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AFL clubs look at fresh new crop of Irish talent

14 hours 14 min ago

With the recent success of a new wave of Irish recruits into the AFL system, what major Gaelic football prospects are on the horizon for a code switch to Aussie rules? This year would seem to be a ripe time for such recruits, with the continuing success of AFL players from Gaelic backgrounds, such as Geelong’s Zach Tuohy, Hawthorn’s Conor Glass, and Essendon’s Conor McKenna.

Additionally, the International Rules Series will be held in Australia once again this year, and the Ireland Warriors recently placed third at the 2017 International Cup. Jim Stynes (RIP) and Tadhg Kennelly might not be winning AFL premierships anymore, but it’s safe to say that the Irish experiment is alive and well in footy.


One of the main challenges for recruiting and retaining Irish players is not just the transition to a d ...

GB Swans skipper reviews IC17

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:11pm

GB Swans captain Laura Turner shares her thoughts in review of the IC17 tournament

And that's a wrap! IC17 is over and true to form it culminated in two nail biting finals which both went down to the wire. PNG survived late surges from New Zealand to win by one point at the MCG and later at Etihad Arena the Irish Banshees swarmed the ball in the dying minutes to stop Canada from capitalising on their late possession inside the forward 50.

You might be concerned that with the women's finals showcasing the same teams as in 2014 that the tournament had been a predictable affair. Quite the contrary, as the landscape of Australian Football outside its homeland is shifting and this is most prominent within the women's tournament.


With an additional four teams entered into the competition this yea ...

Fab Finals Friday Goal of the Day - Malibongwe Mlamli - South Africa Lions

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 6:02am

Nearing half time in the early game on Ransford oval on Friday - South Africa had controlled general play but only had a 2 goal lead to show for it. Kicking to what appeared to be the scoring end - ruckman Malibongwe Mlamli was trying to be everywhere. In the absence of rucking partner Usenzile Gotyana who was injured the week before in Geelong - Mlamli was rotating forward with the much shorter Aubrey Velele giving him a 'chop out' in the ruck.

When skipper Tshoboko Moagi unleashed again with his lethal left foot - from half back - his target forward of centre was the big number 28. And Mlamli didn't let him down -
reeling in the ball for a clean mark - and with the quarter ticking away he took the game on, playing on, b ...

AFL International Cup Grand Final 2017: Why did the Mozzies win?

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 11:03pm

Why in the Battle of Opposites Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes defeated New Zealand Hawks

PNG 4.5 (29) NZ 4.4 (28)

A Cup of Mosquito Euphoria

Why did the Mosquitoes win?


How was this battle between a small, fast and dangerous insect and a high-flying bird of prey, the Mosquito and the Hawk, played out?
Why did the Mosquitoes beat the Hawks in the grand final, winning 4 5 29 to 4 4 28, by one point?
In part, it was luck and more or less ability to score from shots for goal and, even earlier, a kick for goal after the siren which determined the finalists.

Can we reveal the answer in this battle of several opposites, which characterise the International Cup itself?

One, New Zealand, is clos ...

Women's Grand Final Post Match Player Interviews from Canada and Ireland Captains

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 9:25pm

Post Match Player Interviews:

Canada Northern Lights Vice Captain Hilary Perry was interviewed in place of Aimee Legault, the Captain, who had possibly broken her right hand and was on her way to the hospital with the coach. The Alfa Ireland Banshees' co-captains Laura Corrigan Duryea and Onora Mulcahy were also asked their thoughts on the game.


Hilary Perry – Canada Northern Lights Vice Captain Interview:

How do you think the game went?

I think it was a really good game, I mean we knew Ireland would come out with some really good skills. They are a kicking and marking team and that’s what exactly they did in order to kind of dominate the movement of the ball. Our girls really fought through it. Love to see our girl’s push through push through and Ireland just ...

Banshees put out the Northern Lights in a nail biter Grand Final

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 8:40pm

The Women’s International Grand Final between the Alfa Ireland Banshees and the Canada Northern Lights was held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday the 20th August at 4:30pm.

On paper this Grand Final looked like it would be a close encounter between two teams who know each other very well when it comes to the pointy end of the International Cup. As both teams have played in the past two grand finals, one win each with the Alfa Ireland Banshees winning the 2011 Grand Final and Canada Northern Lights getting the chocolates in the 2014 Grand Final.



The first term was tight and even from both teams. Nicole Robertson slotted through Northern Lights first goal of the match from about 30m out. There was hard and ferocious tackling the early stages ...

Fab Finals Friday - Mark of the Day - Morgan Whyte - North Wind

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 8:41pm

First quarter action in the 7th place play off at Ransford oval saw North Wind player Morgan Whyte launch from behind over a couple of Fiji Tribe opponents to pull down a super contested mark - allowing Canada to transition from defence into attack during a vital phase of blunting the effectiveness of the Tribe with what looked to be the scoring end.

