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Europeans give the Aussies an early scare

Europe

The AFL Europe have released their official match report from the AIS-AFL Academy vs European Legion match played in England on Saturday.

The Europeans held with the Australians fairly well in the first quarter, kicking 2 goals and only being 14 points down at the first change. From there, the AIS-AFL pulled away, running out 86-point victors. Given that the majority of the AIS-AFL squad will go onto play in the AFL, the large margin in unsurprising, though international footy fans will note that the Europeans have gotten a little closer each year.

In the curtain-raiser, the GB Bulldogs had a strong victory over the Irish Warriors.

Read on for the official report, courtesy of AFL Europe.

The AFL’s Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Academy Program team has again defeated the European Legion in an Easter Series exhibition match which marked the 125th anniversary of the first game ever played in Europe.

Played at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, United Kingdom, on the 6th of April, this was the third year running the teams have faced each other as part of the annual Easter Series in Europe.

The AFL’s AIS team is made up of Australia’s next AFL stars, with on average 80% of the AIS team playing in the AFL competition. Last year’s #1 NAB AFL Draft pick, Lachie Whitfield, played in the 2012 Easter Series and this years team was being closely monitored by recruiters from all 18 AFL clubs.

The European squad was made up of the best players from Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Germany, who travelled to London for a one week training camp with Tadhg Kennelly (Premiership Player with the Sydney Swans and GAA All-Ireland winner with Kerry) and Brad Ottens (3-time Premiership Player with the Geelong Cats) ahead of the match.

Australia were surprised by the European team this year with 2 goals kicked by the Legion players meaning that the highly regarded Aussies were only 14 points ahead at ¼ time. In a very physical contest the teams went head to head with the Australia teams finishing ability proving to be the major difference between the teams.

Whilst the European team battled for the full match the end result showed the true class of what is surely a group of young men ready to become stars of Australia’s most popular sport. Europe have improved dramatically year on year and compared to the first year when the Australians scored 220 points to 2 goals it shows the sport is heading in the right direction.

Prior to the main game Irish Warriors took on the GB Bulldogs. Whilst the Irish had brought over a weaker than normal squad and the Bulldogs were experimenting with their line up prior to the 2013 European Championships these rivals always have physical contests. The football was willing for the whole match however the Bulldogs proved too strong and ran out winners 9.5.59 to 1.1.7.

AFL 9’s GAME

For the 2nd year running the AFL 9’s celebrity match was held. AFL 9’s is a fast free flowing touch/tag version of the sport played as 9-a-side and can be played as a mixed sport. The match including many of the AFL’s past legends including Dipper, Brady Rawlings, Jason McCarthey, Tony Woods and Steven Silvagni

AFL Europe in conjunction with Proactive South London will launch the first AFL 9’s social competition in London this summer. The series will be played at Clapham Common and anyone wishing to form a team should get in touch with Ben.MacCormack@afleurope.org

Scores

Australia AIS: 4.2 (26) 8.9 (57) 12.13 (85) 15.14 (104)
European Legion: 2.0 (12) 2.0 (12) 3.0 (18) 3.0 (18)

Goal Kickers

Australia: Matthew Scharenberg 3, Darcy Hourigan 3, James Tsitas 2, Lloyd Perris 1, Jack Billings 1, Matthew Crouch 1, Dominic Sheed 1, Ben Lennon 1, Marcus Botempelli 1, Cain Tickner 1

European Legion: Eliot Rich 1, Shane Carthy 1, Padraig Lucey 1

Best

Australia: Matthew Scharenberg (SA), Ben Lennon (Vic), Dwayne Wilson (SA), Joshua Kelly (Vic), Errin Wasley-Black (NT), Marcus Botempelli (Vic), Luke Dunstan (SA)

European Legion: Niall Scully (Ireland), Padraig Lucey (Ireland), Sean Walton (England), Mikkel Kjoege (Denmark), Ethan Rafferty (Ireland), Mathias Biron (Denmark)

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Europeans give the Aussies an early scare | 11 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, April 08 2013 @ 11:22 pm ACST

Any reason that the Warriors v Bulldogs match isn't eligible to be included in the World Rankings? (eg. less than 16-a-side, too many Aussies playing or conversely not enough nationals in each team?)????

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Tuesday, April 09 2013 @ 03:50 am ACST

Hi Cam,

I'm pretty sure it IS eligible.  AFAIK it was full-field, no Aussies.

