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Friday, January 22 2021 @ 12:07 am ACDT

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Toreadors, Bombers and Lions Strengthen Finals Hopes

Europe
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.
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Irish Blow For Bombers

Europe
Star Essendon defender, Irishman Conor McKenna, has returned to his homeland on the eve of the 2020 AFL Premiership season. Whilst the move is by no means permanent, the club will monitor progress closely over coming days and weeks.

The Essendon Football Club issued the following statement:

"Essendon defender Conor McKenna has returned to his homeland of Ireland due to homesickness and family-related reasons."

"General manager of football Dan Richardson said the 23-year-old had the club’s full support to return to his native country."
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UCC Dominate Fitzpatrick Cup

Europe
The UCC Bombers and UCC Crusaders have come away from Oxford University with thrilling results at the AFL Europe Fitzpatrick Cup. One winner and a runner-up marked another very good weekend for the Cork-based club.

The event saw the UCC Men’s retain their title, whilst the UCC Crusaders were unluckily defeated by a solitary point. It was a huge day for the Cambridge University women, taking the title. The event also saw teams from four countries compete – Ireland, England, Wales and Denmark – with the Southern Denmark University team making history with their first international team.

In the Men’s Division, the UCC Bombers pinched the game from Birmingham University in the dying moments. The club’s website described the result as follows:
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Choosing Isn’t Fair – AFLW v Ladies Football

Europe

 

In an article by Emma Duffy at THE 42, the argument about whether elite sportswomen in Ireland should be free to choose to play in both Australia for the AFLW and back home in Ireland gathers momentum.

The following article looks at the different sides to an emotive argument. It is also an argument that does not have a definitive answer, as individual women will want to choose their own directions rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

'Telling players they have to choose isn't fair' - Aussie Rules agent hits back at Mayo ladies boss' comments

12 of the 18 Irishwomen preparing for AFLW action are managed by CrossCoders – and its co-founder Jason Hill has responded to Peter Leahy’s claims.

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National University League – Round Three

Europe
The third round of the National University League was played last weekend in Cardiff, hosted by the South wales Universities team. By the end of the day, the South Wales women had booked their place in the grand final. They will not play in the final round, enjoying the bye.

In the men’s competition, University of Birmingham have almost certainly achieved the same, undefeated with two games to play. They can still lose top spot should things turn pear shaped in the final round, but that is not a high likelihood.

According to the National University League Facebook page:

Another round of the 2019/20 NUL season is in the books and it's set up an exciting Round 4 in Cambridge.
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French Season Returns After Break

Europe
The winter break for footy is almost over in France with premiership matches set to return as well as some key “friendlies” and tournaments to see out the season. The back end of the season will also get busy with any rescheduled matches to be slotted in where there are gaps available.

Round 4 will be played across the weekends of 8th February and 15th February, with matches scheduled in Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux. As it stands, all team are still in the finals race with four rounds remaining, meaning upcoming matches have a great deal riding on them.

At the end of the third round, many teams had not played all scheduled matches. The Paris Cockatoos lead the ladder with eight points from their two wins. The Paris Cockerels (6) and ALFA Lions (5) follow behind. However, some teams have played only once to date and have some extra points to potentially bank in coming weeks.
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Another Irish Hawk?

Europe

Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Hawthorn may make a decision on recruiting a third Irish player for the 2020 season. With Conor Glass and Conor Nash already on their books, the Hawks would join Essendon with three Irish talents.

HAWTHORN could add a third Irishman to its AFL list, with the Hawks flying teenage rugby prodigy Fionn O'Hara to Australia for a closer look at him. 

They already have Irish products Conor Nash (19 senior games) and Conor Glass (17) under contract, and both have earned promotion from Category B rookie status to the primary list. 

 

O'Hara, like Nash previously, plays underage rugby for powerhouse club Leinster and was a strong performer for an Ireland under-18 team against Italy's equivalent in November.

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North Munster Kangaroos Already Hopping

Europe

 

The 2020 AFL Ireland season draw has been released. This year the reigning premiers, the Belfast Redbacks will be chased down hard again by the Leeside Lions, Galway Magpies and South Dublin Swans. 

However, they will all have a new force to contend with this season as the North Munster Kangaroos are ready to roll…or hop. 

 

In a positive sign of continued growth for AFL Ireland, the Kangaroos boost the amount of teams competing to five. Their Facebook page contains the following details:

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AFLW 4.0 Aileen Gilroy

Europe

 

 The first in a series of interviews by Tash Gunawardana ahead of AFLW season 4. 

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Irish Star Set For Trial At Adelaide

Europe

 

Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on Gaelic jet, cathal McShane who may become the 18th Irish player on AFL men’s teams lists for the 2020 season. The original story can be viewed at: https://www.afl.com.au/news/365057/irish-star-set-for-trial-at-adelaide

ONE OF Gaelic football's breakout stars is seriously contemplating a move to the AFL to join rebuilding Adelaide.

Powerful forward Cathal McShane hails from the same county, Tyrone, as Essendon speedster Conor McKenna, who's become one of the Bombers' most important players.

McShane caught AFL recruiters' attention with his transformation last season from a run-of-the-mill half-forward and midfielder into Tyrone's focal point and the competition's leading scorer.

He subsequently received All-Star honours and was a genuine contender for Player of the Year, with one scout telling AFL.com.au he could play at centre half-forward in the AFL.

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