Matelita Tuilevuka left her home in Suva, Fiji, to chase a dream of her own. As soon as she heard about the CrossCoders Program last year, ‘Martz’ was inspired after cutting her teeth in the game of Australian Rules football playing for the local Suva Cats.
Before getting into her own story, Matelita addressed the nickname, ‘Martz’. “I think owing to the fact that some Fijian names are often laborious to pronounce, my family and friends settled on that because it was easier to scream, ‘Maaaaaaaaartzzz!’ Screaming like that happened quite often because I was always running off somewhere!”
Matelita, like most Fijian kids, loved her sport. “Originally, I was a long and medium distance athlete in Fiji high school athletics. I got a few gold medals from there but I did not think of pursuing athletics further.”
(Picture: Matelita with her CrossCoders coach, Michael Gallus)
The Round Seven NAB AFL Women's Rising Star Nominees are Collingwood's Jordyn Allen, 18 and the GWS Giants Haneen Zreika.
Allen has been vital in the Magpies backline all season and over the weekend on Sunday against the Lions she collected 10 disposals and six marks in her team's first breakthrough win of the season at Victoria Park.
The Magpies selected Allen at pick number 5 in the 2018 NAB AFL Women's Draft.
Allen made her debut in Round One this season and has played every game in her first season at the Magpies.
Allen played for the Dandenong Stingrays and Casey Demons as a defender.
Image Source: Matt King/Getty Images & Collingwood FC
For the first time since 1965, the Nightcliff Tigers have help aloft the NTFL Premier League premiership cup after downing the Southern Districts Crocs at TIO Stadium on Saturday night. The result breaks the longest premiership drought in the Premier League and is the club’s fourth flag adding to their triumphs in 1956/57, 1960/61 and their previous most recent in 1964/65.
Since their wooden spoon in the 2010/11 season, the Tigers have been in a build to a flag, initially backing youth to build a future and more recently recruiting star players from recent years, Cameron Ilett (St Mary’s) and Phillip Wills (Darwin), winners of the past two Nichols Medals, to give the youth an experienced and highly talented leadership team.
The blending paid dividends on Saturday night when emotional scenes broke out all over TIO Stadium, and across Darwin, as the Tigers reigned supreme.
The Dubai Dragons have made their way into yet another AFL Middle East grand final after downing the Abu Dhabi Falcons at Sevens Stadium on Friday. The club has won six of the past seven premierships and now have a unique chance to add yet another in a golden dynasty. Currently they have four flags in a row and eyes on a fifth after winning their Preliminary Final against the Falcons.
Waiting for them ahead of next week’s Grand Final are the Multiplex Bulls. After four successive premiership defeats they will be a formidable opponent, especially after having enjoyed a week’s extra rest as the Dragons and Falcons battled things out.
The Falcons kicked the first goal of the Preliminary Final, getting off to a useful start, however the Dragons kicked five of the next six goals to take an 18-point lead to the first break. The Falcons stayed in touch in the second term, kicking one goal to the Dragon’s two to trail by just over four goals at half time.
Weekend results in France have certainly fallen in favour of the ALFA Lions. Locked in a battle for a place in this season’s finals, the Lions needed a couple of things to fall in their favour with just three rounds remaining of the season. First of all, they gained the points after the Stade Toulousain team forfeited their match.
The club are on a mission to recapture their premiership form from two seasons ago and stated, “we [have] got strong ambition this season as the last one [2017/18] was very disappointing for us.”
Certainly the points for the forfeit help, but so do other results from the weekend.
The Paris derby saw the Paris Cockerels further enhance their premiership credentials by downing their siblings the Paris Cockatoos. The Cockatoos are also deep in the hunt for a finals spot, and their defeat to the Cockerels will hurt, putting them back with the pack fighting for finals spots.
The title of this story is actually very close to the real title of a book "Long Bombs To Snake", which was a collection of sport stories from The Footy Almanac. Funny how the title very nearly came to life in Adelaide yesterday when a venomous Brown Snake entered the field during a pre-season trial match between North Adelaide and South Adelaide.
The irony here is that last season North Adelaide was involved in a high profile "19th" player on field incident during the SANFL finals. There is NO suggestion that the snake involved was aligned to either club.
When you take a look at the cold, hard data, the Dubai Dragons will today win through to The AFL Middle East grand final next week against the Multiplex Bulls. Everything points to that result playing out, including logic. Better form, home ground, history, talent – it all adds up to a win for the Dragons.
But that is what makes footy so much fun – the unexpected. The two teams have met twice this year, both times seeing a Dragons win. But dig a little deeper under the surface and there are nuggets of information that suggest that the Abu Dhabi Falcons are not out of this race yet.
Round 2 at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi saw the Falcons desperately unlucky to lose to the Dragons by just two points. The Dragons held the lead all day until the Falcons produced a stunning last quarter fightback to nearly take the game. A reproduction of that form today could certainly change a result.