A quality one grab mark controlled all the way.


Final ladder positions at 2017 AFL International Cup

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 8:31pm

At the completion of the 2017 AFL International Cup here are the final positions of all the competing nations across the Men's and Women's competitions.

In the Men's Papua New Guinea now level their ledger with 3 championships and 3 runners-up, an incredible run stretching over 15 years and 6 International Cups.  Nauru's 5th spot was their equal best, as was Great Britain's 6th and France's 10th.  Fiji's climb continues, finishing 8th after 13th (2011) and 10th (2014) previously.  A lot of the improved rankings came at the expense of South Africa who crashed to 9th, their worst finish since the first Cup in 2002.  Croatia (11th) and Germany (12th) impressed on IC debut.  Keep an eye on China too, up to 13th after a previous best of 15th and more recently 17th, but went very close to a higher finish.  Sri Lanka's 15th was a good debut.

In the Women's Ireland and Canada continued to keep the Grand Final to themselves, but Great Britain announced themselves as a genui ...

Roos To Historic First Grand Final

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 8:39am

The Kingdom Kangaroos have made it into their first ever grand final by downing the Edinburgh Bloods by 15 points in their preliminary final. It is a great occasion for the club, having joined the SARFL competition back in 2013. Whilst other clubs have started in recent years, the Kangaroos have managed to survive their infant stage and now reach the biggest match in the club’s history.

It sets up a huge grand final match when the Roos will take on the Greater Glasgow Giants tomorrow at the Linlithgow Rugby Club.

Whilst the Giants will go into the match as favourites, the game will not be a one-way street. The Kingdom Kangaroos defeated the Giants only a few weeks ago and have to be rated a chance of an upset by doing so again.

The clash is also important to showcase the development of the game in Scotland, with both teams the newest additions ...

2017 AFL International Cup Women's World Team

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 7:40am

The 2017 AFL International Cup Women's World Team was announced last night at Crown Palladium. The full team is listed below.


  IC17  World Team  Women's  FB Matelita Tuilevuka Coline Duquet Elma Emil   (FIJ #2) (EUR #4) (PNG #30) HB Litia Matanisigadrau Beth Bailey Bevin English   (FIJ #14) ...

2017 AFL International Cup Men's World Team

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 7:30am

The 2017 AFL International Cup World Team was announced last night at Crown Palladium. The full team is listed below.



  IC17 World Team   FB Greg Paul Aki Josip Habljak Ryan Gartright   (PNG #30) (CRO #32) (USA #27) HB Saleh Tyebjee James Kusel John James Lavai   (USA #13) ...

Grand Finals - Live Scores

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 2:50am

Q by Q scores from the Men's Div 1 and Women's Grand Finals of the 2017 AFL International Cup.

Matches will also be streamed live here. MCG 11:15am
Men's Div 1 Grand Final
New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea Team1/4 1/2 3/4 Final NZ 2.0 (12) 3.1 (19)4.3. (27) 4.4 (28) PNG1.1 (7)3.2 (20) 4.4 (28) 4.5 (29)

Etihad Stadium 4:30pm
Women's Grand Final
Ireland vs Canada Team 1/4 1/2 3/4 Final Canada1.1 (7)3.2 (20)3.3 (21)3.3 (21) Ireland1.0 (6)2.0 (12)3.0 (18) ...

IC17 Womens Grand Final Qtr by Qtr play by play - Ireland come from behind

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 2:09am

No weather concerns for the AFL IC17 Women's Grand Final. Under the closed roof of Etihad Stadium. Pre game both sides warm up with no worries of a torrential down pour as blighted the men at the MCG earlier this morning.

4:20 pm - The team photos taken pre game - the field is cleared. Umpires enter.
4:25 pm - Players and umpires assemble - national anthems played.
Canada kicking to the 'left of screen' - the Northern or Footscray Rd end. No noticeable breeze!!!


Squad Stats CanadaIreland Avg Ht cm167.1169.9 Avg Wt kg66.766.4 Avg age30.929.1

First Quarter
2:00 : GOAL Canada all the early attacking. Legault sends inside F50 - a free kick to Nicole Robertson (in the back) and a goal. Canada 1.0.6 Ireland 0.0.0

Fitzpatrick on top of Gomez in the ruck - but Canada winning the cle ...

IC17 Women's Grand Final Preview

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 12:31am

We are delighted to have the GB Swans Captain Laura Turner preview the IC17 Women's Division Grand Final. Laura of course, over the past week or so has seen both of these teams close up.

