Day 1 - Results in a Nutshell & Who continues in which Division UPDATED
Saturday, August 13 2011 @ 07:15 pm ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
With the first day's Lightning Premiership done and dusted, we've had a glimpse of powerful displays from Ireland, NZ, PNG and South Africa.
It seems that one or two scores originally entered into SportingPulse were incorrect, but with the corrections, the further seeding now consists of: New Zealand (1), Ireland(2), PNG (3), South Africa (4), USA (5), Nauru (6), Denmark (7), Canada (8), Great Britain (9), Sweden (10), Tonga (11) and Japan (12).
That results in the following pools in Division 1 for the remainder of the tournament:
Pool 1: New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain
Pool 2: Ireland, Denmark, Sweden
Pool 3: PNG, Nauru, Tonga
Pool 4: South Africa, USA, Japan
Pools 1 and 4 give all nations a good mix of opponents beyond the usual suspects, Pool 2 though sees Denmark, Ireland and Sweden clash, who may be disappointed to be facing off when they have a chance to do this almost every year regardless of the IC. Pool 3 sees three Pacific island nations going head-to-head, but as there hasn't been a great deal of tournament play in that region, it might not be as big an issue as with the Euro nations.
Division 2 will presumably be Fiji (13), France (14), China (15), India (16), Peace Team (17) and Timor-Leste (18).
Most games went according to script, with some major blowouts between the established nations and the minnows. In the pool that was seen as hardest to tip, Japan have won through into Division 1, with a hard-fought 2-point victory over Fiji. The Fijians were strong and athletic, but the Japanese were able to overcome them through better structural play around the ground.
The Fijians can take consolation in being the only Div 2 side to get through the seeding matches without any major thrashings, and look to be favourites to take out the Division 2 title. The Peace Team and Timor-Leste both failed to trouble the scoreboard, but as the Peace Team were seeded higher pre-tournament will be ranked 17 when calculating the remainder of the draw.
The official confirmed draw for the remainder of the tournament will be released by the AFL by 10pm AEST tonight. WFN's match reports from the day's proceedings will be on the site within the next day.