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New Zealand take the Cup

International Cup 2005

New Zealand held off Papua New Guinea to win the 2005 Australian Football International Cup this evening, running out 7.8.50 to 5.2.32 winners.

With a crowd of international footy diehards and earlybirds starting to filter in for the Carlton-Collingwood match, New Zealand and PNG lined up with their respective war dances, then hit the ground with some very tough, physical football in the first ten minutes.

New Zealand kept the ball in their forward line for most of the start of the match, but pressure from PNG left the Falcons unable to get clean posessions and the Mozzies eventually broke through for the first goal of the game when after a quick break down the ground Dominic Livuana received a handpass out of the pack in close and converted.

Undaunted, the New Zealanders got a quick clearance from the centre, then switched the play across the half forward line where Caleb Stick goaled on the run from around 50 metres out with a high quality kick. As the quarter time siren sounded, the Falcons lead 1.2.8 to PNG 1.0.6.

A feature of the match was the contrast between New Zealand's highly structured gameplan based around working to key position players and the running, possession game of Papua New Guinea. The Mozzies found it tough to get past half forward though, with New Zealand's size in defence proving a difficult barrier for the smaller Papua New Guineans to overcome.

The second quarter started with the same intensity as the early part of the match, Craig Ashton scoring New Zealand's second goal with a gather off the ground within the first minute. PNG's Desmond Kaumu took an athletic, stretching mark five minutes in, but was unable to convert and the game settled into a tough slog in the PNG forward line until the Falcons broke away, a fast break downfield finishing with James Bowden snapping a goal over his shoulder.

PNG kicked the last goal of the half, Alister Sioni awarded a free kick in front of goal and converting to bring PNG back within seven points at the half, New Zealand 3.3.21 to PNG 2.2.14.

Bowden kicked the first goal of the second half, then after some desperate attacking by the Falcons resulting in a string of behinds, Steve Froggatt took a mark close to the line, ran forward and kicked what he thought was a goal, before the goal umpire signalled that he'd actually crossed the line and scored a rushed point.

Papua New Guinea's only score from the quarter came from Stanley Tapend, goaling on the run from about 45 metres after some scrambling defence from the Kiwis. This was followed soon at the other end of the ground, by a kick out from PNG's fullback going straight to Geoff Thomas, who goaled to give New Zealand a 17-point lead at the last change.

The Mozzies came out blazing, determined not to let the game slip away, and scored two quick goals through Overa Gibson and Sioni, to see them only 5 points down five minutes in. Bowden then kicked a great goal on the run to put the Falcons back 11 points ahead, then a kick from Froggatt to Craig Ashton set Ashton up to kick the sealer for New Zealand.

When the final siren sounded, New Zealand were victors by 18 points. Best on ground was New Zealand goalsneak James Bowden, with Alister Sioni best for Papua New Guinea.

Final Scores

New Zealand 7.8.50
PNG 5.2.32

New Zealand: Bowden 3, Ashton 2, Stick, Thomas
PNG: Sioni 2, Gibson, Tapend, Livuana

Visit our International Cup multimedia section to listen to interviews with New Zealand Captain Andrew Congalton, Coach Jim Lucy and General Manager Rob Malone.

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New Zealand take the Cup | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, August 13 2005 @ 10:12 am ACST

Audio interviews have been added.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America and Africa

New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 13 2005 @ 07:06 pm ACST

I think the real surprise this year is the yanks. By far they had the toughest schedule- Ireland, PNG, and NZ- They've come along way from the last cup. Great footy all around- the level of the teams this year has been very impressive and way above last time.

New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, August 14 2005 @ 08:06 am ACST

Photos added to story.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America and Africa

New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Sunday, August 14 2005 @ 08:17 pm ACST
Congrats to NZ, their improvement is fantastic. I thought the PNG were more exciting to watch, with their running game of excellent pace and accurate handballing. They seemed to overpossess and fumble a lot going for the ball when it was in dispute, short kicking, inneffective tackling and reliance on taking chest marks were frustrating. Their delivery into the forward line at some times was fantastic, at others it seemed as though their forwards didn't know where they were supposed to be. PNG were certainly a crowd favourite and had a good turnup of fans. NZ on the other hand with their long and direct kicking game (albeit awkward kicking styles), leading into space and overhead marking was stronger and more effective overall.

That's the positives of the game, but I have to say that the overall promotion of the International Cup Grand Final as an event was poor at best. The doors opened literally as the game started, and with so many reserved seats for the Magpies and Blues, it forced International Cup spectators with the only general admission tickets left to the very back of the top tiers of the stands, which reduced the impact of the crowd. Most of the big game early birds arrived mid way through the final quarter. They didn't really know what was going on and didn't get into it, typified by one Collingwood supporter next to me kept yelling out "GO FIJI !". I heard a Carlton supporter on the other side of me saying "don't they play rugby in New Zulland ?". Obviously neither Collingwood and Carlton promoted the event to their members. The AFL should have got behind the concept much more than they did, perhaps even putting a bit of info in the Footy Record. Next time round, I hope this is an event in its own right rather than a token curtain-raiser, with the proceeds going to develop football overseas. If the AFL legends charity match can draw nearly 15,000 at the Telstra Dome, then surely an international event like this, with the right promotion from the right parites can do similar.
New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: peter caldwell on Monday, August 15 2005 @ 06:13 am ACST

sean i have been a supporter of international footy for many a year, in heart not in money to broke, i am not surprised, the lack of support from afl even in my area. keep up the faith. friends i speak to don't even know of international footy and they are worse than me at being footy heads so i tell them, just keep spreding the word


New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, August 15 2005 @ 08:38 am ACST

I intend doing a story summarising the good and the bad of the tournament, but without going into too much detail here, having seen the Cup first hand, I don't think the AFL did a bad job of promoting it. There was paid advertising, the draw went out in 10s of 1000s of AFL Records, Adrian Anderson's weekly press conference was held at the opening to force the media there, and there was reasonable media coverage in terms of print media articles, and I believe there were snippets on free to air TV and quite a bit on FOXFooty. The reality appears to be that the majority of Melbourne football supporters aren't interested if it isn't the top AFL level. Sure the AFL good do more, but they have other competing interests that want money. Anyway, I'll discuss my thoughts in more detail later.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America and Africa

New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Brett McGeorge on Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:37 pm ACST

Is there any word yet as to when a full replay of the match will be available either over the internet, on DVD or on Fox Footy? I was one of the Goal Umpires who umpired the Grand Final and it was an experience I enjoyed very much.

New Zealand take the Cup
Authored by: Helga Cunning on Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 08:04 am ACST

Thank you to all those reporting on the games and providing us back at our respective homes around the world with match reports, photos and even audio and video clips. The World Footy News website has been a tremendous source of information on the entire tournament. Kudos to all involved. Great job and thanks again.