The 2017 AFL International Cup Women's Final will take place on Saturday and will feature two tournament rivals Canada Northern Lights and the Irish Banshees. Despite valiant efforts from newcomers to the tournament the GB Swans and the more experienced USA Freedom the final is the same match up as in IC14 and IC11.

The game is expected to be a closely fought contest with the physicality and confident marking skills of the Canadians taking on the slick hands and fast paced passing game of the Irish. Ireland will be bouyed by the experience of AFLW player and co-captain Laura Duryea. Her free role and ability ...

PNG Mosquitos 2017 AFL International Cup Champions

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 12:24am

Congratulations PNG Mosquitoes, 2017 AFL International Cup Champions 

IC17 Mens Div 1 Grand Final Qtr by Qtr play by play - PNG go Back to Back

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 8:48pm

Melbourne provided a lie - early morning sunshine - nearing game time along came the dark clouds and the Papua New Guinea Mosquitoes and New Zealand Hawks warm up and pre game photos became rain drenched.

Both sides now face the task of a 5th game in 2 weeks - on the vast expanses of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The surface of course is superb - there is no muddy centre wicket area - there's no patchy grass or exposed soil. There is though a 50 metre arc (not 45m) and wide wings. The capacity to cover territory and retain run in the legs will be critical. No height advantage is worth anything without supply.

Under mostly blue skies the game gets underway - New Zealand kicking to the Punt Road end. PNG to the City end.

Squad Stats New ZealandPapua New Guinea Avg Ht cm ...

Sri Lankan Lions break Garuda hearts in thriller

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:02pm

It was a freezing cold wintry day in Melbourne as Royal Park's Western Oval hosted the clash between the Indonesian Garudas and the Sri Lankan Lions in the 3rd / 4th playoff in the IC17 Men's Division 2. This match was tight and even from the opening bounce to the final siren with a point separating both teams at each quarter break and this was the margin at the conclusion of the match too - a remarkable scoreline throughout the battle. 

  The Indonesian Garudas started the match strongly with plenty of inside 50s, but they let themselves down in front of goal as they only managed the one goal from their six shots with near misses. Whereas the Sri Lankan Lions had less scoring shots than the Garudas but they made the most of their limited opportunities with two goals and led by a point at quarter time. The end of the first term wa ...

Traditional rivals, different code

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:50am
Just a week after their last match together a quirk in the way the playoffs fell meant Pakistan faced off against India again in the IC17 Men's Division final round.  The tone of the match was set by the traditional rivalry between Pakistan and India that we typically see on the cricket pitch. In this case they have swapped the bat and ball for an oval shaped ball but the intensity and aggression was still evident during play.   The teams' respective national anthems played as the sun shone down on them in what was calmer conditions compared to earlier that morning. The Pakistan Mens Shaheens were joined by the Women Shaheens for the national anthem which added a unified addition to their line up.   Pakistan came out in dominant fashion in the first quarter, they constantly launched the ball forward, deep into their forward 50m and their roving from ruck contests was at a semi-elite level, proving that they also dominated hitouts as ...

Late Vonu blitz snuffs out Flames

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:00am
It was a cold windy winter's morning in Melbourne for the Women’s clash between Fiji Vonu and Papua New Guinea Flames at Royal Park – McAlister Oval.  The winner would claim 5th spot and the loser 6th spot in the IC17 Women's Division.   The first term was tight and scrappy with neither team able to gain clear possession in the centre. It wasn't until halfway through the first that Fiji Vonu was able to get on top in the centre over the Flames. Fiji Vonu had lots of inside 50s towards the end of the first, but the Flames defence held up well with great interception marks in their defensive 50. Both teams were goalless at quarter time with Vonu the only team able to score, managing two points and keep the Flames scoreless.  Given the extreme pressure Fiji has exerted even on the top teams this was no surprise. ...

Game of historic firsts as Europeans score first win by defeating Pakistan

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:28am

The Europeans Crusaders have won their first match and the Pakistan Shaheens have left it until the last minute to ICe their first IC goal

The battle for 7th and 8th spot in the Women's Division kicked off under an overcast sky and as assured by the Melbourne locals, a typical bitter wind. With Linn Gardell in ruck and kicking with the wind the Crusaders were quick to attack and push the ball into their forward line and confidence took a huge leap when Berengere Portal drilled the Crusaders' first International Cup major. Using the wind to their advantage the Crusaders kept the ball in their forward half and peppered the goals, Mathilde Coombes slotting the Crusaders' second IC goal.

First Quarter Scores: Crusaders 2-5 (17) Shaheens 0-0 (0)

The second quarter started much the same as the first with the Crusaders maintaining the pressure and repelling each foray the Shaheens managed to make towards their forward fifty even though they wer ...