Visiting teams have learned this over the years – Cazalys Stadium in Cairns is wind affected. The howling southerly gales that travel up the valley from Innisfail heavily assist the northern end of the ground and make scoring at the other end difficult. Not so last night, with scoring heavily assisted by the tide rather than the wind.
(Picture: Jack Bowes leads the way for the Suns)
With Tropical Cyclone Nora nearing landfall at Kowanyama on western Cape York, and threatening coastal communities around the Gulf of Carpentaria, the cyclonic rain settled happily over Cairns. With freestyle and backstroke races an equally viable option on the Cazalys Stadium surface, the football went ahead as planned making a whole new spectacle that even the AFL hadn’t bargained on.
The opening centre bounce was wisely replaced by the opening ball-up, otherwise they’d have never found the ball again. However, from then on the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne Kangaroos sloshed it out in front of a very enthusiastic, albeit mostly bedraggled crowd. Those who braved the conditions should be commended, and they witnessed a hard slogging affair from two committed teams. During the first quarter, neither gave an inch and adapted relatively quickly to the conditions.
Western Bulldogs are the 2018 AFLW premiers, which was set up on the back of a strong superb second half of football played by the daughters of the west. It was heartbreaking for the Brisbane Lions who were unlucky again to go down in the AFLW Grand Final two years in a row. This grand final was a tale of two halves, as the Lions played a great first half of football and then were quiet in the second half where the Dogs became played dominant football in the premiership quarter. It was a very tough high intensity match of women’s football played by both teams this afternoon at a wet and slippery, Ikon Park.
The Far North Queensland city of Cairns is about to host a very special football match. The AFL Premiership season for 2018 starts this weekend across the nation and Cairns is in the exciting position of hosting one of the Round One fixtures with the Gold Coast Suns hosting the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the Suns’ home at Metricon Stadium at Robina being seconded into the grand scheme of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the club has been forced to find options across the lands to play home fixtures. Cairns has been given the biggest, tastiest cherry of all with the honour of an opening round – traditionally one of the best attended rounds in a season with fans having endured their six month break from footy and desperate to get to a match.
In one of the most remarkable finishes to an NTFL grand-final, the Southern Districts Crocs have desperately held on by a solitary point to defeat the Darwin Buffaloes. It is the closest result in the NTFL Premier League since 2015/16 when St Mary’s held of Wanderers by two points. The previous occasions where a premiership was decided by just one point were in 1981/82 when Wanderers defeated St Mary’s and in 1971/72 and Saints downed the Buffaloes. A draw in 1932/33 was decided by a larger margin a week later when Waratah defeated Buffaloes.
The game looked to be on the way to being sealed by quarter time when the Crocs raced away with a seven goal to one term. Not to be denied, the Buffaloes charged back in the second quarter to bring the difference back to a goal by the main break.
Following recent media coverage of the state of footy in Tasmania, and statements about the subject by a number of high profile Tasmanians and other passionate football identities, AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan today visited Hobart where he met with the Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman and AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires.
The following statements were made by McLachlan following the meeting.
Standing in the eastern goal square at the Holloway’s Beach Sporting Complex, located on the northern beaches of Cairns, former Melbourne Demons’ champion Aaron Davey simply points to the other end of the field and says, “look at that!” He is referring to a football field chock full of kids of all ages – girls and boys – kicking footballs, laughing, listening to coaches, showing off to their team mates and generally having a blast.
It showed all the health and vitality of a strong club going places – part of the vision that new senior coach Davey has for his new team. “That’s the future” he adds. He is right. Davey knows only too well that for the Cairns City Lions to rise from the depths of a forgettable 2017 and sustain strength and success into the future, the club has to now foster the young kids who will take over when Davey and others have moved on.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) wishes to advise it has come up with two plans to try and see through the remaining eight grand finals for the 2017/18 TIO NTFL season.
Based on the most recent advice received from Power and Water Corporation we are hopeful of having power restored to TIO Stadium and surrounds, plus safe drinking water and debris cleared by early this week.
After meeting with Darwin Buffaloes Football Club, Southern Districts Football Club and other stakeholders on Sunday morning, it was apparent all parties want a result, so the plan has been formulated with that in mind.
However, added complexities of new weather events do not make anything certain and a second plan has also been created.
Collingwood put an end to the Adelaide Crows season, as they broke away in the second half of the match to run out 21-point victors at the Olympic Park. It was a great second half by the Pies who ended the Crows 2018 AFLW season and broke the Crows hearts. The Pies finished their season on a high and the big dance is decided the Dogs will meet the Lions in the 2018 AFLW Grand Final.
With the passage of Tropical Cyclone Marcus striking Darwin today, the AFLNT has postponed the grand finals further. Having already made the decision to postpone from tonight to Sunday, the damage from the Category 2 cyclone has forced further postponement.
The NTFL has released a statement regarding the decision.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) wishes to advise that it has postponed the 2017/18 TIO NTFL Men’s Grand Final Day after receiving strong advice from Power and Water Corporation and NT Police that was not conducive to going ahead.
No decision on rescheduling the eight finals has been made yet and AFLNT Executive, football and operation staff, will meet with stakeholders tomorrow morning to plan the completion of the season.