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Sunday, March 26 2017 @ 07:34 PM ACDT

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FOOTY AROUND THE WORLD: Tonga

Oceania

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The following story originally appeared on Frederick's Blog and the original article can be found here.

The South Pacific country of Tonga has been introduced to footy fairly recently, but they’ve taken to the sport quickly and have been able to earn their stripes on the international level. The small Polynesian archipelago of roughly 103,000 people is home to many talented athletes.

Tongans have historically favoured other full-contact sports throughout their history, as rugby union is their national sport and rugby league is also widely played in the islands. This influence is apparent in the growing Tongan diaspora, specifically in Australia and New Zealand.

Footy wasn’t introduced to Tonga until the 1980s, when a couple of Australian teachers visited Tongan schools and managed to show the kids the rules of the game. Later on in the 90s, Ewen Gracie, a teacher from Melbourne, worked at a Tongan high school and attempted to establish an ongoing school-based Aussie rules competition with reasonable success

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Magpies and Bulldogs out front after AFL Nauru Round 2

Oceania

Round 2 kicked off on Friday evening with the two teams hungry for success after losing their matches in Round 1. Cats led by veteran skipper Trent Depaune against the rebuilding Kangaroos.

Cats vs Kangaroos

The Friday game was a close one between two teams determined to notch up their first win for the season. The Kangaroos charged hard in the last quarter coming from 3 goals behind to level the scores with 4 minutes left. But a clutch goal from Cats veteran player Tiana Waidabu sealed the game for the Cats. Inspirational Cats Captain Trent Depaune led from the front and was named best player for his team. Young Lockett Mau was strong in defence saving a couple of goals and running the ball out of defence with speed and great evasiveness on several occasions. Pilo Dagiaro’s lethal left boot was again on display regularly hitting his forwards with great precision.

For the unlucky Roos they tried valiantly and could have easily snatched the game late in the last quarter, but it was not to be. Leaders Charles Dagiaro and Jarmen Pole won plenty of the ball and spearhead Bronco Deidenang kicked 4 majors causing headaches for the Cats defenders. Shenko Canon was solid in defence and Templa Tau was switched from defence to the forward line and his aggressive attack on the ball created options for the Roos. Young Roos Charmoro Ribauw and Lazarus Caleb impressed with their fearless attack on the football against much bigger bodies. The Roos are definitely on the improve and it should not be long before they notch up their first win for the season. But in this game, it was the Cats that triumphed by 8 points.

 

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FOOTY AROUND THE WORLD: New Zealand

Oceania

The following story originally appeared on Frederick's Blog and the original article can be found here.

When you think of sports in New Zealand, your mind generally goes to rugby union. The All-Blacks, the country’s national team, are the winningest team in any sport anywhere in the world. But Australia’s Oceanic neighbor is home to a small-but-growing community of Aussie rules footballers.

Footy was introduced to New Zealand in 1868, but the majority of the original clubs were eventually pressured or convinced into switching to soccer or rugby rules. Aussie rules was not seen as a sport that had staying power among Kiwis, and the game didn’t catch on for many decades.

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2017 AFL Nauru season kicks off

Oceania

Thanks to AFL Nauru for Round 1 details.

The 2017 Senior competition kicked off with 3 games. The Hon. Minister for Sports attended the opening and tossed the coin to launch the first game. The Opening round was sponsored by Capelle & Partners and Australian Aid.

Bulldogs vs Kangaroos
The first was the Grand Final replay between the Bulldogs and the Kangaroos. After a tight first quarter, the Bulldogs stepped up a gear in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with their star players in Niga Haulangi, Patrick Agadio, Deiri Cook and Nanitten Temaki leading the charge. Donatello Moses was lively up forward but it was Jose Uepa who normally play defence who was unstoppable in the forward line bagging a personal best of 6 goals. For the Roos, Mikey Hiram won plenty of the ball and he was supported by Jarmen Pole and Charles Dagiaro.

The dangerous Bronco Deidenang was their only shining light up forward kicking 7 goals. Recruit Skaga Dowabobo also performed well and held his own against Bulldogs ruckman Lennox Agege. In the end, the Dogs had more options and more winners across the ground running out comfortable winners by 38 points.

