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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The anticipated top of the table clash between the Sheffield Thunder and Manchester Mosquitoes was expected by many to be a shootout between two sides gunning for top spot and would likely come down to a “last man standing” affair.

     

    Sheffield Thunder, however, had other ideas and hammered the Mozzies to the tune of 74 points to remain the only undefeated team after six rounds of the AFLCNE season.

     

     

    The performance underlines how well Sheffield has travelled so far this season. They have almost flown under the radar by sitting in the slipstream of the Manchester crew, but when push came to shove the Thunder produced a huge performance which will now have them outright flag favourites. No longer are they under the radar. Their performance effectively said “here we are, come and get us!”

     In other weekend results, home team Birmingham Bears accounted for the Huddersfield Rams with a solid 52 point win, whilst the Nottingham Scorpions kept their finals dreams alive with a resounding 49 point victory over last-places Tyne Tees Tigers. These results have seen a slight change to the order of teams jostling for top four places with the Bears consolidating third place a game clear of the Wolverines (which had the bye) in fourth spot ahead of the Nottingham Scorpions on percentage.

     

     

    Round 6 Results:

    Birmingham Bears 23.14 (152) def. Huddersfield Rams 14.16 (100) at Birmingham

    Manchester Mosquitoes 12.14 (86) def. by Sheffield Thunder 23.22 (160) at Tyne Tees

    Tyne Tees Tigers 13.8 (86) def. by Nottingham Scorpions 19.21 (135) at Tyne Tees

     

     

    Ladder - Round 6

    Team Played Won Lost Draw For Against Percent Points
    Sheffield 5 5 0 0 723  327 221.10 20
    Manchester 6 5 1 0 754  404 186.63 20
    Birmingham 5 3 2 0 532 474 112.24 12
    Wolverhampton 5 2 3 0 373 414 90.10 8
    Nottingham 5 2 3 0 442 572 77.27 8
    Huddersfield 5 1 4 0 423 578 73.18 4
    Tyne Tees 5 0 5 0 276 754 36.60 0

     

    Next Round (Round 7):

    Manchester Mosquitoes v Tyne Tees Tigers  (Huddersfield)

    Huddersfield Rams v Nottingham Scorpions (Huddersfield)

    Wolverhampton Wolverines v Sheffield Thunder (Wolverhampton)

     

    Birmingham Bears (BYE)

      ...


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  • 05/28/15--04:50: Come To Cairns…Or Else!!

  • It is just a short six weeks until the far North Queensland city of Cairns hosts its annual AFL Premiership match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Western Bulldogs. It is a game which has put the city on the national AFL landscape, and bought the wonderful Cazalys Stadium to a national audience.

    But according to some, that exposure could come to an end this year unless the people of the northern city get behind the game and get along in droves to show everyone that we are, in fact, an AFL worthy venue with an even bigger future.

    Cairns Mayor, Bob Manning, was quoted on the Fox Sports Pulse AFL Cairns site stating that an NRL fixture earlier this year between reigning premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders attracted a smaller crowd that expected. ““It was disappointing that we didn’t get a better turnout to the South Sydney game and we’ll be lucky to get another NRL game now,” Mr Manning said. “That’s why I urge people to support the AFL when it’s on here.”

    He refers to the previous year when 16,000 Cairns and far North Queensland fans watched the Rabbitohs play Queensland team the Gold Coast Titans. This year just 9,000 people watched the NRL fixture at the Barlow Park venue.

    Whilst Rugby League is a different game with a different following, it is important to note that last year’s Cazalys crowd for the Suns/Bulldogs game was down slightly on previous years. Manning is simply issuing the warning to locals that if they want these national competition games to continue into the future they have to support the games through attendance.

    The idea is something that AFL Cairns President Gary Young is also mindful of. The enormous growth of the game since AFL matches have been played in the city is proof that the two are linked. More high level matches equates to more kids taking up the game. If the city lost the games there is a risk of a corresponding drop in support. Not guaranteed, but possible.

    Gary Young stated on the Fox Sport Pulse site that ““This is our one chance of the year to watch a game live and a lot of organisations invest in this, but will only continue to do so if it is worth it. I want it to go for as long as possible but if we only get 8000 or so there again this year you’d have to ask if it is.”

    “And there’s nothing better than watching a game live; even walking to the ground you get caught up in the atmosphere.”

    According to Western Bulldogs defender, Dale Morris, who was in Cairns this week to help promote that game, his club enjoys coming to the city. He cites the weather and the playing surface at Cazalys Stadium as key reasons for coming, but admits that the players themselves really enjoy the experience.

    Morris was quoted by Fox Sports as saying that “we do like coming here, playing in front of a passionate crowd and we have lots of loyal members who enjoy the trip away too.”

    So the gauntlet has been thrown down to the City of Cairns. Get along to Cazalys Stadium for the AFL Round 15 clash between the Gold Coast Suns and the Western Bulldogs on Saturday 11th July.

    With the Gold Coast Suns eager to improve with players returning from injuries, and the Western Bulldogs having started the season better than many expected, it is sure to be a huge game – and one that deserves a huge, raucous, AFL loving Cairns crowd.

    For what it’s worth, I have my tickets. Get yours!

    (Picture: http://www.zimbio.com)

    For the original Fox Sports Pulse AFL cairns story go to: http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_pa...53234&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=3479121 ...

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    Friday night in Sydney Round 9 gets underway when Sydney host the under siege Blues.

    Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au. 

    The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.

     

     

     

    Network Region Syd vs Carl Haw vs GCS Melb v Pt Adel WB vs GWS Rich vs Ess Adel vs Freo Bris vs St K Coll vs NM WCE vs Geel Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 29/5 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 1130 HKT (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 1430 HKT (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) 31/5 @ 1100 HKT (LIVE) - 31/5 @ 1430 HKT (LIVE) 27/5 @ 0200 HKT
    Australia Plus Pacific 29/5 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 1530 FJT (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 1830 FJT (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) 31/5 @ 1500 FJT (LIVE) - 31/5 @ 1830 FJT (LIVE) 27/5 @ 0600 FJT
    Australia Plus India 29/5 @ 1500 IST (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0900 IST (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) - 30/5 @ 1500 IST (LIVE) 31/5 @ 0830 IST (LIVE) - 31/5 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) 26/5 @ 2300 IST
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 29/5 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0430 BST (LIVE) - - 30/5 @ 1000 BST (LIVE) - - 31/5 @ 0600 BST (LIVE) 31/5 @ 0730 BST (LIVE) 1/6 @ 1400 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - - - 30/5 @ 0500 ET (LIVE) - - - - 3/6 @ 1500 ET
    EUROSPORT2 Europe - - 30/5 @ 0600 CET (LIVE) - - - - - - 2/6 @ 2200 CET
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland - - 1/6 @ 2300 BST (Delay) - - - - 31/5 @ 0500 GMT (LIVE) - 2/6 @ 2315 BST
    EUROSPORT2 Asia - - 31/5 @ 1200 HKT (LIVE) - - - - - - -
    FOX SPORTS USA 29/5 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - - - - 30/5 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA - - - - 30/5 @ 0500 ET (LIVE) - - - 31/5 @ 02:30 ET (LIVE) 2/6 @ 1700 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 29/5 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0345 GMT (LIVE) - - 30/5 @ 0900 GMT (LIVE) - - - - 1/6 @ 1700 GMT
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 29/5 @ 0950 GMT (LIVE) - - - 30/5 @ 0920 GMT (LIVE) - - - - -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - - - - - - - - 1/6 @ 2400 NZT (Delay) 2/6 @ 1500 NZT
    SUPER SPORT Africa - - - - - - - - - -
    TSN2 Canada - - - - 30/5 @ 0500 ET (LIVE) - - 1/6 @ 1200 ET (Delay) - TSN.ca
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 30/5 @ 0830 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 29/5 @ 0950 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0345 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0410 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0635 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0920 GMT (LIVE) 30/5 @ 0940 GMT (LIVE) 31/5 @ 0310 GMT (LIVE) 31/5 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) 31/5 @ 0640 GMT (LIVE) -

    The broadcast schedule is published here in good faith from schedules provided by the AFL.  All schedules may be subject to change. ...


