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.
The conclusion of Round two of IC17 sees plenty of movement in the Ranks, twelve nations saw a rise or fall in their Ranks. China is the biggest riser, climbing from 18th to 15th, whilst Croatia climbed from 15th to 13th rank.
Indonesia has fallen three places from 14th to 17th place and South Africa has slipped another two places to 10th Rank.
Great Britain Swans have consolidated their 3rd Rank position and United States Freedom have crept a little closer to Ireland in the second round of IC17. There were no actual changes in Rank as a consequence of Round Two Matches.
Harry Macdonald Sports Ground, Peninsula Grammar School Wednesday
August 9, 12.15pm BYTIM MILLER for AFL Europe (Thanks Tim and AFL Europe for the report and pictures)
The GB Swans have continued their winning ways in the International Cup, fending off a spirited fightback from Fiji to record a 9-‐point victory, their second in a row.
A goal to Caroline Sellar with just four minutes left steadied the Swans after the Vonu closed to within three points early in the last term, and some spirited defending, a staple of the game throughout, saw them hold on to win 5.3 (33) to 3.6 (24).
Join Carlton legend Percy Jones (249 games and three premierships) and take in the atmosphere of a traditional Melbourne corner pub, with superb dining room, real fires, lots of Fitzroy Football Club and Carlton Football Club art and photos. This is a genuine, time-honoured Melbourne lunch experience.
Hosted by John Harms, writer and champion luncher.
Where: North Fitzroy Arms Hotel, 296 Rae St, North Fitzroy When: Friday, August 11 Time: 12.30pm
Three courses for $40
Drinks at bar prices
International footy is rare. The ovals of Royal Park lack the glamour you might find at a FIFA World Cup, but in the wind and the rain on Sunday, the visiting nations provided the sort of diversity of culture and style that befits a global event.
My favourite game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was between Japan and the Ivory Coast in the group stage. It summarised perfectly what you want from an international contest – a clash of styles, as well as a meeting of cultures.