On Monday morning 15th August (before Game Day 2) the IC11 captains and the team managers were invited to the Prime Minister’s residence in Sydney, Kiribilli House. Though the Prime Minister was busy with official duties in Canberra, her partner, Tim Mathieson (pictured centre in the photo on the left), was there to welcome the players. The players got to meet him in person, then were invited out into the beautiful gardens, overlooking the dazzling Sydney Harbour, for morning tea.
After refreshments there were some speeches from Tim Mathieson, welcoming the guests to Australia, Brett Kirk talking about his travels and one from the USA Revolution captain, expressing his thanks on behalf of the other captains and team managers. Then the captains moved onto the lawn, avoiding the steep drop down to the harbourside levels, for more photographs.
The first-ever Women's International Cup match was played this morning, with Papua New Guinea coming out against the Australian Muliticultural and Indigenous side. The match was tight early, but the PNG Flame pulled away from the AMI by quarter time, eventually running out 50-point winners.
Initially the two teams looked even, both taking a while before finding their feet on the wide oval. PNG Flame drew first blood, Analg Vinnie Isaac's kick sailing cleanly between the posts. But it never looked like it was going to go the Flame's way as the Australian Multicultural Indigenous team soon countered. There was a struggle in midfield for a while, but as the game progressed, the Flame really pulled together and started dominating the field, resulting in another two goals for Isaac before quarter time.
After seeing the local derbies of Ireland vs Great Britain and USA vs Canada on Day 1, the second day's play kicked off with the Scandinavian derby between Sweden and Denmark. The Vikings and Elks looked evenly matched early, but ultimately Denmark’s structure and game plan won out, the Vikings running out 39-point winners.
Christian Rose got Denmark off to a good start with two goals after the sides battled it out in packs for the first five minutes. Sweden responded through Nillson and Bondeau to even up the scores but that was to be the last time the Swedes would be close in this match. Chris Campion marked well and converted to give the Danes a seven point lead at quarter time.
All the results from the AFL International Cup Game Day 2 at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney
will be added throughout Monday 15th August - we're aiming to have scores up for every game at each quarter (these are 4 x 17.5 minute quarter
We suggest you refresh your browser regularly to see the latest. Match reports will follow later in the day and into Tuesday.
We'll also add photos to our gallery (left) as time permits.
BISS2 - 12pm Men's D1 Denmark vs Sweden
BISS1 - 1pm Women's PNG vs Australia IM
BISS2 - 2pm Men's D1 Nauru vs Tonga
BISS1 - 3pm Women's Canada vs Ireland
BISS2 - 4pm Men's D1 Canada vs Great Britain
BISS1 - 5pm Men's D1 USA vs Japan
The day concludes with a Women's launch function at BISS, possibly since some of the women's sides had not arrived by opening
night last Friday.
We're steadily adding images to our media gallery but in the mean time here are some shots from across the day and the launch the night before, focussing on some of the off field activity. Thanks to all our contributors.
We ended up with exactly 50 contestants for our IC11 tipping competition. Many thanks to John Hamilton for putting this together and Burley Sekem for their prizes.
With 18 matches decided on Game Day 1 there was plenty of room for error, but then again all bar one of the results went with the seedings so playing it safe was a good bet. The two close games of the day were the United States defying the seeding by defeating Canada by 3 points and Japan edging Fiji by 2 points in a last gasp win.
No doubt you'll all shed a tear for this author when I say that I got both those wrong - so near to a perfect score but now well down the leaderboard and feeling robbed that Fiji's gun young player Dylan Wolfgramm (probably worth several goals) was not available, instead putting in a best on ground performance for Avondale Heights down in Victoria.
Don't forget to get your tips in for Game Day 2 before tomorrow morning! The results so far:
David P 17
Josh P 17
Dave K 16
Kevan L 16
Kevin G 16
Josh D 15
The final session at Blacktown number two oval was expected to see a tight tussle between North American rivals Canada and the United States (seeded just below the Canadians but with a very successful record against them).
And that's exactly what we got, with one of the most enthralling International Cup matches and one of only two for that day that went down to the wire.
What we didn't really expect was the mighty effort from the Peace Team, in particular against Canada in which the Peace Team held the Northwind to just one point at half time.
The lights were in full effect at the main oval at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney (BISS) for the evening slot featuring number 3 seed South Africa, strong European nation Denmark and development squad China.
First up the South Africans took on the Danes in what proved to be an intriguing tussle.
Then the Lions faced easier opposition and became the first team to rack up a century victory, against China's Red Demons.
The night at BISS1 concluded with China against the Denmark's Vikings and although there was pillage to be had for the Danes the Chinese did come away with some reward as well.
Group 5 turned out to be the toughest on the Opening Day of the 4th AFL International Cup, with 5th seed Nauru not completely dominating and a thriller between Japan and Fiji.
The Japan versus Fiji match was tipped as a possible close one and didn't disappoint, with the new boys on the block Fiji, leading until the dying stages. The day was darkening and it was looking that way on the scoreboard for Japan until the Samurai managed to avoid a loss of pride and scrape into Division One.
For the Fijians they now look to be a very dangerous side in Division Two and should be aiming to win it.
Nauru won reasonably well in both matches but didn't look as impressive as some other top countries and unless they were foxing will need to improve to challenge for a top four spot.
The second set of Group matches to be played at BISS1 on the Opening Day of IC11 featured one time champs and number 2 seed New Zealand, up against Sweden (bronze medallist at the 2010 European Championships) and a re-born India.
It was a credit to a lot of hard work behind the scenes by volunteers just for India to be in Sydney, and with not a lot of on field activity in recent times not a great deal was expected, especially against accomplished opponents.
Perhaps of most interest was to see whether Sweden have improved enough to push the Kiwis, and whether the New Zealanders would present the same style of structured game as past Cups.
Group 4 had the honour of kicking off the first day of IC11 (along with Group 1 on the main oval) at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney oval two (BISS2). Warm weather (which didn't last all day) greeted the players which would've been to Timor-Leste's (East Timor's) liking, but the heat was soon on them in their debut as Great Britain quickly showed them the ropes.
There was no respite for the Crocs as they then took on number 4 seed and for many Cup favourite Ireland. Fortunately the opening day format of 2 x 15 minute halves stopped some of the damage (although one Timor-Leste player was off to hospital with a suspected major shoulder injury).
The group then completed with the European neighbours clashing in what was a reasonable battle but Ireland's Warriors were a class above.
The 2011 AFL International Cup started Saturday morning at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney (BISS) with number one seed Papua New Guinea taking on new boys Tonga in Group A, joined in their three way series by another new footy nation in France.
Proceedings got underway slightly earlier as both PNG and Tonga went quickly to their positions after their respective war dances. The Tongan boys looked impressive with height and powerful physiques, but everyone knew the Mosquitoes would be fast and too good. Greater interest would lie in how the French performed against the islanders.