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    Round 6 of the VFL saw a number of Internationals taking to the park, we take a look at their performances.
    Padraig Lucey (Ire) had 12 hitouts, 2 kicks, 4 handballs, 1 mark and 1 tackle for Geelong as they went down narrowly to Port Melbourne.
     
    At Cramer St the Northern Blues could not hold off a strong second half performance by the Bombers to go down by 8 points. Alexander Aurrechio (USA)(Al to his mates) made his senior VFL debut for the Blues and looked right at home changing into the ruck off the bench. He finished with 12 hit-outs, 6 tackles and 3 handballs. Conor McKenna (Ire) was again quiet for the Bombers kicking 0.2
    Kurt Heatherley (NZ) continued his good form at full back for Box Hill in their 23 point win over Sandringham. Jason Holmes (USA) again racked up the hit-outs for the Zebras finishing with 35 in an impressive ruck display.
     
    Mason Cox (USA) had a well earned rest after a long preseason with Collingwood and rounds of VFL footy in a code that he is playing for the first time.   
     
    Development League
     
    Eric Wallace (USA) continued his battle to make it back to VFL seniors in the ruck for Werribee as the Tigers defeated the Dolphins by 8 points.
     
    Joe Baker-Thomas (NZ) was set to go head to head with fellow Kiwi Shem Tatupu (NZ), but big Shem was out of the Box Hill side that went on to defeat Sandringham by 59 points. Tatupu is named to return to Box Hill on the ball this week.

    Sandringham 11.12 (78)  vs Box Hill  14.17 (101)
    Werribee 22.18 (150)  vs Frankston  10.13 (73)
    Williamstown 17.20 (122)  vs Coburg  6.8 (44)
    Footscray 27.17 (179)  vs North Ballarat  5.3 (33)
    Casey 15.13 (103)  vs Richmond Tigers  8.11 (59)
    Northern Blues 9.14 (68)  vs Essendon  11.10 (76)
    Geelong Cats 13.20 (98)  vs Port Melbourne  15.13 (103)

      Club P W L F:A Pts.
    1
    Werribee 6 5 1 546:454 20
    2 Williamstown 6 4 2 641:427 16
    3 Box Hill 5 4 1 431:357 16
    4 Port Melbourne 5 4 1 472:431 16
    5 Footscray 5 3 2 544:329 12
    6 Casey 6 3 3 492:437 12
    7 Sandringham 6 3 3 536:512 12
    8 Essendon 6 3 3 476:467 12
    9 Collingwood Magpies 5 3 2 375:426 12
    10 Richmond Tigers 6 2 4 568:503 8
    11 Northern Blues 6 2 4 487:516 8
    12 Geelong Cats 5 2 3 427:477 8
    13 Coburg 5 2 3 355:448 8
    14 North Ballarat 6 2 4 358:625 8
    15 Frankston 6 0 6 360:659 0
    ...

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    The celebration by Adam Goodes in yesterday’s match between the Sydney Swans and Carlton was theatre on a grand scale which epitomised the pride attached to the AFL Indigenous Round this weekend. In a round designed to recognise and celebrate the riches given to the game of Australian Rules football by indigenous footballers, these acts will be remembered as iconic moments.

     

    The AFL promotes the weekend’s round of football at all levels nationally by stating:

     

    From a deep connection with the land comes a proud history of runners, jumpers, hunters, collectors, dancers, artists and leaders. These skills echo the incredible contribution that Indigenous footballers have made to the game.

     

    The 2015 Toyota AFL Indigenous Round is an opportunity to celebrate the role these athletes have had in shaping Australian Rules football. Not just making the game spectacular, but bringing two cultures together. 

     

     

    The round is perhaps better remembered for the Michael Long inspired “The Long Walk” – a walk in the name of unity and reconciliation for indigenous people. In 2004 the former great Essendon player returned home to Melbourne from a funeral with the idea to meet with then Prime Minister John Howard to get the needs and rights of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on a national agenda and help to improve the plight of Indigenous Australians. He walked from Melbourne to Canberra.

     

    That walk is now honoured in many ways today, one being tonight’s march which is now done annually as the precursor to the “Dreamtime At The G” match at the MCG between Richmond and Essendon.

     

    Whilst the attention, and a great deal of the publicity of messages for reconciliation, understanding and unity, is firmly on the events in Melbourne tonight, this round is also a call to action of sorts nationally to embrace all players, families, supporters across the nation. Matches and events to link in with the passion and the themes of the round will be played and held across the land.

     

    Here in North Queensland events will be played out to encourage the involvement of players at senior and junior levels. Cairns will see the fourth annual “Dreamtime By The Sea” match between the Cairns City Lions and North Cairns Tigers – both clubs with strong indigenous playing lists historically and today. Further south in Townsville the local match between the Indigenous All-Stars and Townsville All-Stars teams is the centrepiece to that city’s recognition of the Indigenous Round.

     

    Events will be held far and wide this weekend, in every state and territory, and will have most likely been publicised heavily far and wide to attract maximum support for the football itself, but also the themes and messages to be taken from the day which brings cultures together.

     

    In my own role as an AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador I was able to address the players from junior and senior teams at venues across Cairns to ensure that young people understand the meaning of reconciliation and unity – and also reinforcing that to senior players. Watching players be proud of the indigenous heritage through their actions on the field, and the pride of non-indigenous players to stand proudly beside them, encapsulated so many of the positive messages intended through the Indigenous Round concept – men, women and children alike.

     

    For more information about Michael Long and his remarkable work in pursuit of reconciliation, unity, recognition and friendship, visit The Long Walk website at: http://www.thelongwalk.com.au/Home

     

    For more information about the AFL’s involvement and the range of events connected to the round you can visit the www.afl.com website and go to: http://www.afl.com.au/indigenousround

     

    For information on local events within leagues or clubs, contact your local clubs, leagues or local AFL offices to find out how you can be involved in this wonderful event – the 2015 Indigenous Round.

     

     

     

     

     

     

      ...


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    The following article by Bence Hamerli for the SBS website looks at the work Bachar Houli, the Richmond AFL footballer, is doing in the western suburbs of Sydney – a state away from his home in Melbourne – to prepare young Muslim footballers for the Bachar Houli Cup.

     

    (Picture: Students from Al Faisal College playing in the 2014 Bachar Houli Cup – www.localnewsplus.com )

     

    AFL player Bachar Houli has travelled to western Sydney to meet with Islamic school kids for the Bachar Houli Cup.

     

     

    On his day off from Richmond training, Bachar Houli travelled to Western Sydney to meet about 200 Islamic students.

     

    The kids were happy to miss school, but hopefully learned plenty in the process.

     

    "If we can create good leadership within these young boys it goes a long way to building the community as a much stronger place to be around," said Houli, the first devout Muslim from a Lebanese background to play in the AFL.

     

    Houli once grappled with the decision to attend the national draft camp during Ramadan. Now he says religion makes it easier to play football.

     

    The games at the NSW Bachar Houli Cup were played with makeshift goals set up on soccer pitches.

     

    Although the Tigers star would prefer the participants all took up Aussie Rules, more than that he wants them to pursue their dreams and live positive lives.

