Quick preview of Round 2
Wednesday, August 13 2014 @ 12:18 am ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
Round 2 of the AFL International Cup gets underway today with all matches again at Royal Park, except for a one off at Linen House Centre, Seaford, hosted by St Kilda Football Club through their relationship with New Zealand footy. The forecast is for a maximum of 14 degrees Celsius and a shower or two.
In the Men's there's some crucial games in terms of deciding who will make the top 4 semi-finals. USA vs Canada is huge, with the winner in contention for top spot in Pool C and outright entry to the semis, with the loser hoping to scrape in via 4th spot in the overall standings. Given their history you can't sensibly tip against the Revolution.
Perhaps less huge and more scary is the slightly built Indonesia side up against Fiji. Nauru should prove a little too strong for Great Britain to stay in contention for Pool A honours. Ireland will look to boost their percentage against France and Japan will be keen to show that whilst off the pace of the top teams they are still well above the new-comers, in this case Pakistan.
South Africa versus Tonga should be an absolute cracker and deserving of a good crowd. The Lions need to win but will have to withstand a fast and furious Thunder. South Africa by a modest margin. Not so modest will be PNG over India - this could be one for the record books if the Mozzies have a taste for blood. Let's hope the margin stays under 300 points. The same will be true of New Zealand against China at Seaford.
And finally Sweden versus Finland might tell us whether the Elks' opening round was an aberration or whether this year's squad perhaps falls short of Sweden's best.
In the Women's the US Freedom have their pride on the line, not wanting to lose to Canada's development squad the Midnight Suns. The US Liberty (US development squad) get their first match, a tough one against Canada's Northern Lights. Ireland should dominate Tonga in the other match.
Overall a far more enticing round of footy than the opening day, and by the end of the round we should have separated out a few of the contenders in the upper end of the Men's tournament.