IC17 Tournament Review – European Crusaders

2017 AFL International Cup 

European Crusaders 

7th Place – Women’s Division 



While the European Crusaders’ 2017 International Cup was not as victorious as they would have liked, their spirit, determination and improvement as the tournament went on was an incredible achievement.

The group of women representing Europe had only met each other a few days before the tournament started and this was evident in the early rounds. Consecutive losses to Papua New Guinea, the Irish Banshees, USA, and Fiji could have been demoralising. But the Europeans had tremendous fight and kept fronting up for each game with only more grit and enthusiasm.

The Crusaders did not hit the scoreboard in their losses to PNG, Ireland, and the USA. But in these games where they couldn’t get the ball forward, their defence stood up impressively. Crusaders’ full-back Coline Duquet starred in this period and throughout the entire tournament, intercept marking and proving to be a clean rebounder of the ball. Her fantastic form was rewarded with a spot in the IC17 World Team, selected as a full-back.

In the last two rounds of the International Cup, the Crusaders were more offensive and were able to hit the scoreboard in both matches. In the loss to Fiji in round four, the Europeans achieved their first score of the tournament in the form of a rushed behind off the boot of forward Bérengère Portal.

But in the last match of the Cup, the Crusaders were able to notch up a much-awaited first win and first goal of the tournament. Once again, B. Portal was able to hit the scoreboard, drilling through the Crusaders first goal, alongside another three for the match in a best-on-ground performance.

Crusaders’ coach Graham Andrews said IC17 has been a “great experience” for the Crusaders, especially considering they had such little time to train as a team before the competition started.

“We had to try and gel pretty quickly,” he said. “I thought we did quite well on the defensive side throughout the first part of the tournament against some pretty hard teams, including Ireland who won the Grand Final.”

“But I think we got better as the tournament went on, which is the main thing with football,” he said. “And the spirit of the team has been tremendous regardless of the results.”

Match Results:

Round 1 – European Crusaders 0.0. (0) defeated by Papua New Guinea 6.19. (55) at Royal Park

Round 2 – European Crusaders 0.0. (0) defeated by Irish Banshees 8. 13. (61) at St Patrick’s College

Round 3 – European Crusaders 0.0. (0) defeated by USA 19.13. (127) at Melbourne University

Round 4 – European Crusaders 0.1. (1) defeated by Fiji 12.16. (88) at Royal Park

Round 5 – European Crusaders 8.16. (64) defeated Pakistan 1.0. (6) at Royal Park

Tournament Goalkickers:

Berengere Portal lead the Crusader’s goalkicking efforts with 4 goals, followed by Mathilde Combes, Naima Ait El Mouden, Marine Assemat, and Ana Barisic with one goal each.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Coline Duquet, Ana Barisic, Camille Portal, Sandra Janjetovic, Lin Gardell, and Amanda King.

World Team Selection:

Coline Duquet (Full Back)

IC17 Tournament Review – French Coqs

2017 AFL International Cup 

French Coqs 

10th Place – Men’s Division 1



France fought valiantly throughout their entire IC17 campaign, but were unable to record a victory against their tough and experienced Division 1 opponents. Relentless defensive pressure was the hallmark of Les Coqs’ playing style during the tournament and this meant that their opponents were rarely comfortable despite the scorecards suggesting otherwise.

World Team member Julien Dagois and fellow midfielder Clement Bouchet led the strong tackling efforts of the French side, and were well-supported by others including Nicholas Boché and Benoit Treuillet. France’s defence were under siege for much of the tournament but performed admirably, with key defenders Sylvain Maylie, Fabian Floch and Pierre Lechasles excellent at cutting off opposition attacks in the air.

Anthony Bernad and Sam Rat were often undersized against their opponents but also took some excellent intercept marks, while Mathieu Ostorero provided strong rebound from defence. Thomas Depondt was sensational in the ruck for the duration of IC17, leading from the front, while France’s forward line functioned superbly considering their limited opportunities to score.

Pierre Boscart and Vincent Monnier provided excellent targets, impressing France Coach Andrew Unsworth with their consistent presenting, working well with dynamic medium forwards Jérémy Sardin and Ludo Barrat. France’s ball use also improved as the tournament went on, with Pierre Napoleon and Cyrille Gandolfo noted for their precision kicking and decision-making.

The French side are likely to improve significantly before the next International Cup, with 12 players from this campaign to still be under 30 years old for the 2020 instalment.

Despite the taxing run of losses, the chance to play some of the strongest teams in Division 1- including 3rd placed Ireland and 4th placed USA- would have presented a valuable learning opportunity for Les Coqs, and a French side that brings the same passion and intensity to their next international tournament could achieve great things.