     

    “There’s some fantastic talent but what we’re trying to teach these young boys is that it's all about hard work as well. Natural talent doesn't get you there alone.”

     

    GWS midfielder Stephen Coniglio was also on hand to offer advice.

     

    He said only 2 percent of AFL players came from multicultural backgrounds, and Western Sydney was one place the league was trying to make strides in this area.

     

    Granville Boys High teacher Andrew Rutherford said Bachar Houli was a perfect role model for Islamic youth.

     

    “A lot of the time us teachers at school notice that boys just lack that self-confidence and belief to actually have a go, and sometimes the perseverance to really work hard towards a goal, and I think he - along with a few others as well - are just a shining light.”

     

    The tournament was played last week in the western Sydney suburb of Auburn, featuring seven school teams. The following article from Martin Walsh for the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser further details the event.

     

    STUDENTS from Al-Faisal College, Campbelltown represented the region in a Australian football competition, Bachar Houli Cup, at Progress Park, Auburn on May 27.

     

    The cup, named after former Richmond player Bachar Houli, engaged more than 200 students from Islamic schools in western Sydney to promote the sport and life skills including teamwork and good sportsmanship.

     

    Al-Faisal College won one game and lost two throughout the tournament.

     

    While Unity Grammar College, Austral won the competition, the cup’s focus was on what the students got out of the experience and be surrounded by positive role models in the sport.

     

    Bachar Houli and Giants midfielder Stephen Coniglio attended the event to offer advice to the students to excel in the sport.

     

    Al-Faisal College coach Omar Khan was encouraged by the initiative.

     

    ‘‘It’s great for our boys to get out there and learn a sport like Australian Rules and compete against other schools," he said.

     

    “Through the Bachar Houli Cup they also learn the importance of sportsmanship and physical activity.

     

    ‘‘It’s rewarding to see them understand these principals.

     

     

      ...


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    An appreciative and vocal crowd in Alice Springs watched a determined Port Adelaide Power kick start their finals prospects with a resounding win against the Melbourne Demons. The final score saw the Power 18 7 115 defeat the Demons 8 6 54.

    For the Port Adelaide crew the visit to the Northern Territory saw their fourth win of the season, seeing them now sit just a game outside the top eight after an indifferent start to the season so far. For the Demons it was a lost opportunity to be in that same boat and instead sit two games adrift of the current top eight.

    But the biggest winner was perhaps Northern Territory football. Once again the crowd nudged 5000 people and showcased the game to an enthusiastic Central Australian audience, a part of the country where the game is played with passion the equal of anywhere else in Australia.


    Whilst the crowd was around 700 people less than the corresponding match at TIO Traeger Park in 2014, these crowds are significant when considering the overall sparse population of the regions surrounding Alice Springs. With a population of just over 25,000 people, the equivalent of one in five locals have been attending the Alice Springs fixture in recent years. Certainly the playing of this fixture during the Indigenous Round has a symbiotic connection to the aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and for that reason alone should be kept as a permanent fixture in future years.

    The game at TIO Traeger Park is the first of two matches scheduled to be played in the Northern Territory in 2015. The second will be played at TIO Stadium in Darwin on July 4th when the Melbourne Demons host the West Coast Eagles in their Round 14 clash.

    The match saw the Demons make the early running, taking a small lead to the quarter-time break. But a 6 goal blitz by Port Adelaide during the second half of the second quarter turned the game around. From there the Power slammed home a further 10 goals to 2 in the second half to run away with a 61 point victory.

    The AFLNT will no doubt work hard at securing more matches in “The Alice’ and Darwin from the 2016 AFL fixture, either through more NAB Challenge pre-season matches or the bigger drawing premiership matches similar to recent years.

    Final Scores: Port Adelaide 18 7 115 d Melbourne 8 6 54

    Goals Port: Schulz 4, Monfries 3, Westhoff 2, Wingard 2, Amon, Gray, Stewart, White, Krakouer, Ebert, Hartlett

    Goals Melb: Hogan 2, Garlett 2, Spencer, Lumumba, M Jones, Fitzpatrick

    Best Port: Ebert, Boak, Gray, Wines, Schulz, Wingard, Hartlett

    Best Melb: Brayshaw, N Jones, McDonald, Hogan, Garland

    Crowd: 4866 people at TIO Traeger park. Alice Sprin ...

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    The four finalists to contest this season’s CNFA finals series have been decided, but not before some teams decided to put fairly large exclamation marks next to their home and away season performances with some big wins.

    Played over the past two weekends, the final four matches were played out, each having a potential impact of the final makeup of the top four. By the end the finalists were decided and will be played as follows:


    Paris Cockerels v Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes – 13th June
    Toulouse Hawks v Montpellier Firesharks – 13th June

    The semi-finals both have a regional taste with the battle of Paris teams the Cockerels and the Coyotes from the satellite suburbs to the north-west of the French capital. Meanwhile, the battle of the south makes the other semi-final with the Toulouse Hawks hosting the Montpellier Firesharks. The respective winners will face each other in the grand-final on June 27th in Paris.

    Results of the final four matches saw three blowouts and a hard fought, finals worthy match. The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes emphatically booked their finals place with a big win over the Strasbourg Kangourous 26 24 180 to 5 5 35. The same weekend saw the battle for a finals place with a much improved ALFA Lions taking on the Montpellier Firesharks. After a close and hard fought tussle it was the Firesharks that held on to book finals action 14 22 106 to the Lions 8 16 64.

    Last weekend the Paris Cockerels enhanced their premiership prospects with a final round pounding of the Bordeaux Bombers. Final score saw Paris 29 27 201 to Bordeaux 1 2 8. The Toulouse Hawks also had an emphatic win, keeping in contact with a premiership, when they defeated the Perpignan Tigers 30 28 208 to 8 7 55.

    Early money might suggest that the Paris Cockerels, undefeated so far this year, are flag favourites. But Toulouse has sat with them all season and will want a chance to atone for their loss to the Cockerels earlier this year. At the same time, Montpellier and Cergy-Pontoise have nothing to lose and all to gain by throwing everything at the semi-final opponents to sneak a grand-final berth.

    It is sure to be a fascinating finals series this month in France.

    ...

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    There were no games this past weekend, due to Memorial Day weekend. This week, there are four 4-quarter games in the USAFL.

    1. This week’s matches takes us to Pflugerville, outside of Austin, Texas as Houston will take on Austin. Normally, this game would be played at Onion Creek Soccer Fields, but they are underwater at present

    2. Chicago (3-0-0.) travel to University of Wisconsin Fields, Madison, WI to take on the Minnesota Freeze. Weather Forecast: Cloudy: High: 57f (14c) At University of Wisconsin Fields in Madison we see the first of home-and-home series between the Freeze and the Swans.

    The last time these two teams played last year, Minnesota won by nearly 90 points. Depending on what the weather conditions hold, I expect a blowout by Minnesota if conditions are good.

    3. Baltimore travel to Ben Franklin Park, Philadelphia Weather Forecast: Partly Sunny and Very Humid High: 89f (31c) This EAFL match between Baltimore/Washington Eagles and the Philadelphia Hawks should be a tight battle.

    The teams played each other in a home-and-home last year with Philadelphia sweeping the series.

    4. Nashville (3-2-0) travel to Columbus (3-0-0.) @ Rhodes Park, Columbus, OH Weather Forecast: 50% Chance of Thunderstorms: High: 82f (28c) Long-time rivals Nashville and Columbus renew their rivalry for 2015.

    In all of the games played at Columbus, Nashville has never won a game. Expect another battle and maybe an upset.


