06:40: _USA Revolution in A...
- 08/25/14--05:25: _Indonesia ends tour...
- 08/25/14--05:51: _IC14 Gala dinner ph...
- 08/25/14--06:29: _Official finishing ...
- 08/26/14--01:09: _Great photos from t...
- 08/26/14--05:30: _The Gala dinner - a...
- 08/27/14--03:49: _Dosti Cup featured ...
- 08/27/14--05:40: _Mozzie's new look a...
- 08/27/14--06:00: _Tonga women at Inte...
- 08/27/14--17:55: _Sunset on Hunt's br...
- 08/28/14--03:39: _IC reporting in the...
- 08/28/14--15:07: _IC14 Friday finals ...
- 08/23/14--03:19: Swedes wrap up Division 2 over improving Chinese
- 08/23/14--04:26: IC14 Grand Final Pictures
- 08/23/14--05:42: Ikupu's Grand Final crunch mark of the day
- 08/23/14--06:29: IC14 Men's Grand Final - post-match PNG photos
- 08/23/14--07:11: Bulldogs regain pride after rematch against Fiji Tribe
- 08/23/14--04:15: Hawks take third place…just
- 08/24/14--02:40: Heartbreak for Warriors as PNG gain sweet revenge
- 08/24/14--02:45: New traditional rivals... Canada dethrones Irish Banshees
- 08/24/14--06:40: USA Revolution in ABC Sport feature
- 08/25/14--05:25: Indonesia ends tournament with a win
- 08/25/14--05:51: IC14 Gala dinner photos on Flickr
- 08/25/14--06:29: Official finishing positions
- 08/26/14--01:09: Great photos from the IC14 men's Grand Final
- 08/26/14--05:30: The Gala dinner - a highlight again
- 08/27/14--03:49: Dosti Cup featured on The Indian Sun TV
- 08/27/14--05:40: Mozzie's new look allows them to wear their pride
- 08/27/14--06:00: Tonga women at International Cup
- 08/27/14--17:55: Sunset on Hunt's brief Aussie rules career
- 08/28/14--03:39: IC reporting in the Internacija Lingvo
- 08/28/14--15:07: IC14 Friday finals photos on Flickr
Friday August 22
Fine, cool, no wind with the sun shining equates to perfect conditions for players and spectators alike. The teams aren’t playing for finals but to improve their positions which is taken very seriously.
#23 Chris Martensson thumps the Elks into attack for #70 Jacob Nilsson to take mark but the kick drops short for a good Dragon’s defensive mark. The Elks have the better of play and #14 Max Skarlen roving the ball that clears the pack runs in for an easy goal.
The Dragons are looking for their team mates better but #23 Chris Martensson marks and passes to #56 Dan Koinberg to kick a 20m goal.
Against the tide the Dragons move the quickly into space and scramble a goal giving them a lot of hope. The siren goes as the Dragons were pushing for another.
The Elks had control of the centre bounces in the first quarter and in the second they played smarter using that advantage much better as well as defending better.
The Elks have an early break when a Dragon Mark is changed to their free kick for an easy goal. #23 Chris Martensson gathered the ball, turned blind and kicked a good goal.
The Dragons peg one back with a good snap on the angle from #25 Jianxiang Qiu. This lifts the Dragons again and they push the ball well within the 50m arc only to over cook a small kick pass which allows the Elks to run the ball all around the boundary for a good running goal.
The Dragons are giving away free kicks as they try to nullify the Elks height advantage but they are playing smarter at ground level and using short passes to advantage. The Elks continued with #23 Chris Martensson and #14 Max Skarlen and #56 Dan Koinberg dominating. #6 Jiaming Pi skipper and coach inspired his players. He received a pass ran around the player on the mark and drilled the kick for a goal from 40m. They were keeping in touch with defensive efforts from #7 Shaoliang Chen but the Elks always looked to have the answers, rebounding with long kicks. When #1 Andreas Svensson kicked from the boundary at the 50m arc it relieved any pressure against the Elks.
The solid win was enough to keep Sweden just ahead of Japan to take our top spot in Division 2.
