In the only AFLG match for the weekend, and the final match of Round 7 after the Dockers/Lions and Kangaroos/Giants matches were played last weekend (see A Week Is A Long Time In Footy – AFLG), the Berlin Crocs were too powerful for the Dresden Wolves. On the scoreboard, the Crocs feasted on an undermanned Wolves team to secure a 162-point win.
In terms of ladder implications, the match actually stands as a bye with the Wolves only having seven of a mandatory nine players for the scores to count. Whilst that robs the Crocs of the full percentage advantage from the game, it probably matters little in the grander scheme of finals placings. The Crocs still sit in third place, a game and hefty percentage behind the Hamburg Dockers and Munich Kangaroos with each team having just two matches left before finals.
The Wimbledon Hawks have finally managed to get a win on the board after a tough season. Their weekend clash against the London Swans was their big chance to avoid the wooden spoon this season. Whilst they still sit in last place, they are now equal on wins with the Swans and only seven percentage points separate the teams. From here, both teams would be hoping to upset one of the top three teams.
However, more likely, it will come down to battle to lose by the lesser margins from here and keep percentages as positive as possible. Playing at home, the Hawks ended up winning comfortably by 22 points, leaving the Wimbledon crowd grinning proudly.
The saying goes that if you look a shark in the eye, all you see is a cold, calculating, lifeless stare in return. Just why you would want to look a shark in the eye is an entirely different matter. However, the Kingdom Kangaroos did just that last weekend when they took on the Glasgow Sharks.
Already suffering from a lack of preferred player numbers on the day, things got worse for the Kangaroos as injuries to those still standing decimated their list. But this is where the Sharks were at their predatory best. Premierships are not about being the “nice guy”. They are built around the 100% commitment of every player for the full four quarters, week in week out. And, that is as it should be.
The Roos kept fighting, but their adversary was just too good and took every advantage available to them as they built towards another flag. Whilst there is plenty that the Roos can rue after the game, they can also take heart that some of the problems they encountered on the weekend are rectifiable and a full list come finals time will see a vastly different herd of kangaroos in the paddock.
Michael Ryan reports on the St Kilda website about the debut for another young Irish talent with Darragh Joyce playing for the Saints in their exciting win against the Melbourne Demons. In a solid first game, Darragh had 10 possessions. Wearing #39, the new Irish Saint also contributed a creditable team-oriented five one percenters and also kicked a behind. It was a promising start and a great platform on which to build his future.
As a fresh-faced 19-year-old, Darragh Joyce uprooted his life and left his family in Ireland to pursue an unlikely dream, and it will all be worth it when he runs out in the red, white and black for his AFL debut this Sunday.
It started with a simple email, then a kick in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, followed by a 17,300km journey to the other side of the world, and now finally, the Irishman gets his chance on the big stage.
Sam Murphy’s journey from American football walk-on to state league Aussie footballer has been a fun and eventful odyssey. The ruckman from the Los Angeles Dragons made his debut two weeks ago for the West Perth Falcons in the WAFL, becoming the latest American to thrive in local footy.
Originally from Fairfield, Connecticut, Murphy spent most of his youth competing in American football and was a letterwinner at Fairfield High School. When his family relocated to Los Angeles, Murphy spent a year at the highly-touted Oaks Christian football program, which is known for sending players to national powerhouses like USC and UCLA.
The SEAFL (Southern England AFL) competition is heading towards the business end of the season and the Southampton Titans are sitting on top of the ladder with one big goal in mind. “This year we are looking to win the flag and become the first team in the history of the league to win back to back premierships.” It is a significant piece of history they are seeking, but they are enjoying a great year.
According to the club ahead of this weekend’s SEWARFL fixture, “the main highlights so far have been making a strong start in the league and strengthening our relationship with St Jude’s Gaelic football team.”
It is a big opportunity for the Titans, but more importantly, it has been a season of progress for the league.
Mick Tierney from the Sussex Swans, and president of the SEAFL, has seen the changes to the league and how exciting the future might be. “The SEAFL has currently got three clubs (Sussex Swans, Southampton Titans and Portsmouth Pirates) but we’re hoping to revive some clubs which folded over the last few years.”
It has been a big day out for the Wandsworth Demons last weekend. With only three matches scheduled for the completion of Round 4 (commenced late May/early June), the Demons came away as winners in each. It was also a tough day at the office for the Wimbledon Hawks, with their teams going down to the rampant Demons by big margins in each grade.
The Men’s Premiership match saw the Wandsworth Demons far too good for the Wimbledon Hawks. The Demons showed their intensity from the outset and extended the lead at each break before cruising to a percentage boosting 121-point win. As the finals get closer, percentage could well be a factor in deciding final placings.
In the Women’s Premiership match, the Demons were just as ruthless against the Hawks, recording a powerful 85-point victory. The Demon’s Social team, the South Park Demons, managed to gallop away to a 99-point victory.
In a huge day for the Huddersfield Rams, their 177-point victory over the Merseyside Saints in Liverpool has breathed new life into their season. Going into the round, the Rams would have been confident of a win, but it would have to be a big win to bridge the percentage gap if they still have faint hopes of a top two finish. It was.
Whilst the Manchester Mozzies have cleared well ahead of the pack with five wins for the season and undefeated, the battle for second place and other finals spots is tighter with percentage only separating the Wolverines, Rams and Scorpions.
The Rams were out of the blocks early and stayed there, playing a relentless brand of footy to completely shut out the Saints. As the margin continued to grow, the Rams’ confidence would have also as they saw their season get right back on the tracks as they ran riot across the park.
Last week the Württemberg Giant were celebrating a win against the Frankfurt Redbacks. On the weekend, they were brought back to earth by a rampant Munich Kangaroos team, going down by 124 points. The result wasn’t a surprise to either team, but the margin was bigger than the Giants would have hoped. However, with jostling for top four positions intensifying ahead of the finals, top teams are very aware of how important percentage will become.
Most teams have only two more matches left, and the top three teams – the Kangaroos, Hamburg Dockers and Berlin Crocs – will be locked in a tight battle. Teams in their way are sure to feel the heat as the top three start to flex their muscle. Certainly, that is what happened to the Giants.
Similarly, the Rheinland Lions – also last start winners against the Dresden Wolves – were stopped in their tracks by a Hamburg Dockers outfit that was both on the rebound from their narrow last start loss to the Berlins Crocs and also intent on ensuring their percentage stays healthy enough to stay ahead of their competitors.