In a complete departure from previous seasons, the Far North Queensland city of Cairns will host their 2018 match in Round One when the Gold Coast Suns become the host team and will play the North Melbourne Kangaroos. This is a huge shift from the previous seven AFL Premiership seasons, which has traditionally seen Cairns host matches involving the Suns, Richmond and Western Bulldogs in July.
It is a huge win for the northern city, which was uncertain as to its ability to host future matches when the Western Bulldogs announced they would pursue their Ballarat home game options from 2018 onwards. With an opening round start, it would be hoped that the Cairns fixture could capitalise on the traditional excitement of opening rounds as well as connecting directly with the early stages of local junior and senior competition.
After a season to forget in 2016/17, and a tough, winless start to the new season, the Tiwi Bombers have bounced back hard in Round Three of the NTFL season in Darwin. After going into the match as rank outsiders against the previously undefeated Darwin Buffaloes, the Bombers turned their season in the right direction to win by 12 points.
Things didn’t start well after the Buffaloes kicked seven goals to three in the first quarter. But an eight goal to one second term from the Bombers gave them back the lead by half time and they were not about to give it up. The win lifts the Bombers to sixth place and back in the early mix to consolidate a battle later for finals.
In other results from Round Three, the Nightcliff Tigers made it three from three downing Wanderers by a comfortable 33 points. In a low scoring affair, the Tiger defence kept Wanderers to just two goals until three-quarter time, which was enough to keep them at bay.
Day 1 of the 2017 Nationals was played in warm breezy conditions at Sun Sports Park in San Diego. The six fields were in great condition for football and the setting was picturesque.
In the Men's Division 1 Pool A the Los Angeles Dragons were the only team undefeated and if they beat the winless Baltimore Washington tomorrow morning they will head into the final to take the title. They defeated New York Magpies by just one point and then clearly defeated the highly fancied Austin Crows. Their most likely opponent is Golden Gate.
Golden Gate showed the best skill, pace and strength in Pool B to also remain undefeated with solid wins over Calgary and Dallas. Denver stand in their way tomorrow morning but even a loss in this match could see them go through on percentage if the margin is low.
Division 2 Pool A will be a battle between Orange County and Minnesota for a final spot while Houston look most likely to take out Pool B.
All the results from today's matches can be seen below.
Round One of the French CNFA season is done. The round was a huge win for both the Bordeaux Bombers last weekend and the Toulouse Hawks yesterday. Both came away with important and resounding wins – but the Toulouse victory against the reigning premiers ALFA Lions signals the return of the Hawks.
Toulouse hosted the ALFA Lions and made no secret of their desire to capitalise on home ground advantage to outplay the Lions. By quarter time the Hawks had jumped to a 19-point lead and had extended that to a five goal break by half time.
Any chance of a second half revival by the Lions was snuffed out by another big third quarter by the Hawks, going into the final quarter with a 49-point lead. The final quarter saw the Lions fight for redemtion – the Hawks for total dominance, which is how the result panned out as they ran out convincing 66-point winners. Final score saw Toulouse Hawks 116 d ALFA Lions 50.
Round One of the 2017/18 AFL Middle East season got under way in Dubai on Thursday and Friday amid the warmth of the Middle Eastern climate. Last year’s grand finalists, the Dubai Dragons and Multiplex Bulls, both enjoyed first up wins and have already grabbed a flying advantage over all other teams.
Thursday evening saw the season opener when the Multiplex Bulls took on the Dubai Dingoes. On a warm but pleasant evening under lights at Dubai Sports City, the Dingoes threw everything at the Bulls early. According to the AFL Middle East report:
“[The game was played in] very still and pleasant conditions - 29 degrees for the 8:30pm kick off but humidity was low. The Dingoes won the toss [and] had plenty of new faces. Captain Ben Dawson did his calf during the week and could only manage 5 minutes of game time – a big loss for the Dingoes.”
The Friday before the US Nationals for most of the 1500 competitors is a travel day. Arriving to San Diego by whatever means necessary they descend on the tournament hotels and register.