Sweden: 2.4 6.8 8.9 10.14 (74)
China: 1.0 2.0 3.2 4.2 (26)
Sweden: Svenson 3, Brennmo 2, Koinberg, Martensoon, Gogu, Tellstrom, Lindgren
China: J Qui 2, Jiaming Pi, Q. Lin
Sweden: Martensson, Svennsoon, Koinburg, Tellstrom, Magnusson, Nilsson
China: Z. Zhang, Enda Yu, M. Deng, J. Qui, M. Yang, Y. Zhuang
2014 International Cup Champions - PNG
Great pictures thanks to Brendan Waites. Check back at the site in coming days for his full online gallery. ...
Cometh the moment, cometh the man (or woman). For PNG tonight that moment arrived midway through the final term when undersized ruckman John Ikupu who had been battling it out against the taller Irish followers - flew back with the flight of the ball to take a classic and courageous mark. From directly in front he coolly slotted the goal that put the Mozzies in front and helped cement a best on ground performance.
The midday game on Western Oval pitted IC14 old rivals Great Britain Bulldogs and Fiji Tribe against each other for the second time. These sides fought a tough encounter on Community Cup Saturday at Bulleen and the enjoyed a social evening at the Manningham Cobras rooms. Friends were made, respect established – but today all that matters is finishing off with a win and for the Bulldogs having lost successive matches to Nauru, Fiji and Nauru again – there was a sense of having underperformed.
With the sun beating down with perhaps surprising intensity, Sean Walton (#21) the Bulldogs skipper won the toss and elected to kick to the golf course or western-tram track end. Without a significant breeze and with the morning dew dried up the conditions were perfect for footy. On the sidelines the Fiji Tribe enjoyed the extra support of the earlier successful Fiji Vonu ladies team; And with national pride on the line the scene was set.
Fiji had the better of proceedings early and were putting the Bulldogs defence under pressure. The first score being a rushed behind, follow by a snapped behind. Ironically it was forward line pressure that got the job done first – at the other end – when key forward Sam Willat (#2) laid a tackle and drew the free – and lining up for the long shot at goal instead caught the defence napping chipping over to (#13) Scott Rymer who kicked truly. Wiilat was in the action again shortly after but his left foot snap went behind the post. The Bulldogs though had gained some momentum but Fiji were defending capably and (#23) Dylan Wolfgramm was playing an important sweeping role across half back – generally making his possessions count with his precise left boot. End to end play saw both sides seeking a gap through the defences and the best chances were generated by the Bulldogs but a snap by #25 went left and Willat after receiving from (#24) Saunders looked off the boot to be home but just missed. By quarter time the Brits had gained some ascendancy but with 1.3.9 to 2 points they hadn’t hurt their opponent nearly enough on the scoreboard.
With the sun beating down the Brits headed to their huddle and then headed the huddle towards the shade near the boundary. The first quarter had featured high pressure with contested accountable footy. Matias (#1) had been a key all tournament for the Brits and again looked important when he got his hands on the ball but was rarely afforded anytime to cause damage. (#14) Irish Brendan McGeever had a fine first term controlling the back line for the Bulldogs and his leadership on the field was echoed off it in the huddle as he rallied his comrades. For the Tribe – the key role so far of the composed Wolfgramm of interest given his heavy workload combining Tribe duties with Manningham Cobras matches.
The 2nd quarter began similar to the first – Fiji going forward and pressure on the Bulldogs backs. A rushed behind started scoring. For the Tribe Wolfgramm had been switched forward. The Brits though pressed again but just missing a little polish. Willat in particular was struggling to clunk the marks but was as always dangerous at ground level but his snap on goal was partially smothered and bounced through for a behind. 1.5 to 0.3 and suddenly the Tribe’s energy levels increased. Key players began to get their hands on the ball especially #2 Vatutei and #11 Valesu. Vatutei loves a run and given the chance will run and carry and has drilled many a goal on his trusty left foot. Creating opportunities it was an opportunist goal Solomoni Cati with a fine quick snap from the pack and Fiji just 2 points down. Vatutei again featured to drive the ball forward with penetration. Ending up with Dylan Wolfgramm who never looked like missing and the Tribe headed into the long break 4 points clear.
Bulldogs coach Mark Pitura was clearly frustrated – and from the shade he urged his charges to show greater team play, greater mateship and less individual play. Clearly frustrated with a below expectation tournament he put it on his players to show what they were capable of.
