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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s

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In a major breakthrough for international Australian football the South Pacific team has defeated Tasmania at the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships in Sydney.

The match was this morning from 10am at Blacktown Olympic Park.

Final scores (courtesy of AFL Asia Pacifc's Andrew Cadzow):

South Pacific 11.13 (79)
Tasmania 10.17 (77)

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Rory Slater on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 02:16 pm ACST

'Congrats to the SP side.  It's no mean feat to glean a scalp the calibre of Tassies such is their footy cred at any level and despite the significant age disparity.  They will probably top div two given this result.

I can't however, help but question the credibility of our game when results i.e. these transpire.  Is it that easy to skill up on the Indig code of Australian footy, especially since Tassie have such a history and pedigree.  Compare this to these cobbled together players from the SP who have only been playing it for a blink by comparison and for the novelty as much as anything else.

Many who deride our great game will certainly cease upon this as further evidence of it's simple skill set, together with all the X coders making such an easy transition at the elite level of the game today.

I pose the question, as devils advocate.and suggest that you definately do not see this sort of meteoric rise in status in footy codes i.e. Soccer, Union and League - by comparison.

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 02:51 pm ACST

Playing Devil's advocate or playing the Devil Rory?

Actually last time South Pacific had top up players who were older but this time I think all their players are 15 to 17, I imagine Tassie's are 15 to 16, so that makes this result all the better.

I think it shows that atheleticism is a big part of this game and we're proud of that fact, it isn't pool or bowls.  It's also a tribute to the skills of the SP team, as we've reported elsewhere, AFL talent staff have been very impressed by the level being achieved, it isn't just about athleticism.  Besides which, PNG has been playing for decades and have kids that have been playing for quite a few years, and Tonga has begun to establish several years of juniors.  At age 15, there's a limit to how much footy even an Australian can have played.

Do we know that no such rises occur in the other more athletic sports like Rugby Union and Rugby League?  I don't know their history well enough, and perhaps there aren't kids converting to it from Aussie Rules to test the theory.  Soccer is different as the skill factor makes up so much of the game to the exclusion of other areas - yes, there are some great athletes in soccer but I don't think that's the key to their success.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 03:08 pm ACST

I should add that obviously on a worldwide scale soccer has far more depth because no one disputes it's got saturation support across most of the globe.

Funny, I read a comment somewhere not that long ago that soccer is THE world game so Aussie Rules should stop trying.  Which basically says that the Rugby Union World Cup is apparently a non event, so are the Olympics, so is every sport other than soccer.  Doesn't quite make sense does it.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 03:07 pm ACST

I must congratulate the South Pacific on a historic win .I hope we can get a story on this one .I must congratulate the AFL in inviting wider participation in the National Championships .I suggest it vindicates their investment in the South Pacific and the resolve of the South Pacific players .This is an U16s competition so maximum experience is realistically limited to the formative teenage years and so population catchment plays a large part .I believe Tasmania's population is about 400k whilst the South Pacific has about 10 million people and includes NZ and the PNG who now have significant football pathways to Australia .

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 04:27 pm ACST

Rory.

Aussie Rules is a sport where having two good legs and two good arms with hands attached is all that is required to play( tho'  not absolutely neccessary) I have witnessed several players who have had one hand missing and forgive the pun, have still managed to make a fine fist if the game in my time. 

It seems that you have the same mindset as most Victorian followers of the sport back in the 1960's and 70's who believed that unless you were Victorian you weren't capable of ever becoming a brilliant footballer(unless you crossed the border into Victoria where you might just become passable at it, of course).

Do you believe that it is not possible to become a good Aussie Rules player if you are not born and bred in Aussie?

If so, please explain to the rest of us, why? 

Cam

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Rory Slater on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 04:48 pm ACST

I believe you are twisting what i am only putting up for discussion on a forum that can be rather blinkered in it's quest to see the code go truly global.

The fact is that there are many who devalue and deride our code for a percieved naivety of disciplines, saying anyone could pick up it's skill set given a modicum of athleticism, so are they correct?

I know from my own experience that it takes a long period of time to raise the status of codes i.e. Union or League or Soccer in demographics that historically do not play these, certainly a lot longer than seems to be so in respect of Australian Football.