    This Week’s Show

    This week’s show will recap our week in the USAFL and the AFL along with updates in the VFL as well. Please remember, this and next week, the shows are on @ 1 pm CDT on Sunday. We will be on YouTube as well. As always, you can always send your questions via WFN, Facebook, Twitter and on the blog as well. We will see you on Sunday.
      ...


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    The Fiji Times has reported the start to the new (2015) Aussie Rules footy season in Fiji. The season got underway across the second last weekend of May and continued on with Round 2 across this last weekend of May just gone.

    Week 1 saw the new improved AFL Fiji ‘Bulakick’ program underway – with a great turnout of kids who loved their new Bulakick backpacks and footies. This program runs 9 to 10.30 am on Saturday mornings for kids aged 4 to 11.

    All matches are conducted at Maile Park playing grounds, University of the South Pacific (USP), Laucala Bay Road, Suva (enter through main gate and continue past the USP gym and tennis courts) – for any locals or expats passing through who want to have a look.

    The season fixture provides for a weekly schedule of 9am Bulakick; 11am Womens match on Ground 1 and 9am and 11am mens matches on Ground 2.

    The AFL Fiji Men’s competition was relaunched in mid-May with new teams and captains. Cats Kaukauwa captained by Nathan Wesley Giant Gata captained by Filipe Valesu Swans Rerevaki captained by Sulio Magiti Lion Killa captained by Isimeli Qiolevu

    2015 AFL FIJI MEN'S FIXTURE

    Round Date 9 AM game 11 AM game
    1 23 May Cats Kaukauwa 12.6.(78) d Giant Gata 4.9.(33) Swans Rerevaki 12.12.(84) drw Lion Killa 13.6.(84)
    2 30 May Lion Killa 22.9.(141) d Cats Kaukauwa 5.5.(35) Swans Rerevaki (99) vs Giant Gata (60)
    3 6 June Lion Killa vs Swans Rerevaki Cats Kaukauwa vs Giant Gata
    4 13 June Lion Killa vs Swans Rerevaki Giant Gata vs Cats Kaukauwa
    5 20 June Giant Gata vs Swans Rerevaki Cats Kaukauwa vs Lion Killa
    6 27 June Giant Gata vs Cats Kaukauwa Swans Rerevaki vs Lion Killa
    7 4 July Cats Kaukauwa vs Giant Gata Swans Rerevaki vs Lion Killa
    8 11 July Lion Killa vs Cats Kaukauwa Swans Rerevaki vs Giant Gata
    9 18 July Lion Killa vs Swans Rerevaki Cats Kaukauwa vs Giant Gata
    10 25 July Lion Killa vs Swans Rerevaki Giant Gata vs Cats Kaukauwa
    11 1 August Giant Gata vs Swans Rerevaki Cats Kaukauwa vs Lion Killa
    12 8 August Giant Gata vs Cats Kaukauwa Swans Rerevaki vs Lion Killa
    Semi Finals - Saturday 15 August: 9.00am Elimination Final - 3rd team vs 4th team, 11.00am Qualifying Final - 1st team vs 2nd teamPreliminary Final - Saturday 22 August: 11.00am Loser of the Qualifying Final vs Winner of the Elimination FinalGrand Final - Saturday 29 August: 2.00pm Winner of the Qualifying Final vs Winner of the Preliminary Final

    2015 AFL FIJI WOMEN'S FIXTURE

    Round Date 11 AM game
    1 23 May Qio Vula 0.2.(2) lst Royal Eagles 11.7.(73)
    2 30 May Royal Eagles 7.10.(52) d Qio Vula 1.5.(11)
    3 6 June Qio Vula vs Royal Eagles
    4 13 June Royal Eagles vs Qio Vula
    5 20 June Qio Vula vs Royal Eagles
    6 27 June Royal Eagles vs Qio Vula
    7 4 July Qio Vula vs Royal Eagles
    8 11 July Royal Eagles vs Qio Vula
    9 18 July Qio Vula vs Royal Eagles
    10 25 July Royal Eagles vs Qio Vula
    11 1 August Qio Vula vs Royal Eagles
    12 8 August Royal Eagles vs Qio Vula
    Grand Final - Saturday 22 August: 2.00pm ...

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    Friday night footy in Perth kicks off Round 10 with unbeaten Fremantle hosting Richmond who have notched up three consecutive wins. 

    Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au. 

    The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.

     

     

     

    Network Region Freo v Rich Carl v Adel GCS v Sydney Ess v Geel Pt Adel v WB GWS v Bris NM vs WCE StK v Haw Melb v Coll Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 5/6 @1800 HKT LIVE 6/6 @ 1130 HKT LIVE 6/6 @ 1430 HKT LIVE - 6/6 @ 1730 HKT LIVE 7/6 @ 1100 HKT LIVE - 7/6 @ 1430 HKT LIVE - 10/6 @ 0200 HKT
    Australia Plus Pacific 5/6 @ 2200 FIJI LIVE 6/6 @ 1530 FIJI LIVE 6/6 @ 1830 FIJI LIVE - 6/6 @ 2130 FIJI LIVE 7/6 @ 1500 FIJI LIVE - 7/6 @ 1830 FIJI LIVE - 10/6 @ 0600 HKT
    Australia Plus India 5/6 @ 1530 IND LIVE 6/6 @ 0900 IND LIVE 6/6 @ 1200 IND LIVE - 6/6 @ 1500 IND LIVE 7/6 @ 0830 IND LIVE - 7/6 @ 1200 IND LIVE - 9/6 @ 2330 IND
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 5/6 @ 1100 BST (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0430 BST (LIVE) - 6/6 @ 1000 BST (LIVE) - - 7/6 @ 0600 BST (LIVE) - 8/6 @ 0600 BST (LIVE) 9/6 @ 1900 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - - 6/6 5:00AM US ET LIVE - - - - - 11/6 4:00PM US ET
    EUROSPORT2 Europe - - 6/6 @0830 CET (LIVE) - - - - - - 9/6 @0000 CET
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland - - 9/6 @ 1400 BST (Delay) - - - - - - 9/6 @ 2300 BST
    EUROSPORT2 Asia - - 6/6 @ 0830 CET (LIVE) - - - - - - -
    FOX SPORTS USA - - 6/6 @ 0230 (LIVE) - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA 5/6 @ 0600 ET (LIVE) 5/6 @ 2330 (LIVE) - - - - - - 8/6 @ 0100 (LIVE) -
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 5/6 @ 1000 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0330 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0630 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0900 GMT (LIVE) - - - - - -
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 5/6 @ 1010 GMT (LIVE) - - 6/6 @ 0920 (LIVE) - - - - - -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - - - - - 8/6 @ 2400 (Delay) - - - -
    SUPER SPORT Africa - - - - - - - - - -
    TSN2 Canada 5/6 @ 0600 ET (LIVE) - - - - - 8/6 @ 1300 ET (Delay) - - -
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 5/6 @ 0830 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 6/6 @ 1010 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0340 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0635 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0920 GMT (LIVE) 6/6 @ 0940 GMT (LIVE) 7/6 @ 0310 GMT (LIVE) 7/6 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) 7/6 @ 0640 GMT (LIVE) 8/6 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) -

    The broadcast schedule is published here in good faith from schedules provided by the AFL.  All schedules may be subject to change. ...


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    The Wolverhampton Wolverines have to be considered extremely unlucky to lose last weekend. It is not often that a team can kick a score of 24 21 (165) and still be beaten…by a mere 7 points to the undefeated Sheffield Thunder which kicked 25 22 (172). Whilst losing is never a palatable result at the best of times, the Wolverines will take heart that they pushed the league leaders to the limit and found 45 ways to score against them.

    But the high scoring wasn’t just confined to the Wolverhampton match. Up at Huddersfield the goal spree continued unabated.