Match Results:

Round 1 – France 2.3.(15) defeated by Fiji 10.20.(80) at Royal Park

Round 2 – France 2.3.(15) defeated by Ireland 11.13.(79) at St Patrick’s College

Round 3 – France 2.2.(14) defeated by Nauru 15.16.(106) at Victoria Park

Semi Finals  – France 3.1.(19) defeated by USA 19.18.(132) at Royal Park

Finals – France 3.3.(21) defeated by South Africa 7.9.(51) at Royal Park

Tournament Goalkickers:

Ludo Barrat, Pierre Boscart and Jeremy Sardin lead the Coq’s goal kickers with three goals each, followed by Nicholas Boche, Jacob Raiwalui, and Benoit Treuillet with one goal each for IC17.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Julien Dagois, Jeremy Sardin, Pierre Lechasles, Thomas Depondt, Anthony Bernard, and Clement Bouchet.

World Team Selection:

Julien Dagois (Interchange)



IC17 Tournament Review – German Eagles

2017 AFL International Cup 

German Eagles 

2nd Place – Men’s Division 2



The German Eagles finished off their 2017 International Cup campaign in the same conditions as they started: cold, wet and windy. The miserable Melbourne weather didn’t seem to dampen their spirits as they headed into their very first Grand Final in an international competition. Even though the Eagles went down by 66 points to an unforgiving Croatia, their final score was not a reflection of the dedication and hard work they displayed throughout the whole competition.

Although they didn’t quite finish with the fairy tale ending they hoped for, coach Mark Woods was more than satisfied with his team’s efforts. “We came into the tournament with less than one full training together and our first game against Pakistan was our first game all together as a team,” he said. “With this in mind I cannot be any prouder of the team.”

Woods named 22-year-old Phillip Evermann as the best forward player of the tournament, who racked up 5 goals for the Eagles. “Although Jan Huesken was our leading goal scorer, I would have to say that Phillip Evermann was our best forward, leading hard and attacking the ball at every chance,” Woods said.

In the midfield, Jakob Jung had a stellar tournament performance, getting better and better with each game. He was selected as a half forward in the World Team of the Tournament. He was well supported by his fellow Stuttgart teammate Martin Schuettoff, who got the most best on ground votes for Germany.

Sebastian Esche was uncompromising in the back line, holding down the position and rarely being beaten. However, the coach named the Eagle’s skipper as the best defensive player for the tournament. “I would give the best player in our defence to captain Florian Naumann who was always willing to put his body on the line for all his teammates,” Woods said.

In their first tournament, Germany’s semi final against China was a clear highlight for the team. The Eagle’s executed their kicks, marks and handballs effectively and played a really clean game. Coach Mark Woods was happy with his team’s performance in that match.

“The whole team played as a unit, every single player did their part, putting everything on the line to win in trying conditions,” he said. There is no doubt the German Eagles will return to their next competition bigger and better than ever.


Match Results:

Round 1 – Germany 11.5.(71) defeated Pakistan 0.3.(3) at Royal Park

Round 2 – Germany 12.14.(86) defeated India 1.3.(9) at Mentone Grammar

Round 3 – Japan 5.5.(35) defeated Germany: 3.5.(23) at Box Hill North

Round 4 – Semi Final: Germany 8.2.(50) defeated China 3.3.(22) at Royal Park

Round 5 – Grand Final: Croatia 11.8.(74) defeated Germany 1.3.(8) at Royal Park


Tournament Goal kickers:

Jan Heusken came away as the Eagle’s leading scorer with 8 goals for the tournament, followed by Phillip Evermann with 5 goals. Other goalkickers included Florian Naumann, Tobias Menzel, Martin Shuettoff, Jakob Jung, Fabian Cordts, Johannes Binniger, Jan Orlowski, and Constantin Pixa.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Martin Schuettoff, Jakob Jung, Tobias Menzel, Sebastian Esche, Phillip Evermann, Florian Naumann.

World Team Selection:

Jakob Jung (Half-Forward Flank)

IC17 Tournament Review – GB Swans

2017 AFL International Cup 

Great Britain Swans 

3rd Place – Women’s Division 



Having come together as a team just eighteen months before the tournament, it was an excellent effort from the Swans to come within a few points of a Grand Final berth. Their ferocity and determination at the contest stood out all tournament, and while they lacked composure at crucial stages in losses to Canada and Ireland, that will come in time. Tournament-ending injuries to Rachel Hunt (knee) and Lucy Jones (ankle) threatened to derail their campaign, but the Swans’ depth and spirit held them in good stead to combat these blows.

