Who’s the toughest footballer you ever saw? Leigh Matthews? Ted Whitten? Luke Hodge? Maybe it is Jonathan Brown. Well here’s something which may sort the wheat from the chaff. How often did you see them play in temperatures of 7 degrees, with a chill factor that made it more like minus 7?
Well that’s exactly what faced the tough, fearless and enthusiastic Russian players who competed in last weekend’s Gagarin Cup in Moscow.
The event, named in honour of the Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man into space, was played in the Russian capital in front of a motivated, albeit teeth-chattering crowd. The event is also played on Cosmonaut Day, a national holiday observed in Russia. It is the largest Australian Rules showcase in the country, just tipping out the Concrete and Steel Cup played each September (2nd) to observe the anniversary of the end of World War Two (won last year by the Space Pirates).
The Solomon Islands were recently and tragically battered by the tropical depression storm that formed into cyclone Ita – with widespread damage and numerous fatalities in the capital Honiara. The week before the SIAFL season had kicked off but not surprisingly round 2 was unable to proceed. The resilience of the locals highlighted though by the resumption last weekend with the playing of the previous weeks postponed matches.
Perhaps more importantly - the community of the SIAFL has been recognised in the Solomon Star newspaper for their efforts - here at White River in helping get the White River health clinic cleaned up and back into operation - crucial to help combat the spread of disease in the coming weeks.
On the back of the Coca Cola PNG Binatangs winning the 2014 AFL U/16s South Pacific Cup held this week in Coffs Harbour – the footy attention of PNG swing back to matters domestic. This weekend sees the Grand Final of the pre-season tournament for the Port Moresby senior competition.
The 2014 instalment of the AFL Under 16s South Pacific Cup wrapped up this week in Coffs Harbour - north of Newcastle in NSW. The South Pacific Cup pitted the New Zealand Hawks, Papua New Guinea Binatangs and the Oceania squad drawn from the nations of Nauru, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
Game 6 of the tournament was played on Tuesday between the Coca Cola PNG Binatangs and the NZ Hawks. After which the undefeated Binatangs were crowned 2014 champions. On Wednesday there were two matches involving the South Pacific main squad against the Australian indigenous Boomerangs side as well as a match between a South Pacific development side against an 'All Nations' side.
Updates from Game 5 of the South Pacific Cup in Coffs Harbour courtesy of AFL South Pacific.
What another brilliant afternoon of Pacific football in Coffs Harbour! The rain was heavy and the toughness was even heavier. Oceania took on PNG in a fierce battle in the wet! PNG came away with the win but had to work very hard for it! The final score doesn’t pay justice to how competitive the game was. Katah Siwee again provided some highlights with another 3 hangers to his collection for the week!
The 2014 U/15 South Pacific Cup has been running across the weekend in sunny Coffs Harbour. With the Coca Cola PNG Binatangs entering as the reigning champs taking on the New Zealand Hawks and the combined Oceania squad (drawn from Nauru, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomons).
Ed: As the Doha Kangaroos bask in the glory of the recent maiden premiership, the following Grand Final match review has been made available with the assistance of Matt Burn, president of the Dubai Dragons.
It was a hot day out at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai with no relieving wind at the ground. The match was played on the same pitch used for the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens and was in magnificent condition. A good crowd was in attendance with vocal supporters from both teams who stirred into the grandness of the occasion with the national anthem setting the scene for the day.
The opening quarter saw Doha start the strongest and looked switched on kicking the first 2 goals of the game. Just five minutes into the game Dragons lost their leading goal kicker Ryan Perkins with a fractured cheekbone from a big hit. However, the Dragons bounced back to take the lead, with utility Mark Browne making an impact. Just before quarter time another injury blow for the Dragons losing their captain Huwy Jones with a calf injury. At the first break the Dragons held the lead 25-21.
This week's international broadcast networks and airing times below.
Some good news for viewers in NZ with the Sommet Sports station that currently airs on free to air digital TV in New Zealand starting to also broadcast on Sky on the 14th April on channel 69 which should mean that 90% of New Zealanders should have access to 6 live AFL matches and three on delay each round.
The Tokyo Goannas held their season 2014 Launch on Sunday 6th April with an open training session (including Auskick drills for the kids) at Futkotamagawa riverside to kick the day off then back to the clubhouse at the Hobgoblin at Roppongi for a sausage sizzle and a Goannas Pint and Parma Special washed down with a beer.
Goannas merchandise was on sale and committee members collected player and social membership subscriptions during the day.
NZ hosted their U16 National Championships. These Championships involve 3 teams of invited footballers held after the regional Hawks Cup competitions take place within the schools. By inviting a select number of students to attend it ensures that the best available talent can attend and that issues such as various regions lacking enough to field a team does not impact on whether an interested , and talented, footballer gets the opportunity to attend. The tournament involved the best Under 16 AFL athletes in New Zealand, and featured many players who have, or will go on to play for New Zealand.
The three teams, the Giants, the Suns and the Eagles, contested the Under 16 National Championships and itwas the Eagles who triumphed, led by strong performances from Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, Carlos Donnell-Brown, Nathan Lenihan and Utusa’itoa Ah Kuoi.
The following press release from the AFLNT looks at the development of an exciting new footballing initiative for school aged players who wish to consider Australian Rules football as a personal development pathway. The Batchelor Area School is in the town of Batchelor located almost 100 kilometres south of Darwin.
NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador Shane Crawford, NT Thunder Head Coach Xavier Clarke along with Department of Education CEO Ken Davies, will today unveil the newest AFL Northern Territory's initiative at Batchelor Area School, announcing them as the first of many AFLNT Future Leaders Football Schools within the Northern Territory.