Japan crash against Aboriginal talent squad

Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 05:52 am ACST

Contributed by: Brett Northey

Round 3 of the Arafura Games Aussie Rules tournament on Wednesday night has seen Japan's winning run come to a crushing end, with a thumping loss to the Northern Territory's Indigenous Development squad before a crowd of around 600 at Marrara Stadium's main oval. World Footy News looks at the game, and gives some further insight into the competing teams.

After both the Development Squad and the Samurai had two big wins each, a close tussle may have been expected. But the Aboriginal boys stepped up a gear and Japan were never in the match. They were facing possibly the most polished side they would ever have played, and the skill and pace of the youngsters was too much. The Development Squad is an under 16s team drawn from the best young Aboriginal players in the Northern Territory. Some of those boys will probably be in the mix to be drafted to the AFL in a few years time. Still, Japan will be disappointed by the scoreline, against such a young side, regardless of their talent. The Samurai get a chance to put some respectability on the board when the two sides clash again on Friday night (May 20th) in the Gold Medal playoff. In better news for the Samurai, they've received some good publicity, as their trip has featured in short segments on Australian television, including broadcaster SBS.

Japan 1.3 (9)
NT Indigenous Dev Squad 18.12 (120)

Japan

Goalkickers - Yasuhiro Takamiya 1

Best - Kuno Yosuke, Sekiguchi Jun, Michito Sakaki, Junichi Tateishi

NT Indigenous Dev Squad

Goalkickers - Roy Kantilla 5, Roy Farmer 4, Charlie Mc Adam 2, Willie May 2,
Cameron Stokes 1, Josh Talbot 1, Lewis Roy 1, Curtley Reid 1, Albert Tipungwuti 1

Best - Curtley Reid, Keith Dowling, Roy Farmer, Roy Kantilla

In the other match, the NT Crocodiles had their first win, knocking off the NT Super Rules side by 5 points. Both these sides are composite teams, drawn from the best Super Rules players in the Darwin region. Super Rules is a reduced contact version of Australian football, played mainly by over-35s.

NT Crocs 9.3 (57)
NT Super Rules 7.10 (52)

Arafura Games Australian football media liason officer, John Mitchell, told World Footy News that organisers had hoped to entice more international sides to the tournament, and prize money had been considered if there was a larger turnout. Given Darwin's proximity to Asia, and if the Asian championships (being held in the Philippines this year) aren't too great a demand, perhaps more teams will make it to the biennial event, scheduled again for 2007, from 12 - 17 May. The Arafura Games certainly seem to be the type of event suited to the developing footy nations which have locals but also many expatriate Australian players, who are ineligible for Australian football's premier world event, the International Cup.

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