New Zealand held off Papua New Guinea to win the 2005 Australian Football International Cup this evening, running out 7.8.50 to 5.2.32 winners.
With a crowd of international footy diehards and earlybirds starting to filter in for the Carlton-Collingwood match, New Zealand and PNG lined up with their respective war dances, then hit the ground with some very tough, physical football in the first ten minutes.
New Zealand kept the ball in their forward line for most of the start of the match, but pressure from PNG left the Falcons unable to get clean posessions and the Mozzies eventually broke through for the first goal of the game when after a quick break down the ground Dominic Livuana received a handpass out of the pack in close and converted.
News in today is that pay TV station FOXFooty will record tonight's International Cup Grand Final between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and it will air in Australia in the coming weeks. This also means the footage should be available to the wider footy community, possibly on DVD or the AFL website, in future.
Scores just in -
Canada 4.5.29 d South Africa 2.6.18 (for seventh place)
Samoa 3.9.27 d Great Britain 2.3.15 (for fifth place)
USA 10.5.65 d Ireland 4.6.30 (for third place)
Japan 11.7.73 d Spain 2.1.13 (for ninth place)
Grand final scores -
New Zealand 1.2.8
Papua New Guinea 1.0.6
New Zealand 3.3.21
Papua New Guinea 2.2.14
New Zealand 5.7.37
Papua New Guinea 3.2.20
New Zealand 7.8.50
Papua New Guinea 5.2.32
On Thursday 11th August the AFL hosted a dinner in the Victory Room at Telstra Dome to celebrate the 2005 International Cup. With the who's who of international football and the AFL attending, there were awards given out, a FOXFooty segment, cultural performances by some of the competing teams, and a general feeling of goodwill as players and officials mixed at the informal end of the night. Below are photos from the night and the official AFL press release listing the awards.
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.