The Edinburgh Bloods have come back hard after their last round loss, downing last season’s premiers the Greater Glasgow Giants on the road a week after going down to the Glasgow Sharks in a tight, tough match. The result gives the Bloods two wins from three starts this season and sets them up well for a run to the finals later in the season.
The loss for the Giants could prove disastrous, in terms of defending their title, as they are now winless after their own first three matches. They face an uphill battle now to keep up with the pacesetters and will need a big change of fortune in coming weeks. Given that the new format with five teams (not including the Eagles) means two teams can miss finals altogether, the pressure is mounting for the Giants to at least get some momentum.
AFL Sweden is currently gearing up for their 2018 Swedish Cup, this year to be played at the Limhamnsfältet in Malmö and hosted by the Port Malmö Maulers club. Hopes are high for the event to feature SAFF (Swedish Australian Football Federation) clubs – the Södermalm Blues, Solna Axemen, Årsta Swans and Norrtälje Dockers.
It is also hoped that the Olso Crows club from Norway will make the journey to compete as well as players from other Swedish clubs from the south in the Göteborg Berserkers, Eksjo Bulldogs, Port Malmö Maulers – a Swedish team playing in the DAFL (Danish Australian Football League) - and Helsingborg Saints. Even if these clubs cannot be there in their entirety, combined teams will be put together.
It would have to be the promoter’s dream for AFL Cairns – a match that will feature four ex-Cairns players in the one match. Three on one team, one on the other. Fans from the northern Australian city know the game is coming north – just a little too far north. Shanghai, China, to be exact.
When the Gold Coast Suns run out onto Jiangwan Stadium on Saturday, mathematically, one seventh of the team (give or take) will hail from the Far North Queensland city. It is a city that has hosted premiership matches at Cazalys Stadium, as well as plenty of lesser games pre-season games prior to that. Along the way, local talent has threatened to make an impact, but this weekend will see the biggest representation of Cairns talent to date.
The names of Long, Rioli, Motlop, Davey and others have graced AFL lists for decades. Each year, players from the Northern Territory are making their way onto the biggest stage. Last year’s draft saw Zac Bailey from Southern Districts selected by the Brisbane Lions at Pick 15, whilst St Mary’s ruckman Tony Olango was grabbed by the West Coast Eagles at Pick 27 in the Rookie Draft.
The following AFL Northern Territory Press Release looks a four NT prospects as they set themselves for the 2018 FL National Draft in November.
Four NT standouts selected for national Allies squad
After a competitive showing at this year’s Under 18 Academy Series, four NT Thunder players have been chosen for the national Allies squad and will vie for the opportunity to play against the next crop of AFL draftees, while also putting themselves in contention for a spot on an AFL list.
Grand Final day for the AFL London competition wasn’t very long ago and fresh in most people’s minds would be the titanic struggle which saw the Wandsworth Demons hold off a desperate North London Lions by just three points in a low scoring match.
Fast forward to Round Two of the 2018 AFL London Premiership season. Once again these two teams played out a breathlessly tight match. This time, the Demons held off the Lions by just seven points. Optimistic Demon fans could point out that the result was more than twice as big as last time. But most are more realistic and realise that the score-line suggests that nothing much, still, separates these two teams. Should they met in a grand final again, the Lions know they are close, but still have to find something extra.
The opening round of the new 2018 AFL Ireland Premiership season was played over the weekend in Cork, hosted by the reigning premiers the Leeside Lions. The Lions immediately set about staking their claim for another title with two good wins, but it was also a big day for the Belfast Redbacks as they claimed two wins from the day.
The Leeside Lions have been the benchmark team in the competition, having won back to back flags in 2017 and 2018. With a balanced team that knows each other well, the Lions proved too good for the South Dublin Swans in the opening match before backing that result up with a hard fought win in a close match against the Galway Magpies.
The season is still young, and not all scenarios have been played out, but the Huddersfield Rams took another big step towards bigger things with their win over the Merseyside Saints. On face value, they have just one win from two games and their win was against the bottom-placed team. But digging deeper, there is a story in their results.
Their opening round loss to the Nottingham Scorpions was only by 15 points. They pushed the grand finalists from the past two seasons all the way, suggesting they have the steel to stand up to the best opposition. Come finals time, and they will most likely be there, the Rams would not fear the Scorpions. Their 82-point win against the Merseyside Saints on the weekend was just the response they needed to give - and did.
The Glasgow Sharks sent another strong message to the rest of their SARFL opponents on the weekend with a strong win against the Edinburgh Bloods in the battle of fierce rivals – geographically and historically. The win sees the Sharks gliding into top spot on the ladder after Round Three, having now downed the Bloods and the Giants in two impressive performances.
The final score saw the Glasgow Sharks 14 16 100 down the Edinburgh Bloods 10 11 71 to record a 29-point win on the road.
With two wins from two starts, the Sharks are off to a flyer. Their next match, against the Kingdom Kangaroos, could be season defining. Another win on the road will leave the Sharks in a very strong position before facing the Giants (away) and then three of the next four games at home (albeit, one of those is for no points against the Eagles – but the match practice still counts).
All of the preliminaries are now done for Léo Lagrange CNFA Premiership season. Now, in Toulouse on May 26th, the grand-final will go ahead with the Paris Cockerels to clash with the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. Whilst the Cockerels go into the big match as possible slight favourites, the Coyotes are super keen for a maiden title.
The Coyotes already had plenty of incentive to win their first premiership. Twice bundled out of the finals by the Paris teams, and losing their only other grand final appearance to the Cockatoos in 2015/16, the Coyotes want retribution. Now they have even more opportunity for revenge, with the opportunity to bring down the Cockerels in a second grand-final.
It doesn’t happen often, but the Bogota Bombers have set a few AFL Colombia records last weekend as they kept themselves firmly in the premiership race. Apart from being the highest score recorded in the very new South American competition, they also scored it being the bottom team. Add to that, the Bogota Bombers recorded a 213-point turnaround from the last time they met the Bogota Bullants. Certainly, the match has changed the status quo of the competition, bringing all three teams back into premiership calculations.
Paddy Smallwood, president of AFL Colombia, provided a look at the game and its ramifications on the competition.
“The game was a bloodbath. The Bullants went in very undermanned, with their captain Jamez injured and the league’s current leading goalscorer, Matt Sharaz, back home in Australia with his feet up, and many other important players out for various, some sceptical, reasons.”
After three rounds of the AFLG (Germany) competition for 2018, the Hamburg Dockers find themselves a game clear on top of the ladder with each team having completed four games. The Dockers sit undefeated to date, though the Berlin Crocodiles and Munich Kangaroos are breathing down their necks a game behind.
The weekend saw round robins played in both Hamburg and Berlin. In Hamburg, the Dockers, Frankfurt Redbacks and Dresden Wolves contested two matches each. In Berlin, it was the Crocs, Roos and Württemberg Giants locked in their own three-way battle.
The VFLW competition got under way in Melbourne this weekend, and amongst other things it featured the debut of yet another AFL London player having made the journey to the other side of the world to live a dream. The selection of Isy Currenti for the Geelong Cats and Jessica Edwards for Collingwood brings to five the amount of women to have played in the AFL London competition and made it to either AFLW or VFLW lists.
As it stands, there are only the eight AFLW teams, but there are far more in the VFLW, and many of them will receive the necessary licensing and permission to become AFL teams over to next couple of seasons. It provides a very real pipeline for talented women across the world to follow – from their home league to VFLW to AFLW.
(Picture: Jessica Edwards in action for Collingwood)