The number 34 for the Canada Northern Lights - worn by Kirsti Oja - had a stand out game on Sunday at the Plenty War Memorial Park. Amongst many highlights, dashing runs, athletic high leaping in ruck contests and skilful ball use there was also this superb contested mark between two British Swans.
Amua Pirika's (pictured left) six goals for PNG against the USA on Saturday was not enough to give him the lead in the Men's Division 1 leading goalkicker*. Despite a total of 10 goals from his past two games he still trails Great Britain's Andrew Walkden by two. Walkden sits on twelve goals after kicking six of his own on Saturday against Ireland to add to five against South Africa in Round 1 and one against Canada in Round 2.
In Division 2 Croatia's Ivan Ivos leads the goal kicking with eight for the tournament.
In the Women's Division there is a five way tie for the top position with Christine McCutcheon from Ireland, Danni Saulter from GB, Jessica Estrada from USA, as well as Sally Fong and Verenaisi Caginavanua (both from Fiji) all on 6 goals so far.
IC17 Round 4 matches will play out at Royal Park tomorrow. The latest scheduled match times and ovals are in the table below.
All matches will also be streamed live on the AFL's International Cup Youtube page. Division 1 will have their scheduled Round 4 matches while Division 2 and the Women's Divisions will have their semi-finals.
Sixteen Nations had a change in Rank as a result of all the Round Three matches played Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August in Melbourne and surrounds in the Community Round Three.
Significant big climber in the ranks is China with a rise from 15th to 11th and Japan has continued to climb the ranks at this International Cup rising from 16th to 14th with their win over Germany.
Indonesia has suffered a big fall, in losing the maximum 3.00 rating points in their losses to China and Croatia, falling to 17th from 14th. Fiji hasn’t fared very well either in their loss to Papua New Guinea, falling from 11th to 15th.
Fiji Vonu and Papua New Guinea Flames both played their 8th Qualifying matches in Round Three on Sunday 13th August, becoming Fully Ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively. All four matches played resulted as was expected and as the ranking scheme predicted and consequently there were no changes in rank.
It was a mild sunny day in Melbourne's South East. Hallam Reserve hosted the Women's Pool B top of the table clash between the Alfa Ireland Banshees and the Papua New Guinea Flames.
The contest in the opening quarter was even and tight with both teams unable to gain clear possession and to break the game open. It took to about the 10-minute mark of the first for the Banshees to get on top in the contest, as they were winning a lot more of the footy.
The top of the table Women’s Pool 1 clash between the reigning world champs the Canada Northern Lights and the International Cup debutants the Great Britain Swans – on a breezy but mostly sunny day with an early taste of Melbourne Spring in the air – the venue the Plenty Oval, home of the Victorian Womens club the powerful Diamond Creek. Last tournament this venue hosted the Banshees vs the Liberty. With respect to that previous encounter – this match is a super important fixture. The winner will ensure the advantage in the semi-finals on Tuesday. The loser likely to face up to Ireland in the other semi. The Northern Lights going in as favourites but the Brits full of hope to pull off an upset.
Below are the Women's ladders after Round 3 of the 2017 AFL International Cup, with Canada and Ireland topping Pools A and B respectively, both undefeated.
The tournament now moves to the semi-final round, with Canada (3 wins 0 losses) to take on neighbours USA (2-1), and Ireland (3-0) similarly taking on neighbours Great Britain (2-1). The winners go through to the Grand Final at Etihad Stadium. The other nations play off for the lower spots.
Did the best 4 teams make the semis? PNG were much improved on their last appearance (2011) but clearly not top 4 overall, but Fiji can consider themselves very unlucky, going down to Canada in round 1 after a draw at full time, losing by a golden point (next score wins) in controversial circumstances. If Fiji had won that match they would've finished 2nd, ahead of Great Britain on percentage, assuming the other matches played out the same. If they improve this much again by IC20 look out all-comers!
Fiji has turned on one of the highest scoring international women's games seen, destroying world footy newcomer Pakistan at Mulgrave Reserve, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne.
It was Round 3 of the Women's division and the Vonu were in no mood to go easy, having lost their two opening games by narrow margins to two of the top team in Canada and Great Britain. They piled on goals in every quarter, keeping the Shaheens scoreless throughout the match.
Many thanks to Robert Wolfgramm for information contributing to this article and the Fiji Daily Post for the photos.