It has been a tough couple of seasons for the Doha Kangaroos, inhabiting the lower rungs of the AFL Middle East ladder and finding wins difficult to find, despite some closely fought battles. So their last start win over the visiting Abu Dhabi Falcons would have brought huge smiles to the Qatar-based crew and warmed their hearts as well.
In a hard fought and tight clash, the Kangaroos held on by two even goals, taking the match 13 8 86 to the Falcons 11 8 74. In a significant by-product of the win, the Kangaroos have jumped over the Falcons on the ladder – temporarily getting away from the wooden spoon position and handing that dubious honour to the Falcons. A small percentage differential exists, favouring the Kangaroos. Whilst the Falcons have now finished their season and cannot change their percentage, the Kangaroos will be hoping for a win, or at least a very tight result in their next clash to stay off the bottom.
There has been an adjustment to the eligibility rules for the 2017 AFL International Cup. There has been extensive consultation with competing nations following IC14 and lengthy consideration given to whether eligibility rules should be changed.
At IC14 some nations felt that other countries had a large advantage in having many players that were located in Australia and playing in the lead up to the tournament (some for multiple years),
The new rules do not actually impose any new restrictions on individuals but rather ensure that no country’s squad is completely dominated by Australian based players.
Expatriate Australians of course are ineligible to play in the International Cup as in previous years.
A player qualifies for their country by being a citizen and by having lived predominantly in that country between the ages of 10 and 16. The rules allow the AFL to grant exceptions to the eligibility criteria on a case-by-case basis if it is satisfied that the player is a bona fide resident of the country concerned, and that "his/her participation would be in the best interests of the competition".
The following article from the AFL Europe website (www.afleurope.org ) details the recent Fitzpatrick Cup tournament held in Cork, Ireland. It was a great day for the host club, the UCC Bombers, taking out both the men’s and women’s titles on the day. It was another great event for Australian Rules football in Ireland, showcasing the talent coming from universities that is not necessarily connected to the existing ARFLI national competition.
A last-minute pitch change and some early rain didn’t deter participants at the weekends annual Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC).
With 8 men’s and 3 women’s teams in action it was always going to be a great day of Aussie Rules action.
We did find the new Watch AFL app last week in our desperation to help viewers around the world find a way to watch AFLW matches. There was no release to the public and the Watchafl.com.au site was still down as they tried to get everything ready to go before Friday's AFLW debut. We believe we were the first to download it after some detective work and shared it on our social media channels on Thursday.
The app looks like it will be a much improved service for most viewers outside Australia that will use it through the free AFLW and JLT pre-season series and into the paid regular AFL season. The cost of subscription has been reported to have increased significantly in some markets. We have also been told that a number of AFL clubs offer international memberships that include subscription to the service that may cost less for the whole membership than directly subscribing to the Watch AFL service.
As well as live streaming the app will give access to full replays and a number of programs from Fox Footy to viewers outside Australia/NZ.
The ASP Perpignan Tigers have let an opportunity to secure a finals berth slip last weekend when they went down to the visiting Paris Cockatoos. The result was a big thumping – Cockatoos 170 d Tigers 45 – which saw the Tigers drop out of the top four. Their percentage has also taken a big hit, meaning they will have to win both of their remaining games.
What hurt more was that the clash was a home game in front of a home crowd – a game they should have looked at winning. Their remaining matches are another home game against the hugely improved ALFA Lions before a clash with the Blagnac Aviators. To play finals, the Tigers must win both and hope that other teams above them falter in the run home.
Casey Fields at Cranbourne was the venue for 2 time AFL International Cup team of the tournament member Irish lady Laura (Corrigan) Duryea to make her professional footy debut. Representing Melbourne, she played the day at full back matching up on the very dangerous English born Sabrina Frederick-Traub.
Frederick-Traub is one of the Lions two marquee players - recruited from Perth - and at age 20 is a rising star of womens footy. Laura has settled in Australia now - making a career as a primary school teacher - that's where my family first came across her in our twin boys prep year. Laura then was relatively new to Australia and familiarising herself with our domestic code of football - now at age 33 she is a footy veteran - although the kicking style still gives a nod back to the Gaelic origins. Each an example of a less common pathway to a new and unexpected destination - playing on each other in the AFLW.
