The USA Revolution came into Tuesday’s clash with France with a 2-1 record and were in need of a big win following a disappointing 37-point loss to Papua New Guinea in Round 3. Meanwhile, France was also looking to get in gear following rough defeats at the hands of Fiji, Ireland, and Nauru.
It was a mild day for footy at McAlister Oval, and the Revos came charging out of the gate right away, with ruckman Donald Lee dominating the hitouts and the Revos’ engine room working in sync to feed the ball outside. Ryan Gartright and Clyde Simpson were influential with several classy disposals, while Jeff Kraemer and Michael Linehan made the most of their time by applying pressure and attacking the footy.
The Great Britain Bulldogs held off a spirited Fijian defence to take the win in their final round match yesterday. Whilst the Fijians were solid across halfback and through the midfield all day, they were unable to consistently find targets up forward, whilst the Bulldogs capitalised on their chances to accumulate a decent lead at each change.
With many onlookers rating both the Bulldogs and Fiji Tribe as big improvers from the IC14, Friday will see both sides go into their playoffs for 5th and 7th as probable favourites.
A breezy day greeted the sides at the McAlister Oval in Melbourne’s Royal Park this Tuesday as Canada’s Northern Lights were taking on the USA’s Freedom in the first semi-final on the women’s side of IC17.
The Canadian women had won their pool, but had beaten Fiji by just one point in their opening match of the tournament. “The girls got a great lesson in the importance of conversion,” said Northern Lights head coach, Jason Arnold. “Games of footy are not wom by clearances and more inside 50s. You need to covert these opportunities.” He went on to say, “The exciting part is, this group is still learning to play together and, as they gel, their best footy is ahead and will make them tough to beat.”
Canada bounced back after the narrow victory to blast Pakistan by 31 goals and then, to take down Great Britain by 31 points.
The Croatia Knights this afternoon crushed the Japan Samurai to gain entry into the Division two Grand Final. The Samurai were beat on on the scoreboard but not their spirit. The team kept to their game plan despite the blustery conditions and the relentless Croatian pressure which made options difficult to pick. Croatia now meets Germany in the Grand Final of Division Two.
2017 International Cup Round #4. Royal Park. Men’s Division 1 P.N.G. Mosquitos Vs R.S.A. Lions
Wednesday 15th August. 10.30am
The PNG Mosquitos continued their good form to win and win well over the RSA Lions. The scoreline might imply an "easy" win with the result a predictable win to the Mosquitos but they still had to work hard against a determined South African side that was intent on being competitive.
Both teams were surprise first-round losers which looked likely to preclude them from the Grand Final but the Mosquitos have learnt from that experience and improved markedly whilst the Lions have struggled against the Revolution and have only just beaten the Fiji Tribe.
It was a match between the winless Sri Lanka Lions and the Pakistan Shaheens who could only manage one win from their first three matches. It was a cold cloudy wintry day at the Royal Park - Western Oval in Melbourne, but fortunately there was no heavy rain just a bit of light drizzle.
On paper this match looked like it would be a win to the Shaheens, but they were unable to put a halt to the Lions' pressure. According to the ladder it looked like the match would be a close encounter and the match lived up to it for most of the game, with only a goal and half separating both teams at each break except at the final siren.
The number 34 for the Canada Northern Lights - worn by Kirsti Oja - had a stand out game on Sunday at the Plenty War Memorial Park. Amongst many highlights, dashing runs, athletic high leaping in ruck contests and skilful ball use there was also this superb contested mark between two British Swans.
Amua Pirika's (pictured left) six goals for PNG against the USA on Saturday was not enough to give him the lead in the Men's Division 1 leading goalkicker*. Despite a total of 10 goals from his past two games he still trails Great Britain's Andrew Walkden by two. Walkden sits on twelve goals after kicking six of his own on Saturday against Ireland to add to five against South Africa in Round 1 and one against Canada in Round 2.
In Division 2 Croatia's Ivan Ivos leads the goal kicking with eight for the tournament.
In the Women's Division there is a five way tie for the top position with Christine McCutcheon from Ireland, Danni Saulter from GB, Jessica Estrada from USA, as well as Sally Fong and Verenaisi Caginavanua (both from Fiji) all on 6 goals so far.
IC17 Round 4 matches will play out at Royal Park tomorrow. The latest scheduled match times and ovals are in the table below.
All matches will also be streamed live on the AFL's International Cup Youtube page. Division 1 will have their scheduled Round 4 matches while Division 2 and the Women's Divisions will have their semi-finals.