Did someone say otherwise?

Cheers, Aaron

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, April 09 2013 @ 06:26 am ACST

G'day Aaron,

No, nothing has been said one way or the other(that I have noted anyway). I haven't been on net every day lately, so was just wondering. If you think the match is eligible I will do the calculations, since it was a GB home game win it will bring about some movement up the ranks for GB. Ireland will lose some points but will still rank 2nd behind Australia. 

Just hope the proposed matches between Croatia and Italy & Croatia v Austria go ahead as full size matches, it would see 2 new nations enter the provision ranks. And if France v Germany match is eligible also, France would become fully ranked.

Any word on which nations have put their hands up to contest the 2nd European Champs in Ireland in August?

Best of to ya.

Cam

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Tuesday, April 09 2013 @ 06:47 am ACST

Yep, I reckon plug the Ireland vs GB result in.

Regards the others, I'm pretty sure France vs Germany will be 16-a-side, and thus qualify.  

There will be another Germany vs Czech, but that will be 9-a-side AFAIK.

With Croatia vs Austria and Croatia vs Italy - not sure if they will be full field matches, neither Austria nor Italy has played more than 9 a side so far.

Haven't seen a list of attendees for the Euro Champs in Dublin yet - need to chase that up with Ciaran.

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Ian Mitchell on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 06:50 am ACST

Hi all,

The GB v  Ireland game was full-field and no Australians.

To my knowledge, European Championships attendees thus far are Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, GB, Germany, France, Croatia and a European Crusaders (countries who have players who want to play but can't field a full team themselves). This may be incorrect and i'd like someone to back me up on this!

Great show by the Legion side, I was lucky enough to spend the majority of the week down with the group while they were training and they deserve any accolades placed upon them. 

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 07:27 am ACST

So if that list is correct, two sides from 2010 won't be there (Finland, Iceland), but one new one will be (France).  Although France obviously made it to the IC last time, so they aren't really a newcomer is the sense of full-field footy.

As I said, I'll contact Ciaran for confirmation.

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 09:18 am ACST

I spoke with Ciaran, former President of ARFLI (I'd already contacted him about the Ireland vs GB match).

He confirmed that the teams so far are:  Croatia, Denmark, European Crusaders(Players from non participating nations only), France, GB, Germany, Ireland and Sweden.

Both Ciaran and Adam Bennett at AFL England were very happy for the international to be included in our world rankings.

Incidentally Ciaran explained that Cian Quigley is now ARFLI President and Ciaran is chairing the organising committee for the European Championships and will be coaching Croatia - definitely one of the key men in European Aussie Rules.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 09:25 pm ACST

All sounds good for European footy, despite the economic woes the continent appears to be still undergoing. 

By the way, how did the ticket sales go for the match day? Anyone able to provide us with at least an estimation of numbers that turned out?

Spectator numbers are one measure of success for the event when it comes to promoting and showcasing Aussie Rules footy.

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: sverik25 on Friday, April 12 2013 @ 02:11 am ACST

Is anyone disappointed that Finland and Iceland couldn't field a full team themselves again for the Euro Championships. I just wonder whether a positive spin is being put on to less than positive outcomes. Thoughts?

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, April 12 2013 @ 06:51 am ACST

Had look at the video AIS/AFL v Legion match (1st Quarter) and could 'count' about nearly 100 or so spectators, 30? along the outer boundary, 15 or 16 on the balcony, 28-30 or so in the elevated shot at the start and about 10-12 in the 'stand' with a few more behind the AIS goal. Obviously we don't know how many are behind and along side the camera man.

Any one who was there able to confirm that 150 or so would be rough count? A number not to be sneezed at!

Europeans give the Aussies an early scare
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Friday, April 12 2013 @ 11:25 pm ACST

Well, to be honest I'm a little disappointed, but I also don't know the circumstances.  It might be a case of wanting to consolidate domestically rather than spending resources on a tour - Finland look to be pretty stable internally at the moment, and even have a few new clubs.  In that case it might be the wiser decision to make.

As opposed to e.g. when Spain came to the IC based on really only one club (Madrid Bears) and then burnt out afterwards.

We'd obviously really like to see the next crop of nations step up into being competitive on a full "test-playing nation" basis, but I'm definitely in the camp who feel you need a strong domestic comp first.