The autumn season brings a lot of things to Auckland - the Chinese New Year celebrations and test cricket matches at Eden Park, just to name a few - but it’s also the beginning of AFL New Zealand’s premiership season. The quartet of teams have produced lots of highlights in the previous two seasons of competition, and the excitement continues as participation rates grow across the Tasman Sea.
With Nauru celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence in 2018, the Jubilee Cup has kicked off the festivities early.
The cup was a round-robin tournament featuring some of the most talented young footballers on the island, with 11 different sides all competing for the cup -- plus island-wide bragging rights. The initial tournament ran from January 17-20, organized into pools A and B, culminating in the grand final on the 27th.
One of the world’s biggest overseas youth tournaments, the Oceania Cup was hosted at Albert Park in the Fijian capital of Suva this past week, with the hometown Fiji Tribe defeating Nauru in the grand final to take home the bragging rights.
The week began with a lightning football tournament in round-robin format, featuring the teams from Fiji, Vanuatu, and the representative side the Pacific All-Stars. The Vanuatu Volcanoes were the early surprise of the tournament, winning the first two matches convincingly over their Fijian hosts and the All-Stars.
The 2017 AFL Oceania Cup will be returning to Fiji on December 4th.
A total of four countries will be competing at the event, which is one of the most significant summer footy tournaments in the world. AFL Fiji has experienced rapid growth within the past few years, highlighted by the men’s national team (the Tribe) finishing sixth earlier this year at the International Cup. The Fiji Vonu, the women’s team, finished fifth.
A country with no shortage of raw athletes, Fiji has recently become home to an AFL girls’ developmental academy, as well as a rapidly-growing Under-15s program, known as the Junior Tribe.
The Port Moresby senior competition in Port Moresby is resuming this weekend. The season did stall after Round 8 due to the high number of IC representatives coming out of the competition and also because of the situation surrounding the extended PNG elections that dragged out and caused security concerns in the nation's capital.
With their hometown heroes returning with the International Cup and the election issues now being cleared the season is ready to push through to the end and see some great footy played. The Lamana Dockers are leaders in both the Seniors and Reserves men's competition, while the Gerehu Magpies lead in the women's competition (and have the bye this week).
See the full draw below for Round 9 and the current ladders.
The AFL has released the twenty-first intake into Level One of the NAB AFL Academy. Of World Footy interest is the inclusion of 15 year old Hewago "Ace" Paul Oea.
Ace comes to the Academy via PNG's participation in the AFL Queensland development pathway and first came to prominence when he starred in Queensland's U16 team at the recent National carnival. As well as winning the best on ground medal in the recent International Cup grand final, he has recently also been playing senior football for Broadbeach in the AFLQ competition.
The 22 players will receive a NAB AFL Academy scholarship and under the guidance of AFL National Academy Head Coach Luke Power, will come together for accelerated AFL football and personal development camps to be held in Australia and overseas over the next 12 months.
This intake was selected from the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships which recently concluded in Queensland with players aspiring towards the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
Port Moresby footy kicked off Round 6 with some big scores in the Senior competition on Saturday.
The West Eagles moved into the top four with a 44-point win over the Gereka Bombers, while Concept Koboni did their percentage no harm with a massive 131 point win over the Defence Hawks.
On Sunday, the Oilmin Kokofas had a 30 point win over the Gerehu Magpies. The top of the table clash between the unbeaten Lamana Dockers and the Cats was hard fought and despite some wayward kicking the Dockers went a game clear on top of the ladder with a 19 point win.
The Docker’s Reserve grade team continue to show the depth of talent at the club also being undefeated on top of the ladder in that competition.
After five rounds of footy the Lamana Dockers lead the Port Moresby competition. Accounting for Concept Koboni in Round 4 and Oilmin Kokofas in Round 5 their unbeaten run continues. But the Cats trail them only by percentage as they defeated the Gereka Bombers and Concept Koboni in the two rounds.
The West Eagles did their percentage no harm with a big win over the last placed Defence Hawks in Round 5.
Below you can see all the scores from Round 4 and 5, and the ladder after round 5..
Women's footy in Port Moresby is up and running for 2017 and The Gerehu Magpies are leading the way being unbeaten after three rounds. All five teams in the competition have had at least four points (Oilmin Kokofas four points thanks to the bye).
On the weekend the Magpies had a 41 point win over Concept Koboni. The Cats had their first win of the season with a 29 point win over the Oilmin Kokofas. The Lamana Dockers had the bye in the five team competition.
The full results for the season so far and the current ladder are below.