Chiefs conquer Great Britain
Saturday, August 30 2008 @ 02:50 am ACST
Contributed by: Ash Nugent
Great Britain has been brought back to reality following their 127 point victory over the Peace Team on Wednesday. Nauru’s Chiefs beat the Bulldogs by a comfortable 47 points, although the game was much more competitive than the score suggests.
The match took place on the most-central of the three ovals, Ransford (it was originally scheduled at Western Oval) as it was the most evenly-matched game of the three that started at 11am. Conditions were great for football; sunny, mostly blue skies and minimal breeze.
Both teams were keen to stamp their authority on the contest from the opening bounce, forcing each other wide and unsurprisingly almost as soon as the game had started, the ball had been knocked over the line for a throw in. From the beginning of the first quarter, Nauru moved the ball quickly and had great vision, but several handballs missed targets. Great Britain had early chances but couldn't capitalise - something they would come to regret as they started to get less of the ball.
Solid play from Baguga to Dame gave Nauru the rhythm they were looking for and by the end of the first quarter the Chiefs had managed two goals straight to the Bulldogs one behind.
Dipper, on the sidelines with his Peace Team for part of the match was impressed by the Nauru’s motivational chant of and joked with his players about implementing their own celebration, a belly dance.
Nauru lifted another notch in the second to kick three more majors, the second the result of a free kick. But as the match seemed to be slipping from the Poms’ hands they moved the ball into their forward line and Andy Whiteaker had a set shot from a tight angle, only moments before the end of the first half. The angle proved too much and Nauru led by 30 at the main break.
The second half started how the first finished, and Great Britain had another set shot (albeit at the other end of the ground) once again at a tight angle. It too failed to go through the big sticks.
The Bulldogs must have received a rousing half time speech from Coach Charlie Kielty, because they didn’t let the miss bother them. Looking a more determined outfit, they began to match Nauru’s possession and whilst both the result of free kicks (the second with a 25 metre penalty) Great Britain had the first two goals of the third quarter.
Nauru, not to be outdone scored two more goals themselves, but had their lead cut back by two points to 28 at the final break. In the final quarter the Chiefs managed another three goals and one behind, whilst the Bulldogs only managed a solitary behind. Nauru now joins the Bulldogs on one win and one loss for the tournament, with both countries having a very slim chance at a top-four berth. The match featured no less than three impressive marks that two fans beside me commented were “more than you see at some AFL games”. We hope to have some footage of one of them up in the next few days.
Nauru next faces the Peace Team and Great Britain is up against Papua New Guinea, both matches to be staged in Warrnambool on Monday.
Goal Kickers: L. Matias, J. Ford
Best Players: S. Wood, L. Matias, E. O''Connor, N. Stevens, D. James, A. Dillane
Goal Kickers: D. Baguga 2, P. Dame 2, J. Dagiaro, O. Adam, V. Jeremiah, R. Cook, G. Grundler, N. Starr
Best Players: T. Mwareow, A. Amwano, O. Adam, B. Waidabu, M. Batsiua, D. Seymour
|0.1 (1)||1/4||2.0 (0)|
|0.3 (3)||1/2||5.3 (33)|
|2.5 (17)||3/4||7.3 (45)|
|2.6 (18)||Full||10.5 (65)|