The third quarter – so often the ‘premiership’ quarter went very much that way today. The Brits looked refreshed for the 2nd half and after the early goal to the busy Saunders and the Brits were back in front. Matias read the ruck and squeezed out a kick towards Maguire (#18) who drew the free for in the back. Fiji’s defence were caught napping – not filling the ‘hole’ and Willat was able to lead up and receive a textbook pass. The kick from 35 out directly in front converted; shortly after again Willat taking the ball in general play and dishing off a handball for (#8) Harmeston to run into an open goal and the Bulldogs had slammed on 3 goals to lead by 14. Fiji only managed one partially effective forward foray for the term – with a mark and behind to #14 who was looking lively up forward but lacking support. Up back #25 was providing rebound but for all their work a solitary behind was the result. The Brits however hadn’t finished for the term and narrowly missed a 4th for the quarter when (#3) Worthington’s shot from the boundary drew an early celebration from the kicker only to fade into the ‘woodwork’. The wait for the 4th didn’t last too much longer – on the cusp of three quarter time Matias ran onto the ball and kicked truly and the Brits took a 20 point lead to the last break in the shade.
The final term held few real highlights – the Tribe lifted their workrate but with only 3 behinds to show for their effort were not making sufficient inroads on the scoreboard. Perhaps the highlight was a lunging tackle by Willat that drew a free – however the last shot of the game went just right but made it an even 3 goal margin. At the end the Brits were jubilant and had gained revenge for their loss the previous Saturday at Bulleen. The Tribe were vanquished on the day but had lost no fans and shown tremendous improvement from 2011 and are clearly a top 10 nation with valid aspirations to go higher.
|Great Britain:||1.4||1.6||5.6||5.7 (37)|
Great Britain: Rymer, Harmeston, Matias, Saunders, Willand
Fiji: Cati, Wolfgramm
Great Britain: Worthington, Ryland, Matias, Patel, Walton, Micthell
Fiji: Valetiri, Raida, Vavuso, Naco, Valesu, Vateiltei
Sam McKenzie runs around defenders to score vital goal. ...
John Corrigan gives us his match report from an Irish perspective.
The Irish Warriors suffered a heart breaking three point loss in the grand final of the International Cup at the MCG on Saturday. Following an epic contest the Warriors went down to a skillful Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes outfit despite leading for virtually the entire contest. Two late goals by the Mosquitos saw them take the title for the first time since 2008, gaining sweet revenge having lost to Ireland in the previous final in 2011.
Full of speed and slick skills the PNG outfit dominated possessions and inside 50 entries for long periods but without a tall presence in the forward line were unable to make it show on the score board. Ireland in contrast were led in attack by tournament best and fairest winner Mick Finn who kicked 3 goals in the first quarter and four in total. Ireland’s full forward Padraic Lucey was equally impressive in the air but failed to take full advantage on the score board, kicking 1 goal 4 behinds with two out on the full.
The Warriors stared the game in the ascendency with David McElhone running off half back and Muiris Bartley winning plenty of ball. Following a free kick for a high tackle Finn shot truly for the opening goal. Joseph Peni was heavily involved for the Mossies but he could do little to stop Finn as he took a huge contested mark from Pauric Smith’s pass. Finn scored his second major from the resulting kick and his third followed swiftly as he chased down and tackled a PNG defender.
PNG started to gain a foot hold in the match as their dynamic ruckman John Ikupu began to have a huge influence. Crucially they managed to get on the score board at the death of the first quarter. Gregory Ekari found Jeconiah Peni who went back and kicked an excellent goal after the siren off a slight angle from 48 meters.
Continuing their newly found momentum the Mossies kicked two behind to open the quarter with Pena Wingti outstanding off the half back flank. They found reward for their play when Archie Mai kicked the only goal of the quarter with an inspired left foot snap from the pocket following a ball up. The Irish only managed two behinds for the quarter as their forwards were starved of opportunities and the unforced errors began to mount. Lucey took a pack mark and found Padraig Fanning in acres of space. He steadied and shot from 40 meters only to see his shot sail just to the left for a minor score. However despite being under the cosh the Warriors took a narrow five point lead into the long break.