Given these sorts of rapid improvements an especially the World result against a demographic that boasts the highest support for our code per capita nationally, you would have to say yes, the game of Australian Footy is incredibly easy to master.

Brett,

The player list I have see,s shows the SP side overwhelmingly stocked with 18 yo with some 17year olds?

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 05:39 pm ACST

Rory you're saying the South Pacific side is "overwhelmingly stocked with 18 yo".

I'm looking at the list here: South Pacific U16 squad for NAB AFL Nationals

By my maths, excluding the two unspecified birthdays and the emergencies, that gives 7 that are 18 year olds, 11 that are 17 year olds, 8 that are 16 year olds and 1 that is 15.

So a fair summary is that they are mostly 17 with a mix of 16 and 18 year olds.  Not overwhelmingly stocked.  But yes they still have an average age concession, which of course undermines your original point somewhat about the game being easy to pick up.

Hopefully the AFL will create a World Under 19s to compete in the Under 18s next year and some of these top age players can play in that.  However this is just speculation on behalf.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 04:49 pm ACST

Taking the point of devil's advocate and accepting that it's easy to pick up the skills of our game it would seem to me to be a possitive in attracting new players .

I do not understand the reference to other codes .At  different times historically Australian Football has been international ,dominant ,negligant , unfortunate ,threatened and expansive .If we look at similar contact football codes Gaelic , American , Canadian ,Rugby union and Rugby league you will see a lot of similarities , differences and cycles both now and historically .

 

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 05:06 pm ACST

Rory, now that I understand your point -you completely overlook the input of the long established leagues of NZ and the PNG and the age concessions made .You overlook the approach of the AFL and you have made a completely wrong assumption about the difficulty in learning other codes .

 

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 05:41 pm ACST

Average age of the SP squad is around 17.5 years (I have removed the Samoan boys as I beleive they could not attend?).

Average age of the World18 boys is around 16.8 years (I have removed the East Timorese boys who are not with the squad).

This definitely assists in terms of physical development.  May see them being Under 17 teams next year?

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Rory Slater on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 05:46 pm ACST

 Cos

The NT and Tassie as well as the remaining Australian state sides are far more compelling in terms of their respective established leagues and  histories yet here they are getting beaten by players from around the globe who relatively speaking, have little affinity and nothing like the advantage that Australian grassroots do, so inherent is the culture of our game.

Again, this is  telling me that our code is a snack to master, despite the significant age concessions made for these international sides.

Brett.

Population is not always a criteria to success, i.e. NZ still defeat just about any Australian Union side at the grassroots despite their smaller population.  This is about quality rather than quantity so in that respect you would have to say our Australian footy grassroots at Div 2 anyway is of  dubious quality.

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 06:08 pm ACST

Well Rory indeed draw your own conclusions.  Sounds like you don't have much respect for Australian football.

For me, it's vindication that PNG have a tremendous Aussie Rules program and if you take those talented young (but small) kids and scatter through the team some superb athletic taller young men from NZ and the island nations who have 1 to 5 years in the game then you get a pretty good team that can put out a performance similar to one of Australia's smallest states.

Re the ages Troy, I thought the World side was slightly younger, my mistake.  I wonder what the age of the Tassie and NT sides were.  U16 normally means at Jan 1 doesn't it, so they were probably what about 16 on average now.  So maybe an 18 month advantage to the Sout Pacific and less for the World.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 06:12 pm ACST

Not sure what your point was re population Rory, but I must wonder given you think Tassie are so poor at footy then what do you think of your own ACT which folds in with NSW and would clearly, standalone, be well below Tassie?

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Rory Slater on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 06:40 pm ACST

Brett

This has naught to do with respect, I  am simply posing the question that our code is relatively easy to master given these results.

I have defended our code often from it's detractors and especially Kiwis as it happens who often tell me they have little interest for the game and that they could pick it up with liitle effort at all but you know what, I think they may be on the money.  

If the code is suddnely embraced in a country i.e. NZ, based on this premature rise in status of such cobbled together o/s sides as these, it follows that it will take no time at all for them to be competitive with Australia.  I say lets get some equity happening and do away with the age disparity to see exactly how big the gap is =  or isn't whatever the case may be..

