The winning ways of the Multiplex Bulls have continued in the Middle East with the team taking out the 2019/20 Pre-Season Cup after downing the Dubai Dingoes in the final. This follows on from the maiden AFL Middle East premiership earlier this year and sets the scene for another big year for the Bulls.
The big improver from the event were the Dubai Dingoes. After a few torrid seasons without much success, the Dingoes showed that their off-season recruiting, planning and drive has paid off. They contested the final after impressing in their two wins against eventual winners, the Bulls, and a dominant performance against the Abu Dhabi Falcons. Their only defeat was a narrow loss to the Dubai Dragons by just three points.
In a match postponed since poor weather washed out the June Grand Final date, the premiership decider for the CNFA was played two weekends ago with the reigning premiers – Paris Cockerels – taking on the Stade Toulousain team from Toulouse.
It is unusual, and totally due to climate, that a Grand Final becomes the beginning of a season, but that is almost how things have worked out with the flag now decided and Round 1 of the 2019/20 CNFA season starting next weekend.
The match was almost played in two halves. The Cockerels were favourites heading into the match, but they were shocked early. According to the AFL Europe website, Stade Toulousain came out and “started to get on top with their ball movement as they started to control the match with their physicality and long kicking game style.”
Michael Gallus was asked if there was one word that could describe his recent trip to the footballing heartlands of Pakistan. He answered, “simply extraordinary!” Sadly, for Michael, that’s two words, so he doesn’t win that lovely lounge suite. However, he did win the hearts of Pakistan communities across the country, and he won many converts to our great game.
Michael has just returned from a monumental promotion of Australian football on behalf of the AFL. As previously reported by World Footy News (see Operation: Pakistan), Michael accepted the invitation from AFL Pakistan and gained assistance from Simon Highfield, the Development Manager for AFL Asia, to tour the nation and work with local people to identify ways that game could be further developed.
The first day's round of matches has seen several changes in the World Footy News World Rankings.
These have occurred mainly because Denmark has upset Ireland and Great Britain defeated Croatia.
Denmark has clawed back over 3.10 Rating Points in knocking off Ireland and their win over Germany resulting in the Vikings jumping from eleventh place to Eighth place. Great Britain's wins over Croatia and France has seen the Bulldogs climbe two places to seventh from ninth.
The Croatian Knights loss to the Bulldogs has seen them slip to eleventh from seventh.Denmark and Great Britain have ion their upward climb shunted South Africa down to ninth from eighth.
The St Petersburg Cats have added another trophy to their ever-growing cabinet by taking out this year’s first ever Baltic Cup to be played in Tallinn, Estonia. The event saw teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Poland compete for the honour of being the best Baltic team.
The Cats and the Russian Bears headed to Tallin to meet the Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, Norrtälje Dockers from Sweden and the newly formed Polish Devils. In the end, after 10 round matches, it was the Cats team which took the title from the Dockers, benefitting from the tie-breaker clause which said that if two teams tied in top spot, the victor would be whichever team won from their earlier encounter.
An audacious question from the Essendon Football Club during the second day of Trade Week could see Collingwood's cult hero, Mason Cox, change his American Pie stripes for a Bomber sash. News today from AFL House revealed that Essendon had asked the question of Collingwood as to whether a deal could be cut involving a future draft pick.
Essendon is on the hunt for tall forward players to replace the likely departure of their own hero, Joe Daniher, who may be on his way to the Sydney Swans. Essendon has a shortage of ruckmen and faces losing their best key forward in Daniher. It seems logical that Cox be asked about as he has played both roles in his 58-game (71 goal) career with the Pies.
The move isn't being wholly embraced by Bomber fans, though that won't be in the minds of Essendon recruiters.
In reality, it is probably too early to claim a resurgence after a single round of football. Nevetheless, after the opening NTFL Round on the weekend, three teams signalled that they are seeking bigger and better things out of the 2019/20 season. Whilst the Nightcliff Tigers started well in their bid to defend its premiership title, St Mary’s, wanderers and the Darwin Buffaloes all took steps to rectify last season.
In the season opener, the Darwin Buffaloes trounced the Tiwi Bombers. After finishing fifth last season with just eight wins (and only twice reaching 100 points in a match) the Darwin Buffaloes limped to the end of the season with successive hidings from Waratah. The Tiwi Bombers reached the Preliminary Final. So, their 113-point caning of the Bombers was as much an upset as a statement.
The Farum Cats have brought to an end the Odense Lions fairy-tale by taking out the DAFL 2019 premiership. Whilst going into the match as firm favourites, the Cats lived up to the hype across the match before running out 76-point winners.
Any hope of a Lion upset was snuffed out early with the Cats kicking five unanswered goals for the opening term. Whilst the Lions kicked two of their own in the second quarter to outscore the Farum team, it wasn’t enough to significantly bridge the gap as the Cats went to the main break still 28 points ahead.
The premiership quarter proved to be just that as the Cats virtually sealed the game, kicking six goals to one and going into the final term with an even 10 goal lead. The final quarter would see the Lions play for pride and the Cats play for dominance.
They saved their best game of the year for last, but the Oslo Crows won the 2019 Kenguru Cup downing the As Battlers. In doing so, the Crows have defended their title from last year and raised the stakes ahead of the 2020 season for the Battlers to keep searching for a premiership winning formula.
In our World Footy News match preview (see: Kenguru Cup Grand Final This Weekend), the case was hinted that the Crows had turned a slow start to the season around and were showing good form. A narrow loss in their Round 3 clash was followed by their first win over the Battlers in Round 4. That change in form held true and the Crows were too good come the final.
For the past few years we have been looking at the player of an international background who has polled the most Brownlow Medal votes and awarding them the “title” of winning the International Brownlow. This year, Richmond’s Mabior Chol and Western Bulldog Jason Johannisen polled a vote each to take the “award”.
Last year, Johannisen tied with Sydney’s Aliir Aliir and Collingwood’s Mason Cox. Previous “winners” have included Jim Stynes, Tadgh Kennelly and Pearce Hanley.
Chol, a refugee from Sudan as a child and now at Richmond, polled his vote in the Round 15 clash against St Kilda. That day he enjoyed 16 possessions – 13 kicks and 3 handballs – as well as 7 hitouts. But, most telling were his three goals which helped his Tigers to a 33-point win over the Saints. His 2 tackles and 8 contested possessions made it a breakout game for Chol and was recognised by the umpires.
Thirty-five players and officials from the Boe Lions’ 2019 AFL Premiership winning squad will be flown to Brisbane free-of-charge by the Republic of Nauru Government, Minister for Sport Hon. Maverick Eoe announced yesterday (Tuesday).
Minister Eoe said the Government’s gesture was a fitting reward for the Boe Lions’ “hard work and sweat” in over-coming Panzer in Saturday’s Grand Final at Linkbelt Oval.