In one of the more remarkable performances in recent years the ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have taken out this season’s CNFA premiership in fine style, downing last year’s premiers – the Paris Cockatoos – by 62 points. The final score (Lions 103 d Cockatoos 41) was comprehensive and the ideal exclamation point on an undefeated season for a fiercely proud pride of Lions.
The result was notable for the fact that the club won all matches this season across the home and away season and the finals series. But what makes their season a truly “out of the ordinary” performance was that this premiership came after winning last season’s wooden spoon.
Finishing last in both the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons, and a sixth place in 2014/15, there was little to indicate the season they have just had. To highlight this further – prior to this season, the Lions had won just five games across their previous three seasons.
With one of the longest selection processes amongst the IC nations, the USA has named their national team to represent them in Australian football at the 2017 International Cup in Melbourne this August. Following a final camp last weekend in Texas where 50 players pushed their case for the trip to Australia in three months time the final 30 have been announced.
There are plenty of names that will be familiar to IC watchers and plenty of new talent too.
Round 7 of the 2017 AFL Season kicks off at Ethihad Stadium on Friday night with St Kilda hosting the GWS Giants. The 125th Anniversary match between Collingwood and Carlton will be shown on the main Fox Sports 1 station in the USA. Hopefully they will get to see Collingwood big man Mason Cox on their screens in the US. The full international broadcast schedule can be seen below.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only). You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL banner below and paying the subscription fee.
It’s been a time of transition and turnover for the Atlanta Kookaburras.
Season 2016 ended with the squad combining with Baton Rouge (Louisiana) at USAFL Nationals and finishing just out of the finals series. Their one loss was by 10 points in their opener to a skilled Des Moines (Iowa) side while learning to play together. They followed that with a win by 11 over perennial power Denver. Their third and final game was a resounding victory over Tulsa (Oklahoma), made more remarkable because they played the match after learning a clerical error would keep them from advancing.
A high point of 2016 was the club’s 100th win, coming on the road vs. the Nashville Kangaroos.
The Nauru Chiefs have named their final 30-man squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup to be held in Melbourne from August 5th. Fourteen returning members of the IC14 squad such as Yoshi Harris, Trent Depaune, Johnny Dagiaro (this will be Johnny's fourth International Cup) and Kenneth Oppenheimer will give the side some solid experience.
While there will also be plenty of excitement from newcomers such as Richmond Spanner, Niga Haulangi and Shawnkemp Maaki.
The Chiefs finished seventh at IC14 defeating the USA, Great Britain (twice), Indonesia and losing only to eventual runners up Ireland by 27 points in Bendigo after being just three points down at 3/4 time. They will be looking to push higher at IC17.
The Chiefs should be feared by all teams that give themselves a realistic chance at the IC17 title as their hard fast football will be complemented by a more thinking game around the stoppages. Domestically in Nauru the game has probably never been better organised both at senior and junior level I expect this squad will show the benefits of that.
Although primarily known for producing scores of talented players in rugby union, the nation of Samoa (population 179,000) has a recently established presence in Aussie rules.
The game was first introduced in the Samoan capital of Apia back in 1997, with the country’s governing body being founded the following year as the Samoa Australian Rules Football Association (SARFA). An exhibition match drew an impressive crowd, and the new footy players showed athleticism, toughness, and a natural aptitude for the game.
Due to Samoans’ rugby fanaticism, the first games of footy were played under hybrid rules, including 15-on-15, restricting certain players’ movement and playing on rectangular rugby fields, as opposed to cricket ovals. This was called Samoan rules and was used as a catalyst to get people involved in the basics of footy. The SARFA also developed a mutual relationship with the AFL’s Western Bulldogs, as Samoa shares the same colors (blue, red, and white) as the Bulldogs’ jumper. Several AFL players visited Samoa for coaching clinics and development camps, most notably Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson.
Thanks to Mathew Batsiua and AFL Nauru for supplying reports of the AFL Nauru season.
Despite the rain, the Grand final was packed with hundreds coming out to the ground to watch this season's grand final between two form sides of the competition the Magpies and the Bombers.
When the big game finally started, it was the Magpies who hit the ground running, dominating clearances and controlling the first quarter.
