After Round 3 of the International Cup a new powerhouse in international footy appears to be the USA, taking care of business against the gutsy Spaniards. Papua New Guinea appeared to run into form late against Great Britain, and Ireland got its running game going against South Africa. New Zealand continued to cruise, but notably the latest win was against the hard-running Japanese. This suggests the Kiwis now deserve outright favouritism for 2005. With the top four flexing their muscle Samoa needed to win to keep in touch, and did so in an amazing come from behind win over the luckless Canadians who seemed to have done enough to notch their first 2005 victory. So who are the likely top four finalists?
Samoa were widely expected to be far too strong for the Candians in their third round match of the International Cup, but trailed for most of the game, at one stage looking completely out of contention.
Below are all the results from Sunday's games at Optus Oval and TEAC Oval. On Monday 8 August the entire International Cup touring party, all 400 participants, board a V-Line train bound for Wangaratta. Hosted by the WorkSafe Victorian Country Football League and City of Wangaratta the 10 nations will take in some of the sights and attractions of the beautiful region before battling it out in Round 4 of the Cup.
Ireland bounced back from their loss against the USA to record a 59-point win over South Africa. The Buffaloes showed some impressive speed in parts and held the Irish for long periods of the game, but ultimately Ireland were just too strong.
Spain got an early jump on the USA at TEAC Oval today in Round 3, leading at quarter time and only a goal down at the half, but the Revolution eventually pulled away for a 28-point win in a tough, low-scoring encounter.
The two stand-out results of Round 2 of the International Cup at Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne, were long-standing streaks coming to an end. Ireland tasted their first loss in international football after an incredible run going back to approximately 2001, going down to the rising USA Revolution, and accompanied by scenes of joy, South Africa knocked off Japan in a thriller to record their first ever win. After tipping the upsets we'll push our luck and examine round 3.
In the early game of Round 2 the new side Spain took on one of the favourites in New Zealand. Alas the Bulls were not as competitive as they were against Japan, and it's starting to look like a long tournament for the Europeans.
After falling behind PNG early a big loss was on the cards for Team Canada in Round 2 of the International Cup at Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne. But after a fearsome half-time blast from their coach, the Northwind blew back into contention, only to fall short.
In what may be described by some as the biggest upset in International football, the US has defeated Ireland in a game that saw the miserly backlines of both teams give new meaning to the word tight. The loss was Ireland's first in international Australian football, ending a run that stretches back to the 2001 Atlantic Alliance Cup.
The Buffaloes' dream of winning their first match was realised when the siren sounded leaving them two points ahead of the Japanese side who had battled manfully to the very end. Scenes of jubilation followed as the players sung and danced to celebrate their finest moment so far.