No doubt this vindicates your belief that NZ should have an AFL elite side ahead of the ACT and NT and dare I say Tassie as well to be fair.   I have to say I defer to your gretater foresight in this respect so why not move the Hawks to Auckland now.  

You mentioned the population of the SP demographic in an earlier comment, being an advantage against say the NT and Tassie.  I wonder in fact , what the % of those actually play our code is in the SP. Not that high I would expect and on a per cap basis this would pale compared to the NT or Tassie or the ACT, but then this is clearly no criteria in growing our code thanks to the SP and World sides, who have single handedly extinguished any criteria pertaining to years of historic pedigree in supporting Aust Footy in these heartlands.

Can we also reward PNG by granting them a side also please?

Cheers

 

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 08:55 pm ACST

So Rory you respect ACT footy but think it's crap.  That seems to be the inescapable conclusion.

Look there is a nub of truth that Aussie Rules, being mostly played in Australian which has a relatively small population, and being a sport where athleticism can sometimes make up for less than elite skills, means a superb athlete can transition more easily than perhaps to some other sports.  As an alleged supporter of our game why you want to make a point of that in a negative way to say it's easy strikes me as odd.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: grimnekrosmurf on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 11:10 pm ACST

Has anyone considered the possibility that NT and Tasmania had a bad day out while the World XVII and Pacific Island teams may have played out of their skins? I'm sure there's a bit more inconisistency at the under 16 level. And in comparison to soccer, Australian under-age teams have made it to more world championships than the senior Socceroos have.

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: grimnekrosmurf on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 11:14 pm ACST

Adding to that Australia were runners-up in the 1999 under 17 soccer world cup! (doesn't really compare to the game at the senior level does it?)

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 11:24 pm ACST

Quite right.  These results by no means say that those teams are better than Tassie and NT.  But what it says is that they are in the ballpark, which is the exciting result for international footy fans.

Remove the age allowances and SP and World probably lose by a few goals.  And that's probably how the rules will go over the next few years, which is fine.  And hopefully these squads will improve fast enough to maintain their competitiveness.  Then perhaps in 3 or 4 years we might see PNG go it alone, or alternatively SP might move up to Div 1 if they are good enough.

And like I said, to really get the public and draft scout attention, graduate to having a side or sides in the U18s.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: grimnekrosmurf on Monday, July 11 2011 @ 12:12 am ACST

Australian football is also the national sport of Nauru isn't it? Small population but they've been footy mad for a long, long time. I'd imagine a local kid perhaps making it to the AFL eventually will be a national hero!

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, July 11 2011 @ 11:22 am ACST

Maybe that hero will be Yoshi Harris.  See the story we published last night that GWS Giants has signed up 3 international scholarship players, including Yoshi from Nauru.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Jas on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 04:11 pm ACST

It really peeves me when people denigrate the skills of our great game, and I think the comments above show the author doesn't appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into the World and South Pacific teams. I think that it's fantastic news that these two new teams can be competitive and give hope to spreading the code internationally.

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 10 2011 @ 04:18 pm ACST

Jas I think you also need to remember that the author doesn't like the spread of Aussie Rules, so here he's even going so far as to denigrate our own game.  I'm not sure how that helps his argument though.  Otherwise why be Devil's Advocate in this case?  I guess someone can find a negative angle to everything if they are looking.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Monday, July 11 2011 @ 08:17 pm ACST

I am just so happy....and I think that is all I want to say. No wait, there is more..... this is a legitmate 'line in the sand' as that thug and great footballer Dermott Brereton would say where the talent begins to be benchmarked against the establishment. It is a side with a tremendous physical advantage as an 18 month age gap on average at that age is considerable BUT it also says look at us, not only do we want to play, we CAN play. Well done to all involved and truly hope this is the first success of many as the playing field gets levelled out in terms of age rather than a statistical blip. Truly happy ;-)

Rod

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South Pacific defeat Tasmania in U16s
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, July 11 2011 @ 08:34 pm ACST

For those that don't know Rod is our NZ writer amongst other things, but before that had a long history developing footy in NZ including Falcons (now Hawks) coach.  No doubt times like this are a vindication of all the work.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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