Young Magpie Richmond Spanner was a strong target for the Magpies, taking brilliant contested marks in their ...forward line and kicking 2 first quarter goals to help his team take control of the game early on. In the middle Magpies skipper Yoshi Harris controlled the ruck in the first quarter giving his on-ballers first use and control of the clearances. The Bomber's cause was not helped when Captain Johnny Dagiaro hobbled off the field with an ankle injury and did not return again for the remainder of the match.
Kevin Sheehan along with other AFL staff and club recruiters have again assembled in Los Angeles for their annual combine to identify American talent to bring to AFL clubs.
Recent success stories from previous years are Mason Cox (Collingwood), Jason Holmes (St Kilda) and Matt Korchek (Carlton). But the 2016 combine did not result in any athletes being taken by an AFL club.
Athletes will be put through extensive athletic and skills testing along with interviews by AFL clubs and educated about the Australian game.
They were the best two teams this year so it comes as no surprise to see these the Magpies and the Bombers battle out this year's AFL Nauru grand final which will be played today.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Yoshi Harris - the big young man has had a solid season. Can play in different positions so he is very versatile and is a hard match-up for any opposition coach.
Dave Mwaredaga - strong clearance player who hardly plays a bad match. Very consistent and has a damaging long kick.
Richmond Spanner - #1 draft pick who has had a great season. Great contested mark and can be a match winner.
Agir Nenabo Amwano - quality player with great skills. Will be busy in the Bombers engine room.
Johnny Dagiaro - on his day he is unstoppable. Highly skilled and competitive both in the air and on the ground. Can win the game for the Bombers if he is on song.
Kais Tatum - has been the form ruckman this season and will have his biggest challenge yet up against the Magpies big men. Kaison has also been dangerous up-forward when he rotates.
Results of the finals played in the last two weeks can be seen below.
They are the two largest urban areas in France – Paris with over 11 million people and Lyon with almost 2 million. They are also the cities represented by two wonderful football teams in this weekend’s CNFA (French) Grand Final.
The ALFA Lions from Lyon are in their first decider since joining the league for the 2013/14 season. The Paris Cockatoos are in their second successive decider since joining last season – and winning a flag in their maiden season. It is a true changing of the guard for the competition and a very healthy sign of things to come.
But to pick a winner on the day is harder and there is some compelling evidence to support both teams. The ALFA Lions have gone through the season to date undefeated. That is a remarkable effort in any season, but arguably more so in the case of the Lions after years of building they have suddenly got to within touching distance of the summit. They also won their only encounter with the Cockatoos this season by a commanding 46 points (86 to 40), meaning they certainly have an edge psychologically over the Cockatoos.
The new season has started across central and northern England with some big scores, heavy losses and a tight tussle thrown into the mix. After an off season of planning, plotting, training and hoping, teams took to the fields. Following is an article from the AFLCNE website looking at the round.
With round 1 over, we can take a look at the past weekend. It was a high scorer, with the Mozzies and Wolves powering ahead to form an early leading pack. Nottingham’s victory over Huddersfield sees them take 3rd position, while the Saints sit at the bottom by default.
Saturday saw Manchester Mosquitoes welcome Tyne Tees Tigers for this season’s opener. While the Tigers put in a hard-fought performance, the experienced and well-drilled Mozzies proved too much, putting in a commanding 216-12 victory and giving a hint that they’re going all out for that fourth premiership.
In a little under three months’ time, the Far North Queensland city of Cairns will play host to another AFL Premiership match. For the first time in Cairns’ history it will play host to a reigning premier with the Western Bulldogs coming to town to once again play the Gold Coast Suns. The match is massive for the development of Australian Rules football in north Queensland and already promotions and preparations are underway to attract huge crowds and secure more matches to the home of footy in the Far North, Cazalys Stadium.
Media Release: Tickets on sale today for Western Bulldogs Round 18 match in Cairns
In Cairns to support the launch of tickets going on sale, Western Bulldogs player Roarke Smith and Gold Coast SUNS’ Sam Day spoke of how both clubs are looking forward to the Round 18 clash.
Roarke Smith highlighted how the Western Bulldogs were looking forward to returning to Cairns’ Cazalys Stadium for a fourth consecutive year.