Fiji Vonu and Papua New Guinea Flames both played their 8th Qualifying matches in Round Three on Sunday 13th August, becoming Fully Ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively. All four matches played resulted as was expected and as the ranking scheme predicted and consequently there were no changes in rank.
It was a mild sunny day in Melbourne's South East. Hallam Reserve hosted the Women's Pool B top of the table clash between the Alfa Ireland Banshees and the Papua New Guinea Flames.
The contest in the opening quarter was even and tight with both teams unable to gain clear possession and to break the game open. It took to about the 10-minute mark of the first for the Banshees to get on top in the contest, as they were winning a lot more of the footy.
The top of the table Women’s Pool 1 clash between the reigning world champs the Canada Northern Lights and the International Cup debutants the Great Britain Swans – on a breezy but mostly sunny day with an early taste of Melbourne Spring in the air – the venue the Plenty Oval, home of the Victorian Womens club the powerful Diamond Creek. Last tournament this venue hosted the Banshees vs the Liberty. With respect to that previous encounter – this match is a super important fixture. The winner will ensure the advantage in the semi-finals on Tuesday. The loser likely to face up to Ireland in the other semi. The Northern Lights going in as favourites but the Brits full of hope to pull off an upset.
Below are the Women's ladders after Round 3 of the 2017 AFL International Cup, with Canada and Ireland topping Pools A and B respectively, both undefeated.
The tournament now moves to the semi-final round, with Canada (3 wins 0 losses) to take on neighbours USA (2-1), and Ireland (3-0) similarly taking on neighbours Great Britain (2-1). The winners go through to the Grand Final at Etihad Stadium. The other nations play off for the lower spots.
Did the best 4 teams make the semis? PNG were much improved on their last appearance (2011) but clearly not top 4 overall, but Fiji can consider themselves very unlucky, going down to Canada in round 1 after a draw at full time, losing by a golden point (next score wins) in controversial circumstances. If Fiji had won that match they would've finished 2nd, ahead of Great Britain on percentage, assuming the other matches played out the same. If they improve this much again by IC20 look out all-comers!
Fiji has turned on one of the highest scoring international women's games seen, destroying world footy newcomer Pakistan at Mulgrave Reserve, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne.
It was Round 3 of the Women's division and the Vonu were in no mood to go easy, having lost their two opening games by narrow margins to two of the top team in Canada and Great Britain. They piled on goals in every quarter, keeping the Shaheens scoreless throughout the match.
Many thanks to Robert Wolfgramm for information contributing to this article and the Fiji Daily Post for the photos.
The USA Freedom faced the European Crusaders at Melbourne University Oval on Sunday morning, the last of three grading rounds for the women. The tournament had so far seen the USA lose to Ireland and defeat PNG. The Crusaders had lost both of their encounters and failed to score in either match.
Those hoping for a close match would be disappointed. The Freedom went on to win by 127 points. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, not only does their losing streak continue, their scoreless streak does too. Jessica Estrada (#2) of the USA was outstanding with Lindsey Kastanek (#27) a great finisher in front of goal.
Croatian Knights too tall and experienced for Sri Lanka Lions
Overcast sky and strong wind blowing across the Lyndhurst Lightning’s home ground, Marriott Waters Reserve, greeted the Croatian Knights and Sri Lanka Lions for their Final Pool match in Division Two of IC17. Much of the match was played along the eastern wing because of the cross wind so made it difficult to see the player’s numbers (especially Croatia) and unfortunately not all goal scorers were noted by myself.
The first quarter was all Croatia, with Josip "the Pain Train" Habljak and Ivan Molnar in ruck giving the rovers first use of the ball and if not for the Lions speed and fierce tackling the score could have blown out. It was Josip himself who kicked the Knights first goal, Josip Motik brought up the Knight’s second J. Kravar helped himself to the third for Croatia. Sri Lanka was able to make only a couple of brief forays to the edge of their forward 50.
First Quarter: Croatia 3-2 (20) to Sri Lanka 0-0 (0)
Ireland has defeated Great Britain by fifteen points, in Round 3 of the 2017 International Cup.
Round 3 was themed Community Round and Great Britain vs Ireland took place at Koornang Park, Carnegie, home of the Caulfield Bears. The match was wedged between Caulfield’s Seniors and Reserves, and they were happy hosts, running out winners against Springvale Districts in both their matches.
Ireland was undefeated going into this match. They narrowly won against PNG, before comprehensively defeating France. Great Britain sat equal wins and losses, upsetting South Africa, but falling to Canada.
2017 International Cup Round #3 at Montrose Recreation Reserve. Men’s Division 1 U.S.A. Revolution Vs P.N.G. Mosquitos
Saturday 12th August. 12.30pm
PNG Mosquitos have given themselves a chance to make the IC17 final with a superb display of athletic and skillful football tinged with aggression, unrelenting accuracy and the ability to shark the ruck contests.
Prior to the game, the mood had swung firmly in the direction of the Revolution, who have built confidence with good wins in the first two rounds over Canada and South Africa.
Mosquito Matt King opted to play for the Montrose Demons today instead of the P.N.G. national team, the other PNG/Montrose player JJ Peni was out due to injury.
The Revolution have developed a strong relationship with the Montrose Football Club and had tr7ained with Montrose earlier this week. They knew the ground well with one player also having played previously for Montrose (Ben Carpenter-Nwanyanwu).
In front of a good crowd at Golden Square’s Wade St ground last night under lights Pakistan went 2-0 in the Dosti Cup contest between India and Pakistan. Dosti is the Hindi and Urdu word for friendship.
In 2014 Pakistan heavily defeated India at Craigieburn to the tune of 94 points.
Last night though the match was much closer. The final margin being just 9 points . The Indian team would have been a little disappointed they could not get the win for their Golden Square friends and hosts but surely must have been happy to see the narrowing of the gap from three years ago.
On Saturday the 12th of August at 12:30pm, Mount Waverley Reserve hosted the Men's Division 1 International Cup match between Canada Northwind and the top placed New Zealand Hawks. It was partly cloudy with a bit of sunshine and minimal north-westerly breeze.
The match started with the Hawks kicking to the southern end of the ground and Northwind to the north. It was an even affair played in close to begin, as both teams had three inside 50s a piece, but with no reward on the scoreboard. There were plenty of ferocious tackles and a lot of free kicks were paid early, all you could hear was the whistle being blown. Neither team were able to score until three minutes into the first when Joshua Mackie (#35) kicked the Hawks first goal of the match.