The Warriors knew that they would have to lift their intensity and stick more tackles if they were to remain in front. This they did with renewed vigor but were unable to halt the waves of attack from the PNG army of runners. Ikupu’s influence was coming more pronounced as the Irish defense came under intense pressure. But for an outstanding display from Alan Farrell, who took several incept marks, and the excellent Brendan Browne PNG would have taken command. It was Ireland however who scored the first goal of the quarter. Lucey took another strong mark, played in field to Fanning who in turn found Sean Paul Henry in the pocket. He marked brilliantly and played on to kick a goal and give Ireland a 10 point advantage.
PNG continued to threaten with Peni and Luke Savere controlling midfield. They edged back into the contest with another excellent snap from the boundary as a clean tap in the ruck from Ikupu to Gideon Simon resulted in a fine goal. Savere was at the heart of most of the Mossies go forward ball but the Irish held firm to take slender three point advantage into the final break.
PNG got the critical first goal for the fourth quarter; Theo Gavuri, earned a free kick following a high fend off from Wayne Reilly, found Brendan Beno on the lead who slotted it through. With Farrell again reading the game superbly and Gerard Johnston to the fore, Ireland powered forward. Player coach David Stynes received a free kick and found Finn who crashed the pack to mark strongly. He proved his class once again to kick a vital goal from 45 meters to increase Ireland’s narrow advantage.
PNG reacted by lifting their running game to new level, looking to play on at all times and use their pace to stretch the Irish defence. The Warriors hung on desperately as the Mossies continued to dominate possession. Ikubu was everywhere, winning the ruck contests despite giving up a height advantage and taking mark after mark across the field. Eventually the pressure told as Ikubu drifted forward to take a spectacular mark in from the side of a contest. He kicked it straight over the goal umpires head from 15 meters to see PNG take the lead for the first time with only 4 minutes on the clock.
With Ireland pushing forward PNG's Scott Johnson found himself all alone with ball in hand. He picked out Beno who had his arms chopped, only 15 meters from goal. His simple goal brought the lead to 9 points which proved too much for the Irish despite Lucey’s late goal.
Time ran out for the Warriors and the final siren provoked wild celebrations from the PNG players, staff and vocal supporters. Their superior running game and an ability to impose their game style on the opposition saw them run out worthy winners. Ikupu was deservedly awarded the medal for best on ground for his outstanding all round display.
While the Warriors will no doubt be proud of their intensity and work rate, unforced errors, missed tackles and turnover ball proves costly as the growing pressure on the back line eventually told. With an average age of just 21 the fitness and work rate of the PNG side eventually told but they were pushed to the limit by the Warriors. The Irish were devastated at the climax but can feel immense pride having come so close to doing what no other country has managed, retain the International Cup.
Note some discrepancies between the text and listed goalkickers as PNG rarely all wear the correct jumper.
PNG: 1.2 3.4 3.8 6.9 (45)
Ireland: 3.2 3.4 4.5 6.6 (42)
PNG: Beno 2, Ikupu, Gideon, So-ong, Agita
Ireland: Finn 4, Henry, Lucey.
PNG: Ikupu, Beno, Simon, Guvuri, Peni
Ireland: Finn, Farrell, D McElhone, Henry, Browne,
Apologies for late publication, an editorial oversight.
Women's Grand Final, Punt Road Oval, 23rd August 2014
On the day on which footy’s traditional rivals, Geelong and Hawthorn clashed just across the Yarra Parklands, where footy began, the Canadian Northern Lights comprehensively defeated the 2011 champions, Ireland. It might have even been bigger than the traditional rivalries in international ice hockey and in the Olympic pool.
With 9 Canadians and 6 Irish footballers in the IC2014 best players’ team, and the Banshees’ Laura Corrigan named Female Player of the Tournament, it was guaranteed to be a clash of the titans.
While the Irish ran as a phalanx in the pre-match, the Canadians, supported by either a larger crowd or by more colourful supporters, warmed up with skills and drills.
That was how the game would unfold.
The Canadians attacked from the opening bounce, their forward movements only limited by Grand Final nerves, with some fumbling, followed by inaccurate kicking for goal, and behinds rushed due to Irish pressure.
Irish marking in the last line of defence seemed the only area of Banshee dominance.
In the first quarter, Canada’s the fast running Emma Dickinson drove the ball forward repeatedly with long kicks. She displayed a level of skill which had left some other players on both sides, under Grand Final pressure. After all, ‘grannies’ are not always the most attractive and highly skilled of footy matches, due to that pressure.
A solitary point to the Canadians over an Ireland which had rarely taken the ball forward, did not reflect their dominance.