    The home team, Huddersfield Rams, scored their best win of the season with a 72 point victory against the Nottingham Scorpions. The result keeps the Rams in finals contention, but certainly places pressure on the Scorpions to fight for a finals berth. In another high scoring match, a combined 40 goals were kicked.


    The other match at Huddersfield saw the Manchester Mozzies kick the highest score of the round in their 138 point romp against the Tyne Tees Tigers. Clearly intent on getting back on the winners list after their loss to Thunder last start, the Mozzies took no prisoners and showed little mercy.

    Final Scores:
    Sheffield Thunder 25 22 172 d Wolverhampton Wolverines 24 21 165
    Huddersfield Rams 25 16 166 d Nottingham Scorpions 14 10 94
    Manchester Mosquitoes 27 26 188 d Tyne Tees Tigers 6 14 50

    Ladder:
    (TBA)

    Next Round:
    Sheffield Thunder v Birmingham Bears (Sheffield)
    Tyne Tees Tigers v Huddersfield Rams (Sheffield)
    Nottingham Scorpions v Wolverhampton Wolverines (Nottingham)
    Manchester Mosquitoes (BY ...

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    In a round where other results were far more lop-sided, the North London Lions held off a determined Wimbledon Hawks team in Round Four of the AFL London Premiership Competition. Going into the match, the Lions sat in second place on the ladder and the Hawks in fifth. But in reality only one game separated the teams on the ladder and this result showed how close many of the London teams are in talent on any given day.

     

    In other results, the West London Wildcats reinforced their dominance of the competition with a 135 point crushing of the London Swans. It was their third win in succession over 120 points and underlined again how strong the Wildcats are. For a full match review, read the following article by Sarah Ongarello from AFL Europe: http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/top-effort-from-rover-dog-as-wildcats-clip-swans-wings/

     

     

     

    In the other premiership match the Wandsworth Demons were too good for the Putney Magpies. The final margin of 105 points saw the Demons entrenched in the top three as the gap between the top and bottom half of teams widened.

     

    Next weekend’s matches are more even on paper with 1st v 2nd (West London v North London), 3rd v 5th (Wandsworth v Wimbledon) and 4th v 6th (London v Putney).

     

    Weekend Results:

    Premiership Competition

    West London Wildcats 23.18.156 def. London Swans 4.5.21

    Wandsworth Demons 16.15.133 def. Putney Magpies 4.4.20

    North London Lions 6.9.45 def. Wimbledon Hawks 5.11.41

     

    Conference Competition

    North London Lions 12.9.81 def. South East London Giants 9.10.64

    Shepherds Bush Raiders 21.7.133 def. London Swans 2.4.16

     

    Social Competition

    North London Lions 7.9.51 def. South East London Giants 6.6.30

    South East London Demons 10.8.68 def. Reading Roos 5.6.36

     

    Women’s Competition

    Wimbledon Hawks 6.9.45 def. North London Lions 2.3.15

    Wandsworth Demons 11.19.85 def. South East London Giants 1.0. 6

     

    Next Round:

    Wandsworth Demons v Wimbledon Hawks (Wandsworth)

    West London Wildcats v North London Lions (West London)

    London Swans v Putney Magpies (London)

     

    For updates on the results, ladders and general information about the AFL London competition, go to their website at: http://www.afllondon.com/

     

       ...


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    Due to the recent flooding with more than a foot of rain in the last few days the rivers in Dallas, Houston and Austin (home of this year’s Nationals) are swollen and much of these cities are under water. It was so bad, the Austin vs. Houston game was rescheduled…TWICE! 
     
    This past weekend, we had four games scheduled, including an additional game that was added at the last minute. The games were in Austin, Columbus, Madison and Philadelphia. 
     
    Austin State Capitol Park: Austin vs. Houston
    The Austin match was still in Austin…but not where it was supposed to be. Originally the game was scheduled to be at USAFL Nationals field in Onion Creek…but that was out…Onion Creek was 4 feet underwater, so it was off to Northeast Metro Park in Pflugerville…but that was out, too…Metro Park was 2.5 feet underwater as well. So, it was off to State Capitol Park in downtown Austin. The game was to be close….it wasn’t. The Crows put it to the Lonestars in the first 2 quarters and took a 51-15 at the half enroute to a blowout.
    Final score: Austin 13.4.82 to Houston 5.10.40
     
    University of Wisconsin Intramural Fields in Madison, WI: Minnesota vs. Chicago
    The Chicago Swans had their opening game of the 2015 season as they went to Madison to face the Minnesota Freeze. From the outset, this was going to be a battle and it didn’t disappoint. The halftime was 29-26 in favor of Minnesota. It was tight through the third and fourth before a turnover and free kick awarded to Chicago with 2:25 left and 2 straight goals in 70 seconds pulled the first of two upsets and Chicago’s first win against Minnesota in 3.5 years (7 games).
    Final score: Chicago 7.8.50 to Minnesota 5.9.39
     
     
     
    Ben Franklin Park in Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia vs. Baltimore/Washington
    In downtown Philadelphia the Hawks welcomed the Eagles in the season opener in the EAFL for both teams. From the outset, the Hawks had the Eagles number once again as they did in the 2014 season, in which they swept them in the home-and-home series. The Eagles did get the game close in the 2nd quarter as they got to 13 points, but was no closer.
    Final score: Philadelphia 10.12.72 to Baltimore/Washington 7.6.48
     
     
    Rhodes Park on the campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, OH: Columbus vs. Nashville
    The rivalry that is Columbus vs. Nashville was renewed for the 2015 season. This rivalry has been a classic as the teams in their 10 matches have split results with both teams winning at home in each time. Saturday’s game was played in a moderate rain with thunderstorms coming through that stopped the game during the first quarter for a total of nearly 20 minutes. It was 19-9 at the first with Columbus leading. The second quarter were a defensive battle as the Kangaroos stiffen their defensive might and practically stopped the Jackaroos cold. At halftime, it was 23-21 Columbus. The remaining two quarters saw the Kangaroos defense in a classic as they held the Jackaroos to 0.3 in the final 40 minutes to pull their first ever win with a goal in the third and fourth quarters to pull the second upset of the weekend as they won their first match in Columbus in 6 tries.
    Final score: Nashville 5.4.34 to Columbus 3.8.26
     
     
    These two teams will play again in the home season finale on 12 September in Nashville.
     
     
    USAFLWR Standings
     
    With all of the games, here’s the new standings as we go to Week 11:
     
    Men: Please Note: USAFL Poll was just revealed last Wednesday before the matches.
     

