One of the most famous quotes of all time is a fitting response to the Dubai Dragons’ Preliminary Final win today over the Abu Dhabi Falcons. With the Dragons limping into third place at the end of the home and away rounds, the end of an era was widely predicted.
Heading into the game, the Abu Dhabi Falcons held many aces. They had won both games against the Dragons this season. Also, the Dragons were coming into the game on the back of a 114-point loss to the Bulls.
But finals are always very different beasts, and the Dragons defied the Falcon’s home ground advantage to win by 51 points.
Few, perhaps nobody, would have thought a few years ago that Hawai’i might be the host of an Australian Football international match. Yet, last week, under the watchful eyes of Diamond Head at end of Waikiki Beach in picturesque Kapi’olani Park, that’s exactly what happened.
The Calgary Kangaroos from Alberta, Canada, travelled over to Honolulu, accepting a standing invitation from the Hawai’i Eagles club to come and play.
Earlier this year, World Footy News reported that the Eagles were “open for business” for teams from across the world to visit for a match (see Fancy A Holiday In Hawaii?). The Calgary Kangaroos apparently like to visit Hawai’i in February and so the match became a reality.
World Footy News recently had the opportunity to chat with one of the co-founders of AFL Zimbabwe, the latest country in Africa to rise to the challenge of creating an Australian Football team. Along with a growing team of committed lovers of the game from as far afield as Sweden, the USA and Australia, the team is slowly breaking down the barriers.
The short journey to date has seen a series of coincidental and fortuitous meetings of like-minded people bringing their talents and passions together. Here is their story to date.
Trystan Peckover arrived in Zimbabwe as a diplomat at the Australian Embassy. Soon after he met Ronan Wordsworth (another Australian) who was in Zimbabwe accompanying his partner who works for the UN. Both Trystan and Ronan had played AFL for the London Swans in the AFL London league, but at different times. A useful coincidence. Trystan had also since played for the Paris Cocks prior to moving to ZImbabwe.
Just two weeks after many feared that Conor McKenna had opted to leave Essendon and answer the call of homesickness by returning permanently to Ireland, Mitch Cleary reports on the www.afl.com.au website that things are not what they seem.
Cleary states in a section of his review of the Bombers’ injury list that, “Conor McKenna could return to Tullamarine as soon as next week with Essendon confident the dashing defender can play round one without a pre-season hitout.”
“McKenna has been home in Ireland for more than a fortnight but has continued to maintain his fitness as he battles homesickness.”
Ahead of the new season for the Colombian Australian Football League (CAFL), the Bogotá Bulldogs have unveiled a new website to widen their distribution of information about the club. It marks the next step in an astonishing development of the game in Colombia, driven by the Bogotá Bulldogs.
The history of the club on one of the pages paints a detailed picture of how far the club has come.
The Bogotá Bulldogs’ slogan is “From a Kick to a Club” - what started as a kick in the park amongst mates in 2015 has grown into a true footy club, nestled 2800 metres closer to the stars. Everyone is welcome and wanted with the doggies. We are building a community open to any and all skill levels and experiences - for anyone in Bogotá who is looking for a sporting Saturday afternoon.
Not really a tourism slogan (though it COULD be), most of Europe will come to life over the next few weeks after a winter slumber for most leagues and teams. Whilst the French CNFA competition and the National Universities League have kept going over winter, more sleeping dragons are awakening.
Setting that tone, next weekend sees the inaugural Dragon Cup in Wales on February 29th. Hosted by the Cardiff Panthers, the tournament will also feature the West London Wildcats and other teams as the Panthers hope to build the cup into an annual event.
The same day, the North London Lions will play Cambridge University in a practice match. A week later the Lions will follow up with a clash against Birmingham University.
St Mary’s and the Southern Districts Crocs were the big winners in the NTFL Premier League last weekend, with both advancing to the second weekend of the finals series in emphatic fashion.
Sadly, the Darwin Buffaloes had their season curtailed, losing their Elimination Final. The Tiwi Bombers lost their Qualifying Final, but live again into next weekend by virtue of their double chance for finishing the home and away season in third place.
Spurred on by a four-goal haul to former Blue and Demon, Jeff Garlett, the Crocs were too good for the Buffaloes. A four goal to none opening term set the scene, with the Crocs winning each quarter on their way to a 71-point win.
Last season, the South Wales Universities women’s and men’s teams struggled on field in the inaugural National Universities Cup. Both finished on the bottom of their respective ladders, some distance behind the rest. The teams enjoyed just one win between them for the season.
Fast forward to 2020, and the South Wales women’s team has just completed a wonderful second season. They lost just one match for the season and will play in the grand final. The men’s team did not improve quite so dramatically, yet a quick look at their improved percentage via for and against results proves they have bridged the gaps.
According to the National Universities Cup Facebook page:
It has been a big day for the Amsterdam Devils, travelling from the Netherlands to participate in a series of friendlies against the Paris Cocks and Antony Blues at the home of the Blues, the Parc de Grenouillère, Antony. On the day, the Devils were far too good across all games for the French teams.
According to the Paris Cocks Facebook page, "A fantastic afternoon of footy yesterday at Antony!"
"Thank you to Amsterdam Devils and Antony Blues for your involvement, organisation, and spirit in what we hope will become an annual event."
Round 6 of the AFL Middle East season was played at The Seven’s Stadium in Dubai with results determining the final finals makeup. The Multiple Bills will have the first week of finals off, having earned the minor premiership.
The Abu Dhabi Falcons won the battle for second place and will meet the Dubai Dragons in the Preliminary Final.
The season is over for the Dubai Dingoes after they went down to the Falcons. They will not compete in the finals.
The Abu Dhabi Falcons have enjoyed a very good season. With four sins from their six matches, they deserve favouritism against the Dubai Dragons to fight for a grand final berth. Their match against the Dubai Dingoes saw them record a powerful 74-point win. Whilst percentage became irrelevant to ladder positions, the win headed into the finals was extremely valuable as it gives the Falcons strong momentum.
With two weekends of footy since the end of the winter break, the CNFA competition has seen three games completed, all of which have enhanced the finals hopes of the victors. The Bayonne Toreadors, Bordeaux Bombers and ALFA Lions each had important wins and are in box seats to book finals appearances.
The ALFA Lions hosted the Paris Cockerels in Lyon and grafted out a tough 27-point win. It was the Lions’ first win for the season and keeps their hopes alive after two early losses. Conversely, the loss was harsh for the Cockerels. With just one win from four matches, they cannot drop a game from here if they want to defend their title.
The Bayonne Toreadors were merciless in their clash against the Stade Toulousain team, winning by an enormous 198 points at home. The win sees the Toreadors sitting atop the ladder with two wins from two games and a good chance to consolidate a finals berth. Stade Toulousain sit winless at the base of the table. They will struggle to repeat last year’s efforts of reaching the grand-final.
From St Kilda winning for the first time in their women’s team history, to North Melbourne pulling off the biggest win of this AFLW season with 56-points and the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions playing out the fourth ever AFLW draw in history.