Denver look the goods at 2004 US Nationals

Sunday, October 10 2004 @ 02:07 am ACST

Contributed by: Brett Northey

The results are in for the first day of the 2004 US Nationals, being held in Atlanta, Georgia. Reigning back-to-back champions Denver are again dominating Division 1, but there have been a few surprise results across the grades.

The championships are split into three divisions, and each division into two pools. Each side plays three matches, one against each team in its pool. Teams play two games on the Saturday and one on Sunday morning (games are two halves of 20 minutes each, to allow for the number of games each side plays over the weekend). The top side from each pool play off in the Grand Final of that division, so in most pools sudden death is likely to apply - lose a game and you are unlikely to finish top and qualify for the playoff.

Looking at some of the more notable results after the first day, Denver have had a huge 11.10 (76) to 2.0 (12) win over host Atlanta - maybe the home side didn't handle the extra pressure of the big occasion. Denver also had a 17 point win over Orange County, and with a match to come against Boston, already with a loss, the Colorado club are favourites to finish atop Div 1 Pool A. In the other half of the draw, New York look strong, but not dominant, with Milwaukee and San Diego ruing narrow losses to the Big Apple club. Look for a Boston versus New York Division 1 final.

In the second tier, Philadelphia have won both their Pool A matches and will probably go through, although Golden Gate have again proven worthy opponents in their only tournament away from San Fransisco. In Pool B Arizona look likely to win through, but will have to defeat a classy Chicago side to get there.

The third division has thrown up some one-sided results. Cincinnati/Pittsburgh should finish on top of Pool A, and Kansas City/Louisville in Pool B.

With half the tournament still to play, a reasonable prediction might be Denver over New York (editor concedes that he accidentally wrote Boston instead of Denver here - clearly not intended as the context of the story and headline indicates), Arizona over Philadelphia, and Cincinnati/Pittsburgh over Kansas City/Louisville. But all three matches could go either way, if indeed they are the Grand Finals for each division. A full wrap up should be available on Monday 11th October.

Results are being regularly updated in the US Footy database. It has also been reported that the Australian Fox Footy Network have attended the tournament, so Australian readers with access to Fox should keep an eye out too.

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