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Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 10:00 pm ACDT

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Pies stun Blues in season opener

Australia

Collingwood caused an upset six point win over arch-rivals Carlton at Ikon Park.

Before the match, both teams took part in a minute of silence to remember GWS Giants player Jacinda Barclay who sadly passed away in October last year.

For the first time since March last year, fans were in the stands cheering their teams on and it was a great sight to see. Tonight's match was the first ever AFLW ticketed match. 

Neither of the teams were able to score a goal in the first quarter, but that did not faze the Pies as they came out with a four goal second quarter and the win for the Pies was set up in this quarter. 

The Pies hard running brand of footy was on show and it was a great spectacle. 

Chloe Molloy had an unbelievable second quarter and at the first break she had 10 disposals and two goals. Brianna Davey also popped up to nail through her first goal in her first match over her old team. The Pies led by 26-points at the main break. 

Vaomua Laloifi was the shining light for the Blues in the opening half. 

Image Source: AFLW

Blues came out breathing fire in the third quarter with three goals via Nic Stevens, Darcy Vescio and Jess Hosking.

Stevens scored the first goal of the match for the Blues and the Blues were starting to get reward for effort.

Blues goalsneak Vescio slotted through a goal and it brought up her 29th overall goal in the AFLW competition, equal with Brisbane Lions' Jess Wuetschner. 

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AFLW is back

Australia

The AFLW returns for it's fifth season after having been cut short by Covid-19 restrictions in 2020.

The AFLW competition has become an elite beacon for women across the world wanting to play Australian football. With the help of CrossCoders Irish players have become the norm at AFLW level and the presence of American Dani Marshall continues to give hope to women outside Australia and those in the closely related Gaelic football code.

Season five of the NAB AFL Women’s Competition marks considerable progress for the women’s game, with many new additions to the fixture this year to boost community connection and engagement. Round 1 kicks off tonight at Ikon Park with Carlton and Collingwood renewing their long running club rivalry.

 

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AFL International Cup postponed until at least 2022

Australia

Due to the uncertainty around international travel, the AFL has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 AFL International Cup.

The event, which was to be held on the Sunshine Coast, was initially postponed from this year to July/August 2021.

After significant consideration and consultation with AFL International affiliates, the forecasted restrictions on international travel and the uncertainty around team availability have led to this decision.

The AFL International Cup remains an important part of developing the game overseas and mid next year They will review the ability to stage the AFL International Cup on the Sunshine Coast in 2022 or 2023.

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Redemption In Cairns

Australia

In was in late March 2018 when Cairns hosted its last AFL match. On the day, Tropical Cyclone Nora kindly dumped monsoonal rain over the Cairns region, turning Cazalys into a fairly decent outdoor swimming pool.

After years of declining attendances at the Cairns venue for AFL Premiership matches, a decision was made to host a Round 1 match in March (instead of the usually dry August). It was a calculated gamble to try and produce an excited and enthusiastic crowd to appease the AFL, boosting numbers again to secure a future for these matches in Cairns. Sadly, the weather intervened.

Only 3722 people braved the conditions that night, and subsequently the AFL did not grant another game in 2019 to Cairns. Instead, fierce southern rival Townsville hosted their first AFL Premiership match. Those in the footy industry in Cairns were shattered and some believed that the damage done might see a 10-year wait for the city to host another match.

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Positive COVID-19 Test For Irish Bomber

Australia
The AFL community is stunned by the announcement today that Essendon’s Irish speedster, Conor McKenna, has tested positive to the coronavirus. Details are still sketchy, with further medical investigation and contact research to occur, but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced today that tomorrow’s Essendon v Melbourne match will be postponed.

The precaution is in line with the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, with a postponement decision meaning that the match can potentially be played mid-week later in the season. Shorter quarters were brought in by the AFL to lessen the playing load on players in the event that postponements did occur, which is now the case.

Initial fears that McKenna brought the disease with him from overseas, after returning home to Ireland just a few weeks ago, have been allayed somewhat. McLachlan stated that McKenna tested negative last Wednesday, showed a “low grade irregularity” on Friday and a positive this morning. This would indicate that he may have contracted the disease since returning to Australia.
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They’re Back…

Australia
I doubt that there has ever been a Round 2 of a season that has carried such a weight of expectation, whether that be at the highest level of the AFL, or the suburban juniors anywhere around the world. Yet, Collingwood and Richmond have played in one of the most, dare I say, important matches in many, many years.