    USAFL Poll
    USAFLWR Ranking
    Team
    W-L-T
    PF
    PA
    Pct.
    Points
    12
    1
    Nashville Kangaroos
    4-2-0
    245
    146
    147.94
    11
    9
    2
    Columbus Jackaroos
    3-1-0
    202
    66
    306.06
    8
    3
    3
    Austin Crows
    3-0-0
    178
    60
    296.67
    8
    19
    4
    Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids
    2-2-0
    102
    160
    63.75
    8
    11
    5
    Houston Lonestars
    2-2-0
    217
    154
    140.91
    6
    22
    6
    Atlanta Kookaburras
    2-2-0
    165
    212
    77.83
    5
    8
    7
    Golden Gate Roos
    1-0-0
    41
    15
    273.33
    4
    10
    8
    Dallas Magpies
    1-0-0
    109
    52
    209.62
    4
    17
    9
    Philadelphia Hawks
    1-0-0
    72
    48
    150.00
    4
    13
    10
    Chicago Swans
    1-0-0
    50
    39
    128.20
    4
    2
    11
    New York Magpies
    1-1-0
    86
    68
    126.47
    4
    24t
    12
    Seattle Grizzlies
    1-1-0
    108
    130
    83.08
    4
    4
    13
    Denver Bulldogs
    3-3-0
    357
    238
    150.00
    3
    5
    14
    Minnesota Freeze
    3-1-0
    216
    146
    147.94
    3
    21
    15
    Cincinnati Dockers
    1-1-0
    70
    58
    120.69
    2
    20
    16
    Des Moines Roosters
    1-2-0
    137
    90
    152.22
    1
     
    17
    Kansas City Power
    1-2-0
    123
    183
    67.21
    1
     
    18
    Tulsa Buffaloes
    1-3-0
    140
    337
    41.54
    1
    16
    19
    Boston Demons
    0-1-0
    69
    101
    68.31
    0
     
    20
    Baltimore/Washington Eagles
    0-1-0
    48
    72
    66.67
    0
     
    21
    Baton Rouge Tigers
    0-2-0
    116
    228
    50.88
    0
     
    22
    North Carolina Tigers
    0-2-0
    50
    115
    43.48
    0
    15
    23
    Sacramento Suns
    0-1-0
    15
    41
    36.58
    0
     
    24
    Indianapolis Giants
    0-2-0
    14
    103
    13.59
    0
     
    25
    Cleveland Cannons
    0-1-0
    7
    84
    8.33
    0
     
    Women
     

     

    USAFLWR Ranking
    Team
    W-L-T
    PF
    PA
    Pct.
    Points
    1
    New York Lady Magpies
    2-0-0
    55
    22
    250.00
    4
    2
    San Francisco Iron Maiden
    1-0-0
    22
    16
    137.50
    4
    3
    Sacramento Lady Suns
    0-1-0
    16
    22
    72.73
    0

     

    This Week’s Games
     
    This week, there is only 3 games in the USAFL two men’s games and one women’s game. The cities that have games this week: Bronx, NY, Tulsa, OK and Chicago. 
     
    @ Waveland Field in Chicago: 7 pm CT: WOMEN’S Game: Minnesota Lady Freeze vs. Columbus Jillaroos
    Weather Forecast: Mostly Cloudy: 63f (+18c)
     
    Our first game takes us to the hallowed grounds of Waveland Field, home of the Chicago Swans, as the Minnesota Lady Freeze and Columbus Jillaroos will face each other in a full game for the first time ever. Most of the games that the Jillaroos have played has been with a joint team, mostly with the Baltimore/Washington Lady Eagles or with the Boston Lady Demons. However, with this year’s changes and possible Division 2 in the Women’s division for the first time, this game has become a highlight game. Expect a good game, despite the late start.
     
    3 pm CT: Men: @ Tibbetts Park in the Bronx: New York vs. Dallas
    Weather Forecast: Rain expected: 66f (+19c)
     
    Played at Tibbetts Park is the battle of the Magpies…New York vs. Dallas. This marks the first time since the 2012 Division One Grand Final that these teams have faced each other. Needless to say, expect fireworks in this battle. 
     
    @ Tulsa Athletics Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma: 2 pm CT: Tulsa vs.  Kansas City.
    Weather Forecast: Sunny: 88f (+31c)
     
    Tulsa’s Athletics Park hosts the first of home-and-home series between archrivals Kansas City Power and Tulsa Buffaloes. Expect a very good game between these Division 4 foes. This also marks the first of two games in a row for Tulsa as they will head to Crested Butte, CO next Saturday to face the powerhouse Denver Bulldogs.
     
    Our Show This Week
     
    This week’s show is on a special time, 5 pm CDT on Sunday, as we recap the weekend in the USAFL as well as AFL’s Queen’s Birthday weekend as well. We will preview Week 11 of the AFL as well as a very big week in the USAFL with several big matches on the docket, including the Wayne Schwass Cup match between Chicago and Nashville, which will mark my 150th games as a goal umpire, only the 6th umpire and 2nd goal umpire to reach that feat. We will be on Youtube as always. You can pose questions on our Facebook page as well as Twitter, during the show on Chat and here on WFN as well. See you Sunday! ...

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    Round 7 of the VFL saw a number of Internationals taking to the park, we take a look at their performances.
     
    Padraig Lucey (Ire) had 16 hitouts, 3 kicks, 3 marks and 1 handball for the Cats at they went down by just 2 points to Williamstown.
     
    Essendon had a big win over Richmond at Punt Rd. Conor McKenna (Ire) kicked two goals for the Bombers and had 5 marks, 2 kicks and five handballs. He was also named among Essendon’s best players.
    Mason Cox (USA) had 36 hitouts for Collingwood and kicked one goal in an easy 39 point win for the Magpies over Coburg. Cox was also featured on the Collingwood website here this week.
     
    Jason Holmes (USA) also continued his good form for Sandringham. Rucking against Daniel Currie most of the day he finished with 26 hitouts, 4 marks, 4 kicks and 3 tackles. Sandringham defeated Werribee by 40 points despite 5 goals from Sudanese big man Majak Daw.
     
    Box Hill Hawks defeated the Northern Blues by 28 points on Sunday with Kurt Heatherley (NZ) at full back for the Hawks. Heatherley was solid in defence and had 4 tackles, 3 kicks and one mark. This week Spangher returns to the team from injury to full back and Heatherley will return the back pocket after a few weeks at full back.
     
    Development League
     
    Joe Baker Thomas’ (NZ) Sandringham were big winners over Eric Wallace’s (USA) Werribee to the tune of 55 points. And at Box Hill City Oval Shem Tatupu (NZ) kicked one goal as the Hawks went on to defeat the Northern Blues by 75 points. Alex Aurrichio (USA) was back in the development league after a taste of the senior competition the week before.
     
    Box Hill Northern Blues 15.6 (96) : 10.8 (68)  
    Frankston Footscray 12.5 (77) : 21.17 (143)  
    Coburg Collingwood Magpies 11.16 (82) : 18.13 (121)  
    Port Melbourne North Ballarat 22.21 (153) : 11.7 (73)  
    Sandringham Werribee 15.11 (101) : 8.13 (61)  
    Richmond Tigers Essendon 8.11 (59) : 15.13 (103)  
    Geelong Cats Williamstown 12.8 (80) : 11.16 (82)

     Ladder

    Team MP W D L TP Pts
    1 Williamstown 7 5 0 2 723:507 20
    2 Port Melbourne 6 5 0 1 625:504 20
    3 Box Hill 6 5 0 1 527:425 20
    4 Werribee 7 5 0 2 607:555 20
    5 Footscray 6 4 0 2 687:406 16
    6 Sandringham 7 4 0 3 637:573 16
    7 Essendon 7 4 0 3 579:526 16
    8 Collingwood Magpies  6 4 0 2 496:508 16
    9 Casey 6 3 0 3 492:437 12
    10 Richmond Tigers 7 2 0 5 627:606 8
    11 Geelong Cats 6 2 0 4 507:559 8
    12 Northern Blues 7 2 0 5 555:612 8
    13 Coburg 6 2 0 4 437:569 8
    14 North Ballarat 7 2 0 5 431:778 8
    15 Frankston 7 0 0 7 437:802 0

     

      ...


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  • 06/06/15--03:02: 100 Reasons to Like Mike…

  • Watching Sydney Swans player Mike Pyke being chaired from Metricon Stadium tonight after playing his 100th game against the Gold Coast Suns was quite special. Not so much the fact it was 100 games, but that it was achieved by a player who, by his own admission, would have been content to play just one.