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FOOTY AROUND THE WORLD: Nauru

Oceania

The following story originally appeared on Frederick's Blog and the original article can be found here.

The smallest island nation in the world, Nauru has a notable and sizable presence in the international Aussie rules community. With 680 registered junior and senior players out of a population of roughly 10,000, Nauru has the highest participation rate of any country in the world (30-35%).

That’s pretty impressive for a nation that is less than a century old and covers less than 10 square miles.

Nauru is a tiny phosphate rock island in the central Pacific, located just south of the Equator in the vicinity of several archipelago-nations, including the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

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Footy Around the World: Papua New Guinea

Oceania

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This profile of footy in PNG is the second in the series from Frederick Shaibani.  We recommend you check out Frederick's Blog Letters from Las Cruces to read more.  The original post for this article can be seen here.  Frederick is a member of the Los Angeles Dragons Football Club. 

Despite being very close geographically, Australia and Papua New Guinea might seem like being worlds apart in culture and lifestyle. But in the realm of sports, the two countries are very similar – Papua New Guinea’s national sport is rugby league, making it one of the few countries besides Australia to favor rugby league over rugby union.

But the country is also home to a very passionate footy community, which the locals typically refer to as “AFL” or just “Rules.”

Papua New Guinea was an Aussie territory for many years, establishing partially autonomous rule shortly after World War II, but not becoming a fully independent nation until 1975. Given these historic ties, it’s not surprising that the sport of Aussie rules has a well-established history in PNG.

Footy was first played in PNG in 1944 in the city of Lae, where a number of Australian schoolteachers and military personnel were located. Lae, the second-largest city in PNG, proved to be an ideal spot for an Aussie rules community to grow over the next few decades, as the game spread to other large cities, including the capital, Port Moresby.
 

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Footy Around the World: Fiji

Oceania

 

We welcome new contributor Frederick Shaibani.  We recommend you check out Frederick's Blog Letters from Las Cruces to read more.  The original post for this article can be seen here.  Frederick is a member of the Los Angeles Dragons Football Club. In this article Frederick takes a look at the story of footy in the Pacific nation of Fiji.

One of the most sport-crazed countries in the Pacific, the islands of Fiji have long lacked a presence in Aussie rules football. It’s overshadowed significantly by rugby union, the Fijian national sport, but footy has made some strong gains in recent years.

AFL matches were first televised in Fiji in 2002, and the league saw that there was potential to reach the Fijian population and help establish footy as both a spectator sport and a participation sport. By 2005, the Fiji Daily Post had beat writers covering AFL games, in addition to the much more established sports of rugby union, rugby league, and netball.

Around the same time, a group of Aussie police officers stationed near the Fijian capital of Suva helped get some local athletes involved. The Aussies founded the Fijian Australian Football Association (FAFA) that year, with the goal of keeping it as the national governing body for footy. They attempted to get a national footy team into the 2007 South Pacific Games, which were being held in Fiji, but they couldn’t qualify in time due to a lack of players and funding. The FAFA went on hiatus as they attempted to organize a local competition.

 

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Nauru All Stars defeat Zillmere Eagles in first tour match

Oceania

The Nauru All Stars have started their two match tour with a big win over the The Zillmere Eagles by 12 goals.  

The young Stars stood out with their speed and agility around the field, which became too much for the Eagles. Young Jeremiah Kam, Niga Haulangi and veteran Timothy Teabuge dominated in defence while Donatello Moses and Yoshi Harris did most of the damage up forward. 

Vice captain Mallinson Batsiua using his strength and experience to dominate the centre clearances.

Yoshi Harris won the All Stars Coach's best on ground while Niga Haulangi awarded Zillmere Eagles vote for best player.

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AFL PNG completes Level 1 coaching accreditation

Oceania

The following is a story from EMTV in PNG.  It details the great work being done by AFL PNG staff along with development officers from Australia as they conducted coaching clinics this week in Port Moresby.    

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Groundbreaking at new footy facility in PNG

Oceania

Below is the EMTV story from last month's ground breaking ceremony for AFL PNG ahead of the construction of the new footy facility including the field.

The construction of the new dedicated footy facility will feature a social area, changing facility, gym, and more.


 

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