Pitting two great traditional clubs against each other certainly raised the excitement. The canned applause was for the most art innocuous, although at times the crowd appeared to be cheering the wrong thing. That’s technology! The mere spectacle of a game – a live game - returning to the lounge-rooms across the world raised spirits.

However, more important that any of the above, arguably, is the fact that the ‘Pies and Tige’s are the catalyst for a new footy beginning. The fact that they both entered the field of battle tonight heralds what will come.
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Black Lives Matter

Australia
Of course, All Lives Matter. However, gatherings across the world have been raising awareness to the fact that black lives are a part of that statement and deserve recognition to be included within the term “All”. As a show of respect and support, the following list shows the names of indigenous Australian men and women who have played at VFL, AFL or AFLW level.

AFL/VFL Men’s

Winston Abraham, Matthew Ahmat, Robert AhMat, Joe Anderson, Tony Armstrong, Jarrod Atkinson, Les Bamblett, Chance Bateman, Laurie Bellotti, Harley Bennell, Jamie Bennell, Eddie Betts, Peter Bird, Alan Bloomfield, Ashley Blurton, Shane Bond, Troy Bond, Peter Burgoyne, Shaun Burgoyne, Ronnie Burns, Norm Byron, Barry Cable, Shane Cable, Fred Campbell, Matt Campbell, Warren Campbell, Kevin Caton, Sean Charles, Scott Chisholm, Allen Christensen, Raphael Clarke, Xavier Clarke, Eric Clarke, Che Cockatoo-Collins, David Cockatoo-Collins , Donald Cockatoo-Collins, Adam Cockie, Richard Cole, Clayton Collard, Cyril Collard, Reuben Cooper, Anthony Corrie, Shannon Cox, Percy Cummings, Robert Cummings, Trent Cummings,
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Night Grand Final Looming

Australia

Take part in our poll at the bottom of this story and on the website's side panel to gauge interest in whether the AFL should move towards a night grand final. The story below looks at the concept based on Eddie McGuire's beliefs.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire added further fuel to to fire concerning the AFL moving towards a night grand final. The argument has been emotive for a number of years now without any firm decision being reached. However, McGuire today suggested that the AFL might be forced to consider the change in light of the season postponement due to COVID-19. With the MCG being booked already to accommodate cricket fixtures, and the cricketing powers at state and national level unwilling to budge, McGuire believes we could see an "historic" end to this season.

McGuire told radio station Triple M, “If everything goes according to plan I think we’ll have a night Grand Final this year.”

“I think we’ll have the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on the Friday night, I think we’ll have the holiday on the Friday, then Saturday will be the Cox Plate and Saturday night will be the Grand Final.

“I think for AFL football, Channel 7 and Fox Footy would be very, very keen to get as much viewership as possible on the Grand Final given the restrictions that have happened so far this year.”


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Northern Australia Could Break Footy Deadlock

Australia
Whilst the AFL is yet to formally state how and when the AFL season can restart after the enforced season postponement due to COVID-19, two northern cities might be the keys to fast tracking a start date.

Darwin has emerged as a potential location for a player hub (where all teams would be based for a set period of time to play out rounds) with its potential to have matches played in front of crowds as early as June. Cairns has also emerged as a potential hub for matches and teams with AFL Cairns having confirmed its interest in playing that role.

Both cities possess multiple venues, milder winter conditions than the colder southern states, strong following of the game and, most importantly, have low cases of COVID-19. The Northern Territory had recorded just 28 cases, whilst Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service had reported 33 cases. Both figures are extremely low compared to the major Australian cities.
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Where The Wind Blows

Australia

 

To kick off a series of articles from around the world that look at footy life in COVID-19 times, this story looks at some aspects of footy life in Far North Queensland. It is hoped this story may trigger more stories from people, clubs and leagues across the world as they negotiate events unthought-of at the end of their last seasons. 

On my way home from work last week I dropped by the home ground of my former club, Gordonvale's Power Park. It is the home of the Pyramid Power club, set in canefields and overlooked by the mighty Walsh’s Pyramid. It is, in a word, beautiful. 

It was around five o’clock – a time when junior footy training would be under way in the first week of April, preparing for the first matches for the new season.  

Today, however, the ground was devoid of kids. Only teams of plovers graced the playing surface. Seeming to enjoy themselves, it wasn’t clear who was winning. Perhaps, for them it wasn’t about that – it was about fun.

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