    To reach the 100 games mark after switching codes sends strong messages to any other players from overseas. If it isn’t enough to see Pyke’s milestone as proof that it is important to follow your dreams, he has also demonstrated that age, background, tyranny of distance and knowledge of the game are just small impediments on a journey which is dictated more by determination, opportunity, a little luck and most of all belief.

    Much has been written about Pyke’s journey previously Pyke reaches the peak of Aussie Rules Football and his story is inspirational, especially when looked at from the point of view of international success for prospective players. But a brief recap certainly provides a remarkable insight into a very talented athlete.


    As a 20 year old, Pyke commenced an international Rugby Union career representing Canada against Japan. His international career lasted 17 international test matches including a try scored for his country against the all-powerful New Zealand All Blacks. Not an everyday feat. In fact his career saw 30 points scored at an international level.

    With such a resume playing Rugby Union, a switch to Australian Rules football could be seen as a big surprise – something out of left field. But Pyke has said before that he was looking for other challenges after injury curtailed his rugby career. The Sydney Swans took an interest in Pyke and rookie listed him in 2008 and by degrees he has become a better and better footballer. In 2010 he won the Swans’ Most Improved Player Award. Evidence of this continued improvement was a 53 hitout ruck performance against Carlton last year as well as a 49 hitout effort against Essendon just two weeks later.

    It helps that Pyke has been a member of one of the AFL’s most powerful teams of the past decade, but his milestones could not have occurred without either natural talent, a result of having also played basketball and soccer is his youth, and an enormous appetite to learn and master his adopted code.

    Now Pyke has a premiership medal after being a part of the Sydney Swans 2012 premiership team, and today joined the esteemed “100 Club” of AFL footballers. Not a bad effort for a player described by notable football commentator Brian Taylor as “the worst player in the AFL”, and the Swan’s decision to take the mount on him as “a joke”.

    Having turned 31 in March, Mike Pyke is heading into the twilight of his career. But he has done himself, his club, family and supporters proud. He has also, forever, changed the game in terms of what international players can achieve in Australian Rules football. He may also have a big say in how much further the game grows in Canada, and elsewhere, once his playing days are done.

    But for now the AFL should be proud of welcoming Mike Pyke to a very special group of players to reach 100 AFL games. We should all hope for many more.




    Photo Credits: Left - Daily Telegraph,
    Top - news.com.au ...

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    I just cannot shake the dream that lives somewhere in the back of my mind. It is an African city – maybe Johannesburg, maybe Nairobi, there is nothing specific. All I can visualise is grand stands full of cheering people – all African fans from whichever country the dream is set in, cheering wildly at a football match. We have all seen the image many times before, with the soccer teams pin-balling the play from one end to the other.

     

    But the combatants here are not playing soccer. In this dream, hazy at times but very exciting, the half back flanker has just rebounded the ball out of the defensive fifty, hit the wingman lace-out on the chest with a daisy-cutter. The wingman has wheeled around and booted the ball to the goal square where the powerhouse, muscle-ridden full forward has taken a hangar over the pack and duly gone back and slotted the goal.

     

    (Photo: Courtesy AFL Footywild)

     

    In this dream the African fans are cheering the African players – at an Australian Rules match somewhere in Africa.

     

    This may seem like the song from Man of La Mancha – The Impossible Dream– but ever so gradually there are signs appearing that one day at some undetermined point in the future the dream could possibly be realised.

     

    Already the game is taking hold in various African communities across Australia. Even at my own club, Pyramid Power in Cairns, we have already played African kids from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Sudan. Across the Cairns league there are kids playing from those countries as well The "Majak" of Far North Queensland. From having no players of African descent 10 years ago, most clubs in Cairns have at least one player from an African nation.

     

    Elsewhere across the nation this growth is more profound. Recent articles from Western Australia detail young players from African nations who are making their mark on the game (Bella’s story - http://wafootball.com.au/news/8214/bella-recognised-for-breaking-down-barriers ).

     

    The following extract is from an article on the SBS website by Rhiannon Elston and explores the journey of Masange Runezerwa’s journey from the Democratic Republic Of Congo to the footy fields of Wodonga in Victoria:

     

    Running has always been part of Masange Runezerwa’s life.

     

    He ran while growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

     

    He ran in Kenya, where he went to escape conflict in his home country.

     

    And when he arrived in Australia 18 months ago, he surprised the local running club one evening in Wodonga, Victoria, along the New South Wales border.

     

    Nadia Mellor, of the Wodonga Athletics Club, remembers the night he showed up unannounced to join in with training.

     

    “He had nothing, he’d only been in Australia for a few weeks,” she says.

     

    “Members of the club went and bought him some gear – some running shoes, a t-shirt and some shorts and a singlet.

     

    “Then Wodonga Athletics Club took him on board and gave him membership and gave him a club singlet and invited him to all of our training sessions and athletics meets."

     

    Before long, Masange Runezerwa was running in long-distance competitions across the region.

     

    And he was winning them, Mellor says.

     

    "He's an amazing runner. I think, for the Wangaratta half-marathon, he ran about 72 minutes, if I remember correctly, and, even with that, he ran probably a kilometre longer than he should have -- he got lost.”

     

    It was his speed and endurance that led Runezerwa to a sport he had never heard of before arriving in Australia: Aussie Rules football.

     

    To read Rhiannon’s full story, go to: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/06/08/democratic-republic-congo-afl

     

    During 2012 the game of Australian Rules football became the catalyst in bringing together youth of both aboriginal and African descent that had been locked in social conflicts. Inspired in part by Darwin lad Patrick Taban, of Ugandan birth (see story: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/a-new-game-20140516-384bh.html ) youths from both cultural groups came together in a shared love of the game. The article by Stuart Rintoul in The Age is a fascinating account of that story.

     

     

    (Picture: Bodibe team in new jumpers - South Africa)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Recently in Cairns the All Nations Cup was held in conjunction with the Kickstart Cup to form the wider AFL National Diversity Cup. It was a delight, and a welcome eye-opener, to see how many African teenagers were scattered across the state teams – and how many of those looked capable enough to become the next Majak Daw or Aliir Aliir and find their way onto the playing lists of national AFL teams.

     

    But even in countries across Africa the seeds are slowly sprouting. The recent expansion in clubs across South Africa was a positive step which, despite a number of racial, economic, geographic and cultural setbacks Triumph over adversity – The spirit of our game.. The competition around Cape Town grew to eight clubs in 2014 as AFL Footywild (AFL South Africa) worked to provide more playing options in a re-branding of the game locally. Time will tell how successful that will be, but the fact that there is growth at all is a positive sign and one that can be developed further.

     

    There have also been signs of growth across Kenya. Last year a match, which is becoming an annual fixture, was played between teams from Kenya and Tanzania Buffalo soldiers: Kenyans beat Tanzanians in historic match orchestrated and organised by Tom Purcell. Also in Kenya, Don Cruttenden, a teacher at the Greesteds International School in Nakuru (Kenya’s fourth largest city), has been developing the game at a local school level and expanding into nearby cities and communities such as Eldoret and Iten. Kenyan Horizons These two men have overseen a growth in Kenyan footy which is putting East Africa on the footy stage to accompany what is happening down in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    But with players coming from countries all across the length and breadth of Africa to play in Australia as part of their new immigrant life, the connections to the game back in Africa will grow by degrees.

     

    My strange little dream, which invades my subconscious in the wee small hours of a night, may seem like folly to some. But through the efforts of people both in Australia and across Africa it is not such an impossible dream.

     

     

    A long, long way from happeningω Yes. Impossibleω No. ...


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    The Huddersfield Rams certainly made a statement about their intent to be part of the finals action with a massive win over the Tyne Tees Tigers to catapult themselves into third place on the AFLCNE ladder after eight rounds. In front by over 100 points at the half time break, it was a matter of how far they could ram home their advantage and build valuable percentage for the run to the finals.

