Back in my days as a tour guide, stopping at Halls Creek in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia was a step back in time to learn of aboriginal culture, gold mining, droving, explorers and other tales associated with the remoteness of a town that is almost 3000 kilometres from its own capital city, Perth. For a while it was synonymous with the Wolf Creek horror movie based on the nearby attraction, but now it is developing a new and very different reputation.
Michael Whiting from www.afl.com.au reports on the incredible success coming out of one remote Western Australian town. With the recruitment of Jy Farrar at last week’s AFL Draft, the small outback town is again in the spotlight and making people wonder what is in the water up there.
Jy Farrar did not have to look far for inspiration to believe one day he could make it to the AFL
When his name was read out by Gold Coast with pick No.60 at last week's NAB AFL Draft, Farrar added to the Halls Creek production line that dominates the League.
The St Mary’s Saints have used a 123-point win over Waratah to strengthen their grip on a top five position in the NTFL Premier League after the completion of Round 9 – the halfway mark of the season. After a big percentage boost, the Saints now sit in fourth place, two games clear of the fifth-placed Tiwi Bombers – a finals berth is theirs to lose from here.
After claiming last season’s wooden spoon, St Mary’s were always going to be a danger this season, and Waratah found that out the hard way yesterday. St Mary’s were too good in the opening half, charging to a 53-point lead by half time. Any hope of a Waratah comeback was vaporised in the third term with Saints rattling on seven unanswered goals for the quarter. The last quarter saw more of the same as the Saints dominated all over the field.
After a season start which saw Wanderers, Waratah, St Mary’s and Darwin showing big improvements since last season, recent weeks have seen a return to order. Nightcliff and Southern Districts are back in the top two places on the ladder and beginning to show their dominance as the competition heads towards the midway point.
Whilst Round 7 was full of upsets – the Tiwi Bombers upsetting Southern Districts and St Mary’s downing the Tigers – this weekend’s results saw more predictable results.
Nightcliff responded to their shock loss last week with a 73-point drubbing of Wanderers, whilst Southern Districts were just as effective in bouncing back with a 59-point win over Palmerston.
It sees the Tigers sitting on top of the ladder with a game and a half break from the Crocs. The Darwin Buffaloes, St Mary’s and Tiwi Bombers make up the top five.
Mitch Cleary from the www.afl.com.au website reports on the latest young footballer to turn his back on a career in the AFL to pursue punting in the NFL. Son of Essendon legend, Mason Fletcher, has decided not to continue in the footsteps of his esteemed father, Dustin Fletcher and grand-father, Ken Fletcher to try his hand – or foot – at the American game.
A BOOMING Fletcher boot could soon be set for the world stage after Dustin's son Mason quit football to pursue NFL punting.
The father-son prospect informed Essendon of his decision to end dreams as an AFL defender in recent weeks and begin chasing a career in the USA.
Fletcher, 19, opted to sit out of last year's NAB AFL Draft after a season plagued by back injuries, instead eyeing the 2020 drafts as a pathway to the Bombers.
The following article from Matthew Abbot at The New York Times (www.nytimes.com ) is a wonderful account of how important the game is to players in some of Australia’s most isolated locations. World Footy News has previously explored Lajamanu football (See: Lajamanu Footy – “The lifeblood of the community”) and what the game means to them. This story, from New York – half a world away from Lajamanu and Yuendumu – again tells an amazing tale of determination against all manner of odds.
For Indigenous Australians in isolated towns, “bush footy” is more religion than sport. Neither distance, the police nor even death can keep teams from competing.
LAJAMANU, Australia — Halfway into a 400-mile journey through a dusty stretch of the Australian desert, the team’s minibus ran into trouble.
The players, Warlpiri Australians from one of the country’s most isolated towns, were headed to a carnival, a celebration of sport and culture that brings together far-flung Indigenous communities from across the Central Desert.
