The New Zealand Falcons and PNG Mosquitoes, both undefeated, have won their respective semi-finals against the USA and defending champions Ireland to secure their spots in the 2005 International Cup Grand Final at the MCG before the Carlton versus Collingwood match. We review the previous round and look at Saturday's finals.
The Melbourne-based radio station Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) has announced that it will be broadcasting the 2005 International Cup Grand Final between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The station can also be heard on the internet.
UPDATE - SEN appear to be experiencing problems with their webcasting factilities. If SEN are not back online by tonight, World Footy News will have live quarter-by-quarter updates.
The Samoan side at this year's International Cup have at times dominated their opposition with powerful and spectacular football, no more so that in their second half against Canada. But they have also displayed some indifferent form, and this has most commonly been in their first halves. Against the rising South African side such an effort would not have been sufficient, so fortunately for the islanders they managed to put on a much more consistent performance.
Two sides desperate for their second win in the tournament fought a tough match at Murphy Reserve today in freezing conditions with the Bulldogs running out 40 point winners against a battle weary Samurai side.
The Umpires for the AFL International Cup Grand Final 2005 have been announced. The panel consists of young, upcoming umpires selected from six different suburban Melbourne umpiring groups. The appointments are as follows.
Below are the official finals fixtures for the last round of the 2005 International Cup. Admission is free to all games except the Grand Final as it is a curtain raiser to the Carlton versus Collingwood match at the MCG - although you can bet the boys from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will be playing with more passion in the match of their lives.
Below are all the official AFL 2005 International Cup scores, goalkickers and best players, for the fifth round of matches, i.e. the semi and qualifying finals. Spain withdrew due to injuries (and they travelled with a small squad), but intend playing in the final round of matches this Saturday.
In the big match between New Zealand and the USA the Americans were believed to have lodged a protest against the eligibility of at least one of the Kiwi players, James Bowden, who spent some time growing up in Australia. We believed having spoken with the New Zealand camp that the AFL investigation was continuing but the Kiwis were confident that he had been cleared on several previous occasions and there should be no issue. The AFL's Ed Biggs has now confirmed that the situation has been resolved in that the appeal will not be progressing further.
In the semi finals of the Australian Football International Cup played today at Murphy Reserve Port Melbourne, the New Zealand Falcons (10.4.64) defeated the American Revolution (5.2.32) and the PNG Mosquitoes (5.4.34) held out Ireland (3.7.25).
In other matches, Samoa (7.8.50) had a strong win over South Africa (3.3.21)
Great Britain (9.9.63) were convincing winners over Japan (3.5.23).
News just in suggests Spain will be back on Saturday, after forfeiting today's match against Canada due to their long injury list.
The Semi Final between the Falcons and the Revolution would see the winner go on to contest the Final at the MCG on Saturday. Both sides had impressed throughout the tournament but it was the undefeated Falcons who would go in favourite and come out of today unscathed. Pictured left is famous AFL personality Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico with New Zealand's Steve Froggatt.
We've had many requests from the public about when and how they can buy tickets for compromise rules series between Australia (represented by the AFL) and Ireland (by the GAA). The games are being held in Melbourne and Perth and tickets can now be purchased from Ticketmaster. Given the popularity last time, they may well sell out.
A quick note to say that Spain have withdrawn from Qualifying Final A, which was scheduled for 10am on Thursday 11th August 2005. They are a very new Aussie Rules nation and came to the Cup with a small squad. Having suffered several injuries they were reduced to 15 players on the field (instead of 18) in their last match, so the forfeit to Canada is no surprise. Although the Northwind will enjoy the rest, no doubt they had been looking forward to chalking up their first win in more fulfilling circumstances.