In a sport which had only grown in the last few years, the Canadians had clearly worked on their skills and team system to defeat the 2011 champions.
Time after time, handballs out of packs, and strings of handballs in attack –which worked better than they did for Geelong later in the evening – demonstrated Canadian superiority.
Would the Irish come back in the second quarter, after they had settled?
Despite the solid marking of Rachel McCann, from the Irish Exiles club, in defence, the Canadians continued to notch up points, with their running game, finally goaling.
Even when Paula Keatley took the ball forward from the centre square for the Banshees it went no further than the 50 metre line. For the Canadians, Charnelle Willis, dubbed the ‘purple people eater’ by some Canuck fans (due to her purple hints in the hair) was picking up kicks.
Crucially, the Canadian captain Aimee Legault, from the Montreal Angels, was beginning to display her angelic skills of run on football and long kicking, although again Canadian attacks were often marked by the Irish in the last line of defence.
The Irish were hitting harder, but several times Irish players came down after heavy tackles, rather than their opponents. It seemed that the Irish were frustrated, and it was starting to show in the way they played, while the Canadians seemed to be in possession for 70-80% of the time.
The umpires continued to maintain the brilliant standard of umpiring which has characterised the tournament, with roles also played by two American umpires, central umpire Nicole Fasula and goal umpire Toby Persson.
When the Irish again crashed into Aimee Legault a 50 metre penalty allowed her to put the ball into the goal mouth, and then Kirsten Bodashefsky kicked poorly from a slight angle. Only the Canadians’ bad kicking for goal was keeping the Irish in it, with a half time lead of only 1 goal 7 points 13 to three fat zeros for the Banshees.
In the third quarter, the Irish pressure increased, as if the number of Irish players with Australian experience was beginning to impact on their performance.
An early Irish goal suggested that the Banshees still had a chance. However, two Canadian goals, one from a free directly in front, gave the Canadians a comfortable lead of 14 points, which grew to 20 points by the final break, 3 8 26 to one solitary goal.
Three interested watchers, clearly playing for a team which wore black (although only two are Melbourne based) were AFL chief commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick, clearly the ruckman, and the ruck rover and rover, Samantha Mostyn from Sydney and Linda Dessau. They must have been delighted by the display of skills and pressure football which characterise the women’s game, and by the large and enthusiastic crowd.
Like the earlier support of the IC2014 of ‘Mr Football’, as he was known, Ron Barassi, Brian Dixon and Dipper (Robert Dipierdomenico), this was a sign that international footy is a serious business.
Perhaps the umpies might have been less pleased, but nor surprised, as cries of ‘pathetic’ flew from the partisan crowd earlier in the match.
At a time of the continued dominance, in general play, as well as in the ruck of the tall, but lightly framed, Canadian first ruck, Sylvie De Brabandere, the Canadians were now in control, despite the strong defence of Una McKay and of the marking of Emma Perry.
Staring defeat in the face, the Irish continued to hit hard, too hard. There was feeling in the game as the fiery Irish applied physical pressure, with Laura Corrigan sent off after a Canadian was on the turf, and taking a while to get up.
In the last quarter, Canadian dominance finally asserted itself on the scoreboard, even after an early Irish goal suggested that they were not out of the game. Finally, as the free kicks started to flow to the team which led the run to the ball, the Canadians ran out convincing, and well-deserved, winners, 5 8 38 to a meagre Irish two goals.
The goalkicking of Kirsten Bodashefsky and Kendra Heil made the difference, each finishing with two goals apiece, with Heil’s first half bomb a key moment in the match.
Despite token security games, when the Canadian bench ran on the field, at the same time as the Canadian men’s cheer squad gathered on the Punt Rd side off the ground, it was clear that the community of football present in the International Cup was more important than attempts to maintain ersatz order.
Throughout the International Cup has been a festival – a festival of footy, as was apparent by players and supporters from other countries watching the match.
The intermingling of players after the match kept up the IC’s tradition of harmony, of footy being bigger than country.
The presentation of the Premiership Cup and the medals to players by AFL Commissioner Sam Mostyn provided a ceremonial conclusion. The tears of happiness of Canadian captain Aimee Legault, who also won the award for the best player of the final, and the pleasure of coach Jason Arnold, provided a great emotional moment.