A dominant 142-point win over Pakistan in Round 1 got the Swans off to a flyer, and a gritty 9-point victory over Fiji in the mud at Peninsula Grammar secured the Brits a semi-final berth. And while a 31-point loss to reigning champions Canada ended their undefeated run, the Swans were still full of confidence heading into a do-or-die clash with Ireland.

Despite leading for much of the day, a late Irish flurry saw the eventual champions deny the Swans a fairytale Grand Final berth, but it was nonetheless a supremely courageous effort to take the match down to the wire. As had been the case all tournament, it was the Swans’ attack on player and ball alike, as well as their fierce tackling pressure, that very nearly brought about a major upset.

Those same traits were on display in the third-place final, as the Swans recovered from a sluggish start to farewell coach Garth Nevin in the best possible fashion with a backs-to-the-wall triumph over the USA. The Freedom held the ascendancy for most of the game, but the Swans whittled the margin down to under a goal midway through the final term, before a magnificent final five minutes from midfield talisman Frankie Hocking tipped the scales their way.

Ultimately, it was a stunningly successful maiden International Cup from the Swans, who, having not only finished third, but have proven they can match it with the best sides in the world, are well placed to not only continue to soar at next month’s Euro Cup, but to finally break the Canada-Ireland duopoly in Melbourne in the years to come.


Best forward:

The Swans didn’t have a major focal point inside 50, with plenty of players chipping in here and there for goals in a fluid forward line. But Rania Ramadan’s silky skills and penetrating kicking was a highlight for the Swans all tournament. Beginning with a three-goal haul against Pakistan, Ramadan may not have added to her goalkicking tally until the final minute of the Swans’ thrilling win over the USA, but her athleticism and imposing figure allowed her to influence the game further up the ground as well. Was particularly influential in defeat against Canada, where she never failed to provide a contest and roamed all over the ground as she pleased. An honourable mention must go to Danni Saulter, whose smarts around goal were on display throughout the tournament as she finished with nine majors to lead the way for the Swans.

Best midfielder:

The Swans’ midfield stocks stood up superbly throughout the Cup, with their fierce pressure and appetite for the tough stuff allowing them to take control of the coalface more often than not. And in that regard, Frankie Hocking was a standout. Her role as the Swans’ designated “Ms Fixit” became more pronounced as the tournament went on, spending time up forward, in defence and even in the ruck. But it was as a pure midfielder that Hocking did most of her damage. She saved her best for when it mattered most, colossal in the Swans’ gallant loss to Ireland and even more influential against the USA. Trailing by 5 points with just minutes remaining against the Freedom, it was Hocking who stepped up with a sublime finish to a memorable match, first marking strongly and converting an ice-cool set shot to give the Swans the lead, before following up with a fierce chasedown tackle and yet another strong contested mark. All within a minute. She will take some beating for the Swans’ tournament MVP.

Best defender:

The Swans’ defence didn’t have much to do in their first contest, but that changed as the tournament progressed. And while it was a combined team and coaching effort that enabled the Swans to concede just 14 goals for the tournament, Louise Smith deserves some praise. Her calmness and composure when under siege during losses to Canada and Ireland was eye-catching, and the loss to the Northern Lights in particular would have been much greater but for her efforts on the last line of defence. She wasn’t afraid to stand under a high ball or two, either, while her cleanness when it hit the deck was just as impressive. Honourable mentions must also go to Melanie McDevitt and Beth Bailey, who improved as the tournament went on to become pillars in the Swans’ defence, though an injured hand saw McDevitt miss the third-place final.

Match of the tournament:  

Their chances of winning the International Cup may have already been over, but there was no chance of the Swans easing up in their third-place final clash with the USA. But midway through the third term, it appeared as if the Freedom were on course to finish their campaign with a victory, kicking three goals out of four to move out to a game-high 12-point lead. To their credit, the Swans never relented, drawing the margin back to under a goal before Frankie Hocking’s five glorious minutes saw the Swans grab a remarkable come-from-behind win in what proved to be Garth Nevin’s final game as coach.

The Coach’s Take:

Garth Nevin on the team: “They were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The girls are first to the ball, they’re strong at it. We’ve been building up to this for about two years. To come back from a goal down [against the USA] to win, I’m very proud. They all played together like I knew they would.”

On the support: “We’ve got friends and family that have come across from all over the world [to support the team]. We’ve got a parent who has come all the way from Scotland. Everybody has come, and we can’t thank the public and all the other teams for getting around us. It’s wicked, and we’re very appreciative.”