But a decent size group are already on the ground. A mixture of administrators, coaches and some early arrivals.
The Administrators conference ran throughout the Friday with various presentations by clubs discussing how they do things at their footy club and sharing ideas and experiences that can help others. The session was chaired by outgoing President Mike Shepherd.
They came from Gordonvale – a small sugar town to the south of Cairns. A town watched over by the mighty Walsh’s Pyramid and surrounded by the ubiquitous sugar cane that is the lifeblood of the town. Unlike most of the town, however, they play Australian Rules football – AFL to some.
We are talking about the Gordonvale Bombers – a team of 10-12 year old primary school girls who changed the course of their school’s sporting history in one glorious year of commitment, courage, talent and determination. They have firmly placed Gordonvale State School on the AFL map, and much more beyond.
Whilst their achievements are largely measured on their 2017 results, the truth is that these girls started to come together in 2016 when a small group of year five students joined the school footy team for some of their matches in the Queensland Schools Cup and a few other localised school games.
The weekend’s matches in Darwin’s NTFL competition saw a closer set of results as the competition entered Round Two and the settling process of the new season kicked in further. There was plenty going on to maintain high inter4est with Saints losing their second straight match to start the season, the Tiwi Bombers penalised for an ineligible player, Wanderers downing rivals Waratah and Southern Districts Crocs too good for Palmerston.
The biggest news from the round came after all matches had been completed. The Tiwi Bombers fought hard to go down to the much-improved Nightcliff Tigers – the final scoreboard margin being just 16 points. The performance was heartening for Bombers’ supporters, but after a review of then weekend, Tiwi had fielded an ineligible player. Whilst they had lost anyway, the penalty was to award the result to Nightcliff as a forfeit and a 60-nil scoreline.
The following article from the Irish Independent looks at the drafting of superstar women’s Gaelic footballer Cora Staunton by AFLW club the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Cora was taken with pick 45 in yesterday’s AFLW NAB AFL Women’s Draft. Not only is Cora’s selection a great personal success, it also opens wider the prospects of more Irish and other international players seeking to be drafted in coming years.
Mayo star Cora Staunton will feature in the AFLW in 2018.
She will be the first international athlete to be drafted to play in the league which gets underway in January after she joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Sarah Black has reported on the www.afl.com.au website that the Gold Coast Suns have ticked the boxes and locked in arrangements to continue playing matches in North Queensland for 2018 and hopefully beyond.
In her article, Sarah states that:
GOLD COAST will play home matches for premiership points in both Cairns and Townsville from 2018 onwards.
The deal was struck between the Suns and Tourism and Events Queensland, and will see the club play in Cairns next season, and Townsville in 2019 or 2020.
One of the hallmarks of a great dynasty is to understand that change is inevitable and be able to absorb change and continue forward. It is what has powered great nations and cultures over time and a similar process occurs in sport.
The Dubai Dragons – winner of five out of the past six AFL Middle east premierships – is in that position now. They may be at the end of their great reign, or they may be on a solid plateau set for another year of greatness. Time will tell, but one thing that is certain is they have embraced change over this past off-season. How they respond will determine whether the new season brings more glory or the start of a new phase of rebuilding.
The club is acutely aware of this and is addressing needs. Iain Rowe, president of the Dubai Dragons, offers his insight.
The 2017 USAFL National Championships will be held in San Diego this weekend. This is the first time San Diego has hosted the tournament and the first time in many years the tournament has been held on the west coast. Matches will be played throughout the day on Saturday (21st) and Sunday(22nd), but the official proceedings include Friday where a club administrators forum will run through that day and also coaching, umpiring and women's footy clinics will be held ahead of the official registration and welcome on the Friday night.
The match venue is Surf Cup Sports Park, 3885 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA92014. The venue will be hosting seven divisions (combined men's and women's) with
This year's tournament will be the biggest in its 21-year history: 53 teams spanning seven divisions, representing nearly forty clubs across the USA and Canada.