As the Canadian Northern Lights had run onto the field through their CanEnglish joking banner it was ‘Aboot time’ for the Light to shine, after several years of developing their game.
And finally (slightly better than the ubiquitous Gatorade sprays), the Canadian innovation of a tunnel of fans for the players to run through going back to the changerooms brought a fitting finale to a great competition.
Canada Northern Lights: 0.1 1.7 3.8 5.8 (38)
Ireland: 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 (12)
Canada Northern Lights: Heil 2, Bodashefski 2, Legault
Ireland: Corrigan, Keatley
Canada Northern Lights: Legault, Heil, Perry, Dickinson, Annicchiarico, Robertson
Ireland: Kelly, Behan, McKay, McCann, Corrigan, Hazley
ABOOT time - Canadian English Aussie Rules pun
A familiar sight - Laura White kicks for goal
Canadian ruck star Sylvie De Brabandere
Rover Ruck Rover & Ruckman for AFL Commission - Commissioners Linda Dessau, Sam Mostyn Mike Fitzpatrick-med
After the siren
Captain Aimee Legault - tears of happiness
Cup and medals ...
As most teams were preparing for the International Cup Gala Dinner, tournament concluded, India and Indonesia prepared to face off in the final Division 2 grading match. Both teams were yet to win a match this tournament, and Indonesia was looking for their first victory at an international level.
It was a scrappy start to the match, and both sides had a lot of players around the ball. Indonesia was the first to score, kicking a goal early. India regrouped, and successfully worked the ball into their half; kicking one behind and then their first goal. Indonesia kicked a second straight, to lead by five points at the first break.
There was a scuffle early in the second quarter, with several Indonesian players more interested in their opponents than the ball. Whilst India held almost exclusive control of the ball for these few minutes they were unable to capitalise. It was a goaless quarter and at the main break, Indonesia led by nine points.
A cohesive, determined Indonesia returned for the second half and it proved the difference. A 32-to-1 point third quarter ensued, and Indonesia never looked back, running out 52 point winners by match’s end.
It was a fitting concusion for a very young but enthusiatic Indonesian side. The solitary victory resulted in a 16th place finish for the tournament. India finished 18th.
Indonesia: Abdillah 3, Saputro 2, Wood, Latupeirissa, Pasaribu, Halim
India: Kailashnathan, Fariduddin, Himat, Fernandes, Rishi, Parmar
Indonesia: Halim, Ibadurrohman, Suminarto, Saputro, Prasojo, Abdillah
Qtr Time: Indonesia 2.0 (12) led India: 1.1 (7)
Half Time: Indonesia 2.4 (16) led India 1.1 (7)
Three Qtr Time: Indonesia 7.6 (48) led India 1.2 (8)
Final: Indonesia 9.6 (60) defeated India 1.2 (8) ...
Photos from the Gala dinner on Friday 22nd August 2014 ...
The AFL have published the finishing positions for both the Men's and Women's competitions for the 2014 AFL International Cup. Note a slight amendment as they initially listed China and Indonesia in the opposite order. We've included a short explanation of how the positions were arrived at. For a full pathway to the final positions see our complete results and ladders page: IC14 Results and Ladders
Men's top 4 played off for 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th.
Men's Division 1 played off in ladder pairs for 5th/6th down to 11th/12th.
Men's Division 2 was decided by final aggregated ladder positions as shown below the main ladders below.
Women's Division played off in ladder pairs for 1st/2nd down to 5th/6th (and 7th remained as per their ladder position).
The final positions in the overall ladder for Division 2 teams were decided by the final order within that division (as opposed to play-off matches in the top 4 and Division 1).
|Men's Division 2 Final Standings|
Thanks to photographer Brendan Waites for the great shots of the IC14 Men's Grand Final in the gallery below.
You can check out more of his work at www.brendanwaites.com.au ...
As grand a day as the Grand Final Saturday is of an International Cup – perhaps the greatest day is the final Friday. Not only are many of the best matches of the tournament to be witnessed but with the tournament coming to an end on the field each of the sides savours the contest and camaraderie all the more. And when the final siren sounds for each side the focus shifts. Around Royal Park on the sun drenched Friday afternoon there was to be seen a thriving barter trade in footy guernseys. Eventually the crowds traipse off – the players in particular prepare for the evenings event – the traditional International Cup Gala dinner. The dinner now held at the Palladium Room at the Crown (Casino) Entertainment complex has been described by The Age senior writer Martin Flanagan (the 2011 dinner) as one of the best footy functions he’d ever attended. And he was back for the 2014 event and like he – those of us lucky enough to attend feel privileged to do so.
