It could turn out to be a season defining moment – or a few moments, really. The clash between the AFL Middle East heavyweights, the Dubai Dragons and the Multiplex Bulls. One team is on track to claim its fifth consecutive flag. The other is out to avoid the indignity of being runners-up for a fifth consecutive season.
It may sound harsh, but the time has passed for the Bulls to say they were gallant in defeat. That was true early, and possibly even extended to last season. But gallant isn’t enough now. Years of hard work and sacrifice by many people have to be rewarded with a maiden flag.
That is what makes this Friday’s battle in Dubai so important. The Bulls simply must prove that they can defeat the Dragons. They cannot rely on waiting and hoping for a crack on grand final day – it isn’t yet guaranteed they will get that far. The assertiveness that goes with premierships has to start Friday and then extend through the finals series.
Zach Standish from the www.afleurope.org website has reviewed the performances of the Irish women in the AFLW in this article from AFL Europe.
Round two of the 2019 AFLW was full of big hits, exciting goals, incredible grabs and even lightning bolts, as all ten teams showed off their talents in an intriguing weekend of action.
Round two saw a record five Irish players take the field, as Western Bulldogs rookie Aisling McCarthy made her AFLW debut, joining Yvonne Bonner, Cora Staunton, Ailish Considine and Sarah Rowe in representing not only her nation but Europe as a whole.
Playing in a Saturday night feature clash with Geelong at the Whitten Oval, McCarthy would fit in seamlessly to the reigning premier Western Bulldogs outfit as they ran away convincing 28-point victors.
Round 17 has seen the door closed on finals aspirations for three NTFL teams and a chance for some early planning for the teams that will play finals. Whilst it is true that the Palmerston Magpies could finish equal on points with the fifth-placed team, they would need more than a 400 point turnaround – a win by over 200 points and any of the three teams above them lose by about the same amount. Not going to happen.
The Tiwi Bombers all but booked their place in the finals with a tough, hard fought 16 point win against the Darwin Buffaloes. The Bombers have won five of their six games since the Christmas/New Year break and are a strong chance to win next round against struggling St Mary’s. They head to the finals with great momentum. Conversely, the loss for the Buffaloes was their third in a row. They need a win next weekend to restore some order and belief.
The footy loving community in Cairns, and by extension the whole of North Queensland, were disappointed to lose their prized AFL premiership match when the 2019 AFL draw was released last year. However, far from taking a defeatist attitude, AFL Cairns has been involved in substantial talks with the NTFL about a potential team entering the Territory’s Premier League.
As reported in the Cairns Post, “The top echelon of AFL Cairns footballers are open to playing 12 months of the year if a Far North-based club is permitted to enter the Northern Territory Football League. AFL Cairns officials have held preliminary discussions about including a Cairns team.”
The Geelong Advertiser reported that, “AFL Cairns officials have held preliminary discussions about including a Far North-based team in the Northern Territory Football League competition. AFL Northern Territory CEO Stuart Totham is aware of the advances from Cairns that have progressed over the [summer].”
With so many Australians visiting Bali for so many years it is hardly surprising that an Australian Rules football presence was likely to grow there. The journey of the Bali Geckos is the story of just how that presence took hold and grew to where it is today with the Bali Geckos a key part of the AFL Asia competition. Club founder, Greg Hinchcliffe, kicked off the club in 1997 and was keen to tell their story.
The starting point was their creation. According to Greg, “basically we started as a challenge from a mate of mine who played in Jakarta. No team ever existed here and so I formed one to take them on and then discovered there were already a number of teams throughout Asia.”
Initially, ex-pat Australians formed the core but before long locals from Bali got involved. “We started inviting locals down from day one and have had various ones come and have a kick. Firstly, it was guys that had visited Australia before and knew what the game was but since then, we just open our doors to anyone that wants to try a new sport.”
After a power-delayed start of 43 minutes due to a wild summer storm in Sydney for the second consecutive year at Drummoyne Oval, the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos were victors over the GWS Giants by 25 points.