     

    The match of the round, however, was played in Nottingham where the Wolverhampton Wolverines pipped the Scorpions on their home turf by just two points in a thriller. The result was a blow for the Scorpions which needed the win to stay in the group of teams in the battle for a finals place. They are not out of the running, but the loss leaves them a game behind the Wolverines, Rams and Bears but with a poor percentage.

     

     

    For the Wolverines, they would simply be grateful that they took the points in another cliff-hanger after going down narrowly to Sheffield last start.

     In the other match, Sheffield Thunder took a tighter hold on top spot, remaining undefeated with an authoritative 49 point win over the Birmingham Bears. The Manchester Mosquitoes had the bye for this round.

     

     

    Round 8 Results:

    Sheffield Thunder 21.20 (146) def. Birmingham Bears 14.13 (97) at Sheffield

    Tyne Tees Tigers 0.2 (2) def. by Huddersfield Rams 30.26 (206) at Sheffield

    Nottingham Scorpions 11.19 (85) def. by Wolverhampton Wolverines 12.15 (87) at Nottingham

     

    Next Round:

    Nottingham Scorpions v Manchester Mosquitoes (Nottingham)

    Sheffield Thunder v Huddersfield Rams (Birmingham)

    Birmingham Bears v Wolverhampton Wolverines (Birmingham)

     

    Ladder:

    Sheffield Thunder                            7              7              0              0              1041       589         176.74%               28

    Manchester Mosquitoes                   7              6              1              0              942         454         207.49%               24

    Huddersfield Rams                          7              3              4              0              795         674         117.95%               12

    Birmingham Bears                          6              3              3              0              629         620         101.45%               12

    Wolverhampton Wolverines              7              3              4              0              625         671         93.14%                  12

    Nottingham Scorpions                     7              2              5              0              621         825         75.27%                  8

    Tyne Tees Tigers                            7              0              7              0              328         1148       28.57%                  0

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  • 06/10/15--22:58: Women Want Footy
  • In this article by James Gottschalk from the AFL Europe website the rise of women’s footy, specifically the London based Australian Rules football , is traced and opportunities for women to play the game are shared. The article comes on the back of the recent acknowledgements of women playing the game with the 2015 Women’s Draft back in April and the subsequent Western Bulldogs versus Melbourne Demon’s women’s match on May 24th. A second match will be played on August 16th, again as a curtain raiser to the Western Bulldogs versus Melbourne Premiership match.

     

    Both of these related events add the necessary clout required to validate and promote the place of women playing Australian Rules football. Whilst the women’s football scene is not triggered by these events in Australia, the game is certainly aided by the interest generated and associated increases in women’s player numbers.

     

     

    In 2014, Australian Rules football celebrated 25 years of a sporting competition in the country of England. In 2015, Women’s Australian Rules football officially took off with an AFL London Women’s league comprising of four already established men’s clubs each becoming host to a Women’s team. Those founding clubs being: Wimbledon Hawks, Wandsworth Demons, North London Lions and the South East London Giants.

     

    In previous years, only exhibition games had been held for females on AFL London Grand Final day or training sessions for those interested. The development of a women’s league in London only confirms the continual development and interest in the game away from Australia. Even more so with the recent implementation of Women’s AFL matches being played since 2013 between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons.

     

    Lauren Sparks, a current player for the Wimbledon Hawks, had previous experience playing Aussie Rules football back in Melbourne – 3 years for Melbourne University, representative football for Victoria at the National Championships and Vic Metro. Lauren was also a member of the first two Women’s AFL sanctioned exhibition matches, playing for the Western Bulldogs against the Melbourne Demons. When asked about her knowledge of the league (men or women’s); “before coming over here I didn’t know much at all about the league…I found out they were introducing the first women’s league and that 4 teams would be involved”. As most antipodeans tend to do when moving abroad, a sporting club or organisation is a safe house as a social network. Lauren attributes the Wimbledon Hawks as an accessible way to meet new people, especially with the correlation between the men’s and women’s teams at the club.

     

    Coming from a different Australian Rules football background, Jessie Hayes was part of the Junior Development Program at the Fremantle Dockers and had grown up around the sport. Having minimal knowledge of the Women’s AFL London league before arriving in London, Jessie knew that she would eventually be drawn to a club in one way or another. “Before I came over I had an inkling I would get involved in a club in some way”. She thanks peer pressure from her friend, a North London Lions player, to ‘[encourage] me to get on the other side of the boundary line for once”.

     

    Both players strongly condone the sport as a great way to socialise with other people, and not only at their specific club, but over all the clubs. Many clubs hold joint social occasions to encourage camaraderie between each other – North London Lions and the West London Wildcats jointly host a Thames River Cruise as part of the Wildcat’s Ladies’ Day celebrations. Ladies’ Day is quickly becoming more and more important for the AFL London clubs’ to ascertain their stance as a genuine supporter of further developing and creating awareness of women’s involvement in Australian Rules football.

     

    Without a doubt, the social aspect of the league is a part that everyone enjoys – “It is brilliant to have found such a great family like the Lions. London life wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the club” Jessie states. As most expats in London can agree, playing Aussie Rules football assists in avoiding a dosage of the ‘Heathrow Injection’ (the sudden weight gain from lack of physical activity when arriving into London).

     

    But where to next for the Women’s AFL London leagueω The current teams participating in the league are looking to grow their participation numbers and clubs that have yet to field a team would ideally be looking at staking their presences in the league.

     

    “It’s definitely got room to grow, the amount of foreigners that are exposed to it, never seen it before, and then are hooked the minute they try the game, it intrigues people” says Lauren in regards to further expansion of the women’s league. Women’s team are both represented at the Axios Euro Cup as well as the International Cup (World Cup for Aussie Rules football), however there is always the desire to continually expand the participation level for both genders in Europe.

     

    For more information regarding the Women’s AFL London league or any local competitions please head to the Women’s AFL London website.

     

     

     

     

     

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    Round 8 of the VFL saw a number of Internationals taking to the park, we take a look at their performances.
     
     After his breakthrough VFL game in Round 6, Alex Aurrichio (USA) returned to senior VFL footy this week for the Northern Blue’s Round 8 ‘Battle of Bell St’ clash with Coburg. He had 35 hitouts four kicks, four handballs and eight tackles but his Blues lost by two points. Ciaran Byrne (Ire) is a chance to return for the Blues this week with a test on his hamstring injury.

    Kurt Heatherley (NZ) had 6 kicks, 5 marks, 5 handballs and 3 tackles and was solid in defence for the Box Hill Hawks who were easy winners over Port Melbourne.

    Jason Holmes (USA) was again solid in the ruck for Sandringham with 30 hitouts in their 27-point win over North Ballarat.


    A goal from Mason Cox (USA) and 20 hit outs wasn’t enough for Collingwood to get home over Casey Scorpions as they went down by four points.


    Irish compatriots went head to head at Etihad Stadium with Essendon’s Conor McKenna (Ire)coming out on top for both match performance and result. McKenna kicked four goals for the Bombers and was named among the best players. Geelong’s Padraig Lucey (Ire) had 9 hit outs in the ruck along with one kick, 5 handballs, 2 marks and 2 tackles. Essendon finished up trouncing the Cats by 92 points.
     

    Development League
    Joe Baker-Thomas played his sixth match for the Sandringham Development team who lost to Casey by 22 points. Eric Wallace was also on the wrong side of a 60 point margin as he rucked for Werribee against Williamstown.

    Box Hill Hawks had an 11 point win over Port Melbourne with two goals from Shem Tatupu (NZ) enough to get the Hawks over the line.
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