It’s still somewhat of a secret in Melbourne – the International Cup itself ; we’ve all experienced having to explain to other Melbournians – many AFL fans – that it’s not a soccer event. It’s footy. It’s frustrating. However – when we attend the Gala Dinner and sit two tables from Mike Fitzpatrick and Sam Mostyn; and sit a bare metre or two from Dipper and Sheeds – there’s a surreal element to this that makes a humble Worldfootynews scribe feel very fortunate to be here; saddened that the event is not more broadly known; and in a selfish part of one’s soul partially pleased that it’s not so that we can share this secretive sub culture of Australian Football that many in the AFL either choose to ignore or simply know not of.
MC James Sherry sets the scene and an early highlight is the welcome of the team captains from the back of the room – they march proudly baring their flags up the centre of the room and onto the main stage where they (the flags) are placed as a permanent backdrop for the evening. This clearly marks this AFL function from the rest – when else can the AFL validly adorn a room with the flags of 18 other nations.
The attendant crowd is welcomed by AFL Commission Chairman and Carlton Premiership Captain Mike Fitzpatrick – immediately the difference between the more formal functions and this event becomes clear. This is a night of celebration – true enough – however it’s not austere celebration at the International Cup - that’s not what this tournament is about. Cheers are raised from the room at the mention of debutant teams – Pakistan in particular ever since the roar every time Dipper mentioned them at Federation Square nearly 2 weeks before at the public launch. The same roar moves around the room from cluster of tables to cluster of tables as the video vignettes are played recalling the Fed square launch (I spotted my family down the front – we got there early) and the tournament.
Mike Fitzpatrick is joined on stage by Gillon McLachlan (whose brother Hamish MC’d this event 3 years earlier), along with the Tongan players – this year members of both the men’s and women’s teams – and the entertainment of the room by the room begins in earnest. Footballers first or church choir first – matters not – they are amazing, for me it brings back memories of being ushered into the change rooms at Blacktown on day 1 of the 2011 cup and hearing the boys singing a hymn in those confines that sent shivers down my spine (clichéd turn of phrase I know but events like that make you realise the original truism of a cliché). Tonight the song ends and the girls step back as the boys – young men – take centre stage and perform the Sipi Tau (Tongan war dance). That morning the girls – young ladies of the Tonga Thunder – performed it before their match against the Fiji Vonu side. A few hours later the Canadian men faced the Tonga Storm doing likewise (and around crowded the players from the US Revolution and French Les Coqs among others to see it). The Storm actually performed it one more time to their support group after their Friday afternoon loss to Canada. Winning wasn’t the point. It’s all about being here. This is what this tournament is about.
Formalities as far as they go are next – player of the tournament for the Men’s is Irelands Mick Finn. He’s been here before. He won the same award in 2008. The Women’s award was shared – two extremely fine players who would face off the next day at Punt Road but for tonight Irelands Laura Corrigan (2011 Full Back world team) and Canadian Northern Lights captain Aimee Legault (2011 ruck rover) share the spoils.
In between there are 3 courses of food to be enjoyed – sate the appetite – but that’s not the focus. There’s a room to be worked. For me this time around I’ve put in greater effort to get to know some of the players and try to share their personalities, and their stories. There are more to be learned and there are acquaintances – almost friends – to farewell. For Troy Thompson and myself there are particular players to track down – see Troy’s story. Meeting Canada’s Neil Casey and hearing a fine Irish accent immediately highlights another backstory – but, almost everybody here has a backstory. So many are ‘accidental footballers’. Some of those have now become ‘Accidental Australians’ – football migrants. One of those I’ve met who has been super embracing of this tournament since 2005 is Great Britain’s Luke Matias. Four tournaments on he lives and works in Australia and married last year – so much is predicated to the mate who kicked a footy to him. The segue here is to the World Teams both mens and womens. Dipper is on hand taking the main stage to congratulate those selected. The honour and pride is clear, both by those selected and by their teammates who roar approval – drowning out the announcements of the next.
