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2014 ANZAC Cup at Villers-Bretonneux, France


It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Villers-Bretoneux. The Aussies (selected from across Europe) were training together for the first time. There was an emphasis on clean crisp movements that made the soccer pitch look small. It rained all night and much of the morning. The pitch that was slippery when dry from the grass covering was even more slippery when the hard clay underneath developed a muddy skin. Luckily the rain ceased and the spectators were able to enjoy the pre-match presentations.

A lot of the spectators were familar with fact that the French team were the historical benchmark and were expecting a close tussle. That was not to be. Even though the French ruckman clearly won most tapouts with a great display of athletic jumping the Aussies played clinical dry weather football as they had practised. With the minimum of handling they were able to deliver the ball to an extremely potent forward line that lead fast and strong all day.

By contrast the French reflexes were slower and indecisive. It was a comprehensive win by the Aussies and the scoreline was daunting but that was in part was due to the superb accuracy of the Australian forwards. I'm sure the French will have gained a lot of knowledge from this match in their players' capabilities and the competitive experience. I expect to see a quantum improvement by the French side in the 2014 International Cup as a result.

Final scores:  Australian Spirit 39.14 (238) defeated France 2.7 (19)

See Australia spirit take home the Topdeck ANZAC Cup for more.

Editor:  Query whether driving home such a massive victory was good for the game.  There was criticism many years ago of Aussie teams smashing international sides to such an extreme degree.

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2014 ANZAC Cup at Villers-Bretonneux, France | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
2014 ANZAC Cup at Villers-Bretonneux, France
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, May 04 2014 @ 05:20 am ACST

Exhibition/Promotional matches like the Anzac Cup have their place in International Footy but the staging of them must be carefully managed so that blowouts like this do not occur. The editor is correct in questioning whether much good (for the Game) at all was derived promotionally from it this time around.

I wonder too, how much the French guys actually learned from the game when by going on the scores, I would imagine some of the them hardly got more than a few touches/kicks during the match. I'm not putting down the French guys efforts here but can't resist raising that great old Aussie saying about 'running around like headless chooks'. I feel sure there would have been more than one of the Coqs' who probably got that feeling at some stages during the match :-)

I suppose they at least built their fitness levels up a bit more than if they had been just standing on the sidelines as spectators:-)

Europe is a region where ten or more nations at the moment are (or very close to) capable of playing 'full' international matches so I wonder if AFL Europe could be doing more in helping these nations stage a few more of these each year as well as concentrating on the Exhibition style matches. Four to six international matches each year might just be enough to tempt a sponsor or two

Regular International matches will at least demonstrate to Europeans (and Australia) that the game is actually being played all over Europe by Europeans, not just homesick Aussies.

2014 ANZAC Cup at Villers-Bretonneux, France
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, May 04 2014 @ 03:13 pm ACST

The whole Villers-Bretoneux thing is really big. Ausies and Aussie appreciation everywhere you go. It was a supberb display of dry weather football by the Aussies who bar a couple of exceptions were young, fit , athletic, robust and skilled. A couple were even second tier level, The ball only took the absolute minimum of passes to score. I imagine it was bewildering for newcomers to see where the "competition"  was. I believe the Aussies could at least slowed their rotations down and then played players out of position. Only at the very (very) last did they play with one man down.The French players are typical of what you will see at the 2014 IC however most of the Aussies were much physically stronger as well as being skilled. I have seen alot of amateur sides and they were much better than those. Hopefully people will see past the result and see that the French have a fantastic ruckmen and a couple of switched on players. The team is a quantum step better than that of the 2011 team. Maybe they will see what  is a clinical blueprint for winning up close and personnel - that is if they didn't get too demoralised which I think they didn't. IMO, it being an IC year a higher standard Aussie team was needed - it was just tooo good. However I don't think it would encourage the startup of a VB team which you'd think was highly possiblle because of all input that goes into appreciating the Aussies in the Somme.