In recent weeks we have seen some tremendous initiatives to develop the game of Australian Rules football across the world. From player drafts and new urban leagues in Colombia (see Bombers, Bullants and Aguilas Arrive in Bogotá) to school and ministry driven national tournaments in East Africa (see Something Amazing Happening In East Africa) individuals, clubs and leagues are finding innovative ways to attract new players to the game and open up new markets.
Another example of this development is happening in Mumbai India where Reclink India has joined forces with Mumbai Footy to get the game into schools. According to Sumesh Sawant, Co-Founder and National Coordinator from the Reclink India report:
For the ninth consecutive occasion, the Southern Districts Crocs have lost a semi-final and after leading the ladder all year they now face the prospect of going out of the NTFL finals in straight sets unless they can reverse their fortunes. Their loss to the Darwin Buffaloes could be costly, but for Buffaloes’ fans, it is manna from heaven as they contemplate the now real possibility of a premiership – just one win away.
It would be the second successive year that the Crocs topped the home and away ladder and won the minor premiership, only to stumble as soon as their finals matches began. The team would be shaken badly by the outcome of their match and its ramifications, but they didn’t finish on top of the ladder for no reason – they are a class act and will bounce back next weekend in the Preliminary Final against the Nightcliff Tigers.
As most predicted, both the Dubai Dragons and the Multiplex Bulls have won their final round matches and will now go on to meet once again in the AFL Middle East Grand Final. The Dragons outlasted a determined and resilient Falcons team in Abu Dhabi, whilst the Bulls hammered the Dingoes to tune up for the big day in powerful style.
The clash between the Abu Dhabi Falcons and the Dubai Dragon was a willing affair. Both sides had points to prove – one to throw the dice once more for a finals shot, the other to assert themselves again as flag favourites. By half -time the Dragons led by just five points, with both teams equal for scoring shots. It was a more dominant Dragons outfit in the second half – but not before the Falcons gave them tough workout. In the end it was the Dragons winning by 43-points to go through the home and away rounds again undefeated.
Lyon’s own ALFA Lions have pushed their claims to defend their CNFA Leo Lagrange premiership title from last season with a big win against the Bordeaux Bombers. The win is their second of the season and if they can grab a win in their next match against the Aviators (not a guarantee) they would go to a final round match against the Cockerels in Paris hoping for a win – and loads of luck – to grab fourth place.
A big first quarter against the Bombers set up a 47-point lead by half time for the Lions. Bordeaux challenged in the third quarter, pegging back the lead, but the Lions steadied again in the final term to run out comfortable 71-point winners. The result has all but ended the Bordeaux team’s finals chances, but saw he Lions leapfrog them into being one of the likely remaining five finals chances.
The top placed Western Bulldogs held on to win by 8 points over the bottom placed Collingwood, after the Pies came at the Dogs late in the final quarter at Moe.
Image Source: Twitter @BulldogsW
It was a very high intensity aggressive game of football, which saw Steph Chiocci and Libby Birch reported in the first half of the match. There was heaps of pushing and shoving in this match in the first two quarters. The Pies came at the Dogs late in the final quarter, but the Dogs held on to win by 8 points over the bottom placed Pies.
The reigning premiers the Crows were too polished in the end for the Blues when they needed to be in the match, as they won by 35 points at their home ground the Norwood Oval. This match was played with an extremely high intensity and pressure from both teams. The Blues were in the contest for most of the match with their gameplay and it was just their wayward kicking in front of the big sticks that let them down.
Image Source: Twitter @Adelaide_FC
It was a high-pressured game from both teams in the first quarter. The Crows took their chances early in front of goal with two goals to the Blues four behinds, as the Blues kicking in front of goal was wayward and let them down. Sarah Perkins hand passed to Ruth Wallace who snap kicked the goal from 20m out for a nice team goal for the opening goal of the first term. Wallace was on fire for the Crows up forward, as she nailed through her second goal of the match of a snap kick around her body.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants keep their finals hopes alive in the second season of the AFLW after they ran out 18-point winners over the Fremantle Dockers at the Fremantle Oval.
Image Source: Twitter @nickowalsh
It was a do or die match for both teams who needed a win to keep there seasons alive. The Dockers came into the match after a loss last round to the Lions and the Giants came off a draw in the wet against the Crows.
The match between The match between the Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions at Casey Fields was a game of one per centers with great strong tackling and smothering pressure. This whole match was played with a finals type intensity and a real arm wrestle. The scoreboard at the final siren reflected this, as the Dees only won by 6 points.
The Dees came into this round 5 encounter after they had 2 losses on the road, so they were desperate for a win to keep their 2018 AFLW finals hopes alive.
According to Matt Thomson on the www.afl.com.au website, he AFL will be taking the new AFLX version of the game into Asia on a bigger scale very soon. Whilst the jury is still out to some degree on the success of the game here in Australia with the AFL clubs involved as part of the pre-season schedule, smaller versions of the game have already been successfully adapted across the world through local leagues.
These amendments have included smaller grounds – rugby and soccer fields – smaller player numbers (predominantly using an AFL 9’s format adapted to include normal playing rules) and other adjustments. But the move into Hong Kong (see below) might be the catalyst for more countries to consider adapting further to the seven per side AFLX format.
AFLX appears headed to Asia, with the prospect of a November tournament in Hong Kong on the League's agenda.
The new season of footy in Mumbai, India, will soon be announced and get underway. Run under the direction of Reclink India and Mumbai Footy, the competition premiered last year featuring teams from across Mumbai – India’s largest city and the capital city of the state of Maharashtra
Co-founder and national coordinator of the Mumbai Footy League, Sumesh Sawant stated, “last year we played Mumbai Footy League which lasted for two months instead of [the] Mumbai Footy Cup. For this year the dates are not out yet for Mumbai Footy Cup but most likely it will be happening somewhere between March to May.”
Last year’s competition featured two older clubs – the Mahim Cats and the Matunga Tigers – with the addition of the Churchgate Lions, Grant Road Bombers, Mumbai Central Giants and the Charni Road Eagles in the first domestic suburban home and away style competition in India.
As the AFL’s JLT Community Series pre-season competition wriggles its way around the country, North Queensland is preparing for its own extravaganza of AFL talent across March as first Townsville and then Cairns host matches. Townsville gets under way this weekend when the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Cats met in their JLT fixture. Cairns will then host the Round 1 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne Kangaroos.
The city of Townsville was looking forward to the Gary Ablett grudge match. With Ablett leaving the Sun and returning to his native Geelong last trade season, it gave the local fans the chance to watch an old-fashioned stoush between two past and present cat owners. Sadly, a hamstring injury will see Ablett ruled out of the match.
But, the people of Townsville would not be too disheartened. They will still host a great game of footy between the rising Suns from their home state and a Geelong side than has enjoyed an era of success – including three flags – since 2007.
They say history is written by the victors. In this case the victors are the Kingdom Kangaroos and this version of their historic three-peat was submitted to us by Sandy Bell.
The Kingdom Kangaroos won the annual Preseason Bawbag Cup for the 3rd time in 3 years on Saturday 24th March. The annual warm up tournament competed by the Tyne Tee Tigers, West Lothian Eagles and Fife’s own Kingdom Kangaroos.