The announcement of the Women’s team is followed by Kevin Sheedy taking the podium. Sheedy has long advocated the international game and its development. His suggestion that with 18 mens teams that he’d love to see 1 representative of each side be incorporated into the 18 AFL teams for next year’s NAB Cup – not likely to happen – but a fine romantic notion. Or just perhaps the idea might find its way back to the Commission table.
The Men’s team is next and Luke Matias is selected on a half forward flank – he plays “Amo’s” with Caulfield Grammarians in Premier B grade. He’s indicated that he’s not played footy like that he’s experienced against Nauru, and to a slightly lesser extent the fast developing Fiji. Luke loves this tournament and all that it offers. And his pride in being selected in this side is hard to contain – so why contain it? Even greater is his delight when joined on stage by young gun 20 year old uni student Sam Willat who impressed many with his presence up forward for the Brits.
The World Team is quality and those who know realise that there’s a pretty damn good ‘B’ team that could be put together too. Names such as Guvari, Beno, Agita, Harris, Trigg, Wolgramm, Nakamura, Oppenheimer, Oura, Sakaki, the flying Valesu, Patacq, Rattenbury, Nash, Kolwinski, Dragus, or “H” Haseeb Qureshi for Pakistan – to name a few – would contribute very nicely in a combined world side. The depth of quality players who are part of this tournament bodes well for those who may be future or present captains, coaches and perhaps footy dads (and mums for that matter) in far flung lands.
As the night drew later the lads from South Africa performed and a little later bare chested Kiwis – nay – Hawks took to the stage and performed the Haka. Ah that my New Zealand wife might have been here to see it – well, perhaps best not. Around the room though was the mixing – yes, there’s a grand final or two to be played the next day and after that for many a flight or two home. The International Cup gala dinner truly is a footy night like no other – it can’t be on the annual calendar but once every 3 years it’s footy’s little secret that all too many just don’t realise what they’re missing out on. Like a lot in life however – the more you put in the more you get out – and don’t doubt for a minute that the players attending have put in a lot to make their way to our shores for 2 weeks at great expense to display a passion for the game that many AFL fans might struggle to comprehend. ...
You couldn't help but notice the great AFLPNG jumpers when you saw them at IC14 - thanks to David Lake coach of the PNG Mosquitoes for giving us some background to the new design in the following submission.
Papua New Guinea launched a whole new look for their country at IC14 in Melbourne in August this year.
Earlier this year they met with Tribal Sport Design Director Sam Lake to establish a new look that would display all things that make PNG countrymen stand proud and tall.
After displaying a similar look for an extended period they made a decision to fast track into a modern new look that took in the ‘bird of paradise’ and southern cross stars off their national flag. it depicts the Southern Cross and a Raggiana bird of paradise in similar positions to the national flag.
The flag has been the country's national look since 1971 when a 15 year old schoolgirl Susan Huhume won a national competition for a new flag design . Red and black have long been traditional colors of many Papua New Guinean tribes. Black-white-red was the color of the German Empire's flag, which had colonised New Guinea prior to 1918. The bird of paradise is also found on the national coat-of-arms.
One thing we all know about the Papua New Guineans is the fierce pride they display for their country and all it stands for. When they arrived at the IC14 in their nice new bright shiny kit they were once again be formidable opposition for all, setting the benchmark for competitiveness and skill with all their country's pride. Needless to say they are now back at the top of the table as the world’s no.1 outside Australia. Go PNG
Disclosure: Tribal Sport is a sponsor of the worldfootynews.com website. ...
The following story about the Tonga Storm team at the International Cup appeared on the ABC News on Friday.
During this year's IC14, long-time Canadian footy identity Bill "Vilheĉjo" Frampton reported on matches in Esperanto, the world's most-spoken constructed international auxiliary language.
Created in the late 19th century by Polish opthamologist Ludwig Zamenhof, Esperanto was intended to become a worldwide second language. Somewhat like international Australian rules football, Esperanto has never quite made it into the mainstream, but has developed a passionate community of fluent users who are estimated to number anywhere up to two million worldwide, including around 1,000 native speakers.
For anyone who wants to take a look at his report on the Aǔstralia Piedpilkludo Internacipokalo 2014, Bill's site can be found here ...
A collection of our photos from the final round of IC14 matches (excluding the Men's Top 4 and Women's Grand Finals - see earlier stories). ...