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.
Below is the Men's Division 1 ladder after Round 3 of the 2017 AFL International Cup.
Unlike Men's Division 2 and the Women's Division, the Men's Division 1 do not go to semi-finals, instead their fourth round of matches are regular scheduled games, with the top two nations after that going through to the MCG Grand Final.
New Zealand and Ireland are the only undefeated teams, both on 3 wins 0 losses, whilst PNG and USA are both on 2 wins 1 loss. It seems certain the grand finalists will come from these 4 sides. The blockbuster match between Ireland and New Zealand will see one of them undefeated and straight through to the MCG. The loser will be on 3 - 1, likely to be joined by USA (who face France) and probably PNG (a tough but winnable assignment against South Africa).
Percentage then becomes all important. New Zealand's miserly defence drives their extremely high percentage and they look well placed even if they narrowly lose to Ireland. But if Ireland lose they could well be caught on percentage by PNG or the USA, the latter likely to crush France in their early game then sit back nervously watching as other results unfold. It's going to be a very tense Tuesday at Royal Park.
With the conclusion of the 3 group rounds, the Division 2 Men's ladders are sorted. Tuesday's matchups will be China vs Germany and Japan vs Croatia, with the winners of those matches to meet in the Div 2 Grand Final on Friday, and the losers playing off for 3rd.
In the remaining two playoffs, Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan and Indonesia will take on India. The winners of those two matches will meet in the 5th place playoff on Friday, the losers in the playoff for 7th.
The tables are below, get your predictions and discussion in the comments!
Victoria Park, Kew, played host to the French Les Coqs and the Nauru Chiefs in a Division 1 match up that – once again – would provide many in attendance with their first glimpse of International Australian Football. The French connection is relatively new here – however it was enough for the French to be the ‘home side’; and were hosted twice during the week for training and a Thursday night BBQ.
For local footy, 10AM is an early start – but often this time of the day provides the most stable weather. In fine conditions with patchy cloud – the odd cloud producing the threat of a shower but nothing of substance – Nauru won the toss and those to kick to the southern end of the ground.
The trek down the highway to Geelong – once upon a time this WAS the big away trip for the old VFL. For South Africa and Fiji, the distances travelled to come to the International Cup means it’s just an aside to the importance of this match up. South Africa lost first up to the Brits while Fiji reprised their 2011 Div 2 Grand Final success with a stirring win over the French. The Schools round was tough for both sides with Fiji getting thumped by the rampant New Zealand side and South Africa likewise going down to the US Revolution.