The Auckland AFL Grand Final was one for the ages - as the Waitakere Magpies held off the reigning premiers - University Blues - for a narrow 7 pt win
AFL New Zealand report that in ideal conditions the Magpies got off to a flier with 3 quick goals, and were on top early largely via the efforts of mids Carlos Donnell-Brown, captain Shane Leat and the experience Dave Rattenbury.
The 2016 AFL Youth Oceania Cup junior football carnival gets under way this morning in Suva, Fiji. Teams and players from 5 South Pacific nations will compete in the most significant tournament for a number of years.
The Fiji Sports Commission has provided support for this years event – that sees an extended programme across the first 2 weeks of December.
The traditional U/15 boys tournament plays out this week and the 5 competing nations are Fiji Jnr Tribe, Nauru Stars, Solomon Islands Sharks, Tonga Thunder, Vanuatu Volcano's.
In late 2015 AFL New Zealand broke new ground with their inaugural draft for the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership. A four team super league is you will. This time around the draft was held again but with a 2nd year variation – each of the 4 sides was able to retain 13 of their list – a base roster – from the 2016 season to provide a level of continuity.
The 2017 competition will again see matches played over 9 rounds at Auckland’s QBE Stadium at North Harbour. The first round of matches will start on February 12th culminating in the final round on April 9th.
Hutt Park Wellington plays host today to the Wellington AFL 2016 Grand Final. First bounce at 3pm will see the Wellington City Saints engage in battle with the Eastern Suburb Bulldogs who have played in every grand final for the last 10 years and are gunning for a FourPeat.
While in Australia the Chappell-Hadlee One Day cricket series kicks into gear today – over in the land of the long white cloud attention may be directed elsewhere. Not by everybody mind you – but for AFLNZ it’s the big day of the year for the Auckland AFL with their Grand Final.
Waitakere Magpies take on the University Blues at Aucklands QBE Stadium (not that you would know it by checking “What’s on” via the stadium website!!) with ball up 2pm (local time) today. The scene is set for a monster game – the defending premier (Uni Blues) defend their crown against the thus far undefeated Magpies. The script writers have penned the dream encounter. In fact the Magpies will contest their 7th Grand Final in 8 seasons – lead this year by skipper Shane Tyson-Leat. The Uni Blues have perhaps had to do it the hard way this year, coming from 4th.
The annual Nathan Blakey Movember Cup was played last weekend, hosted by the Manchester Mozzies at their Burnage Rugby Club. This year was the fifth running of the event, commencing in 2011.
The Manchester Mozzies website states that, “we would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about the Movember charity. Movember is “the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale.” (uk.movember.com). The charity focuses mainly on prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
“Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 35…Every hour 35 men lose their lives due to prostate cancer…Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40.”
The Entertainer Dubai Dingoes have righted their ship with a solid win over the Doha Kangaroos in their Round 3 clash in Qatar. After taking out the pre-season cup, much was expected of the Dingoes this season, but a first round slip to the Abu Dhabi Falcons put them on the back foot.
The win on the weekend, however, places the Dingoes right back in the finals frame, with four teams – Bulls, Dragons, Falcons and Dingoes – locked on one win apiece. Only the Kangaroos are yet to record a win, despite being highly competitive.
Final Score: Entertainer Dingoes 13 7 85 d Doha Kangaroos 10 9 69.
Travis King from the www.afl.com.au website reports in the wake of the AFL’s Rookie Draft yesterday that Port Adelaide has, as expected, selected the first Ugandan player in the AFL. The league already had a number of players of Sudanese and Kenyan heritage, but Emmanuel Irra proudly becomes the first Ugandan.
EMMANUEL Irra has become the first Ugandan player to earn a spot on an AFL list after joining Port Adelaide as a Category B rookie.
The powerful and versatile midfielder was one of seven players given a chance as Category B rookies as clubs finalised their lists on Monday.
Maybe it is a bit premature, but the ALFA Lions may have just set themselves on a path to the grand final this year by downing last year’s premiers, the Paris Cockatoos, in Paris this weekend. It makes three wins from three starts for the undefeated Lions and places them back on top of the CNFA ladder.
Whilst some could argue that consecutive home games for the Lions helped them along, the fact is the opposition was Toulouse Hawks and Paris Cockerels, both perennially successful, which rather cuts out the home ground argument – it took good football to win those matches. The Lions’ acid test was to win away from home, and to do so against the reigning champions says quite clearly that the Lions are a good team and are here to stay for the finals mix.
Whilst much has already been made of Essendon’s selection of Canadian born number one selection, Andrew McGrath (see Made In Canada, this draft had its usual share of certainties, surprises, sliders, bolters and great stories. But from a northerner’s point of view, this draft has certainly recognised the talent coming out of leagues across northern Australia.
To go from the Halls Creek Hawks to the Carlton Blues in just three years is a remarkable journey for Sam Petrevski-Seton. Leaving behind the vistas of The Kimberley in northern Western Australia, Petrevski-Seton was nabbed at pick number 6 by the Blues. According to The West Australian newspaper “one of his biggest challenges in moving to Perth three years ago was remembering to speak standard Australian English, rather than the Kriol he used back home in Halls Creek.”
Cedric Cox was grabbed by the Brisbane Lions with pick 24 and became the second player from Halls Creek. The small town is a little less than 3000 kilometres from the state capital, Perth, yet Cox and Petrevski-Seton have both defied distance to start their careers in the AFL.
Andrew McGrath has been named the number one draft pick at tonight’s NAB AFL Draft, and in one of a number of quirks for the night, McGrath was born in Canada. He still holds Canadian citizenship and even speaks with a slight Canadian accent when conversing with Canadian friends and family.
The Bombers’ newest addition, and first ever number one draft selection, was born in Mississauga, near Toronto, and moved with his father’s new job to Australia when he was five. He took up footy in Melbourne largely because most other boys at school did also. The rest, as they say, is history.
Canada has proudly watched the career of Sydney Swans’ premiership ruckman, Mike Pyke, from a distance. But now they can claim a potential superstar, with McGrath effectively holding the honour now of the best young player in Australia, drafted as the first selection nationally.
Geelong's delisted International rookie Padraig Lucey looks like staying in Australia into next year whatever happens. He could be taken by another AFL club or even relisted by the Cats. But even if that doesn't happen, Geelong's VFL coach Shane O'Bree expects he will stay.
In the Geelong Advertiser O'Bree said “As far as I know he’s loved his time in Australia, and especially Geelong, and he’s pretty keen to continue his AFL career...and if it’s not at AFL level it will be at the highest possible level, which is VFL.”