You didn’t need a seismograph to measure the ground shaking on Bathurst Island yesterday. You could feel the earth move in Darwin. The epicentre was at Wurrumiyanga, the main centre on Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands. The cause – one Cyril Rioli Junior.
Named on the Tiwi Bombers’ team sheet two weeks ago before withdrawing before the match (See Rioli Back For Tiwi Bombers - Possibly) , this time Rioli ran out onto the field for the Tiwi Bombers, already sending the local crowd into a delirious frenzy. Ever since retiring from Hawthorn in 2018, after a decorated AFL career and later signing on as one of the Tiwi Bombers assistant coaches, if was felt that Rioli would undoubtedly don the red and black again on the playing fields – as he did briefly before being drafted to the Hawks in 2007.
Cyril played seven games for the Bombers prior to his Hawthorn era.
The rumoured return of Cyril Rioli for the Tiwi Bombers did not eventuate, but the club still enjoyed a successful and exciting weekend with their first win of the season. Maybe the Bombers won’t need Cyril Rioli after all.
After two losses – as it turns out, to the teams now first and second on the ladder - the Bombers set about changing things and hammered on ten first quarter goals as the St Mary’s team looked on in awe. What should have already been a match-winning lead, however, was evaporated over the next two quarters as the Saints rallied strongly and had grabbed a narrow lead by the final change, having rattled on 14 goals of their own after quarter time.
However, the Bombers rallied when they needed it most and kicked five goals to two in a strong finish to defeat St Mary’s by 8 points. The win restored some order for the Bombers, whilst at the same time bring the Saints back to earth after winning their opening two matches.
Word seeping out of Darwin suggests that a Hawthorn and, AFL and Northern Territory legend might be making a comeback…if not this weekend, maybe soon after.
Seems an inevitability, but Cyril Rioli might once again weave his magic on the football field when he possibly lines up for the Tiwi Bombers tomorrow in their NTFL Premier League match against St Marys. Only months after being announced as an assistant coach for the Bombers, the club’s winless start to the season has given rise to a possible Rioli revival.
Before his stellar career with Hawthorn, Rioli was a Tiwi Bombers junior. It has been a long journey since then, and is now coming full circle. Rioli is expected to don the #44 jumper for the Bombers
The 2019 season is over for the five key Northern and Central Queensland football leagues. Winners might still be partying; others might still be planning, building and devising ways to bring down the Goliaths with a slingshot next season. Here is an overview of those premiership results.
The Port Douglas Crocs have made it five flags in six seasons as their dynasty continues to grow. Already they are looking to challenge the perennially successful Cairns Saints as the league’s most successful club – a few flags to go yet, but they are well on their way. Their 34-point win over South Cairns Cutters was done the hard way. Trailing at three-quarter time, they unleashed a seven goal to one blitz to take the flag. Cutters were able to take out the reserve grade premiership whilst the North Cairns Tigers club, having endured a horrid season, saw light when their women’s team took the flag.
Seniors - Port Douglas Crocs 15 9 99 d South Cairns Cutters 9 11 65
Reserves – South Cairns Cutters 12 11 83 d Manunda Hawks 8 5 53
Women’s – North Cairns Tigers 4 11 35 d Cairns Saints 2 6 18
An audacious question from the Essendon Football Club during the second day of Trade Week could see Collingwood's cult hero, Mason Cox, change his American Pie stripes for a Bomber sash. News today from AFL House revealed that Essendon had asked the question of Collingwood as to whether a deal could be cut involving a future draft pick.
Essendon is on the hunt for tall forward players to replace the likely departure of their own hero, Joe Daniher, who may be on his way to the Sydney Swans. Essendon has a shortage of ruckmen and faces losing their best key forward in Daniher. It seems logical that Cox be asked about as he has played both roles in his 58-game (71 goal) career with the Pies.
The move isn't being wholly embraced by Bomber fans, though that won't be in the minds of Essendon recruiters.