After the fanfare and excitement of the lock out at Princes Park on Friday night followed by strong attendances in Adelaide and out at Whitten Oval at Footscray - the roughly 6,500 attendees at Casey Fields raised the overall attendance for the weekend to 50,000. Granted there was free entry however that doesn't undersell the commitment of time and effort for people to attend and display their support for the AFLW. Alas the weather gods weren't so kind on Sunday afternoon as firstly the wind was blowing to the southern end and as the 1st quarter progressed the heavens opened. Before half time the lightning had driven the players and umpires from the ground - and many of the exposed fans beat a hasty retreat - thus thinning out the crowd for when play resumed.
It took way, way too long for women’s football to finally happen at the highest national level. But happen it did, and a lock-out crowd of spectators descended on Ikon Park (formerly Princes Park – iconic home of the Carlton Blues)to usher in a new era of Australian Rules football in style.
Such was the magnitude of the crowd, that caught organisers off guard, that AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan actually went outside the ground to apologise to members of the estimated 2000 people that could not get into the game. Inside the stadium a crowd estimated at over 25,000 watched an historic but also highly entertaining match of women’s football.
The game had everything – snapped goals, pack marks, brutal tackles, dashing runs. Carlton’s Darcy Vescio scintillated the crown with four outstanding goals. Brianna Davey’s dash out of defence was as telling as her finishing skills, managing a goal along the way. Her 26 disposals set up Carlton’s attacking and left Collingwood players in her wake.
In the season which has already seen NTFL clubs, Wanderers and waratah, celebrate their respective 100th years, the Darwin Buffaloes will celebrate this weekend – the club having come into existence in 1917. The following press release from the AFLNT details the remarkable Darwin Buffaloes achievement.
This week, in Round 16 of the 2016/17 TIO NTFL season the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club celebrates its 100 year anniversary when it takes on another founding club in the Wanderers, at TIO Stadium at 2.00pm on Saturday.
Festivities for the weekend include a special pre-game ceremony and centenary ball and subsequent naming of the Darwin Buffaloes team of the century on Saturday night.
The eight AFLW clubs last night announced their teams for the first round of their historic competition that will kick off tonight. Melbourne Football Club named Irish woman Laura Duryea (nee Corrigan) on the Interchange bench.
As Laura Corrigan she was the named full back in the World Team at the 2011 International Cup where she was dominant for the tournament champions Ireland and named joint best player of the 2014 International Cup tournament (along with Canada’s Aimee Legault).
That isn’t my line. I heard someone say it recently, and they possibly nabbed it from somewhere else. But the advent of women’s football – Australian Rules football – is very well summed up by that line. It isn’t really an exaggeration either.
Numbers on backs, centre squares, interchange players, countless umpires on the field: all have played a part in refining the game along the way. But women’s football has seen the game grow in a way that is extraordinary, and we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. The game has moved along at an impressive rate since the 1850’s when it was first hatched as an alternative for cricket training. But in more than 150 since nothing has shown the next 150 years like the women’s game.
We are pleased to confirm the the AFL Women's matches will be streamed live and free around the world. Locally in Australia a number of the matches will be shown live on Channel 7 and the rest of the matches streamed live.
The AFL today told us "Fans can watch AFLW matches live via WATCHAFL, the AFL’s international OTT streaming service and also follow all the action on afl.com.au. Fans will need to log on, but the service is free of charge."
Just six months out from the next International Cup in Melbourne, the GB Bulldogs and Swans have named the first group players to be chosen to represent their nation. Last year an extended list was detailed for the Bulldogs and that has recently been narrowed.
Now Coach Dean Thomas has announced the first 12 players locked into the squad, and later will announce the 16 others (and 2 emergencies) to make up the full squad. A number of Australian based players are expected to be among that 16 along with other UK based players.