On retirement: “I’ve absolutely loved it, the women are amazing, they’re a great group. It’s just that I’ve got two kids at home, and leaving the wife for three weeks is a bit hard. It’s a bit of happy wife, happy life. I’ll still help out, and I’m happy to assist and make sure that the Swans keep going forward. I’ll still be a part of it, but officially I just can’t give it as much time.”

On the future: “In terms of the Euro Cup, I’d be very confident from this lesson that, should the group all stay together, I’m pretty confident we can demand to be the top European team. We’re introducing a quarterback-style game, so we’ll get that going. The girls will try and play on a bit quicker, and more clinical as well- if we catch it above our head, we’re moving forward quite easily.”

Match results:

Round 1 – Swans 20.22.(142) defeated Pakistan 0.0.(0) at Ransford Oval, Royal Park

Round 2 – Swans 5.3.(33) defeated Fiji 3.6.(24) at Peninsula Grammar

Round 3 – Swans 0.3.(3) defeated by Canada .10.(34) at Plenty War Memorial Reserve

Semi Finals – Swans 2.3.(15) defeated by Ireland 3.5.(23) at McAlister Oval, Royal Park

Finals – Swans 5.2.(32) defeated USA 4.1.(25) at McAlister Oval, Royal Park


Tournament Goal kickers:

Danni Saulter leading the pack with 9 goals. Other goal kickers from the Swans were Rania Ramadan, Stacey Hughes, Frankie Hocking, Caroline Sellar, Laura Turner, Charlotte-Ellen Eales, Alex Saulter, Rachel Hunt, Jessica Milford, Louise Darby, Beth Bailey, Lisa Wilson.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Frankie Hocking, Rania Ramadan, Danni Saulter, Laura Turner, and Lisa Wilson.

World Team Selection:

Beth Bailey (Centre Half-Back)

Lucy Jones (Half-Forward Flank)

Danni Saulter (Forward Pocket)

Frankie Hocking (Interchange)

Irish Banshees are International Cup Champions!

Irish Banshees are International Cup Champions!

By Riley Brettell

The Irish Banshees have claimed the sweetest revenge imaginable to take out the 2017 International Cup, coming out on top of the Canadian Northern Lights in as thrilling a sporting contest as you would see anywhere in the world.

In a match fitting of top billing at the MCG on the last Saturday in September, the two sides played out an awe-inspiring contest that culminated in a heart stopping final quarter that saw Colleen Quinn’s late goal snatch victory for the Banshees.

With both sides entering the final game of the tournament undefeated, the tension around Etihad Stadium was palpable leading up to the first bounce and carried right through the contest.

After the scrappy and visibly nervy opening stages of the match, the effects of the big build-up were quickly shaken off and replaced by a brutal tenacity and attack on the ball that saw several bone crunching contests in the opening minutes.

Canada were the quickest to settle and managed to put the first goal on the board inside four minutes, but the Banshees responded with some strong tackling that arrested the momentum back in their favour as the quarter wore on.

Maebh Moriarty settled the Irish by producing one of the plays of the tournament, with a blind turn and goal in the ilk of Leon Bakers effort in the 1984 AFL Grand Final that would make the man himself blush, with the roar of the crowd to match the effort.

Neither side were able to grasp the momentum after the first break, with the ball pinging back and forth through the middle of the ground as Fields of Athenry was bellowed out by the large Irish contingent at the City End.

The resolute defence of the Banshees that had been a hallmark of their play throughout the tournament stood up gamely again amidst growing Northern Lights pressure, though after five minutes of repelling Canadian attacks the dam wall inevitably broke and the Northern Lights pinched two quick goals despite some huge last ditch defensive efforts from Carol Breen to create a 14-point buffer.

Just as it looked as though the Canadians would break the game open, momentum swung back the Banshees way in the blink of an eye. Aisling Gillespie snapped a goal to reduce the deficit before Carol Breen narrowly missed the chance to get on the end of a golden opportunity minutes after that would have had the Irish firmly on top.

With the 9-point margin favouring the Canadians at the main break, the second half began with ten hard fought minutes with the game on a knifes edge, before Linda Connolly finally made the big breakthrough ten minutes in with her running right foot check-side goal bringing the Banshees back within 3-points.

Ireland were inspired and Banshees star Gillian Behan once again showed why she had been one of the players of the tournament, producing some trademark dash off half-forward and almost replicating her stunning goal from the semi-final, only to fall agonisingly short.

The tables had turned and the Canadians were under immense Irish pressure when the siren went, setting up a thrilling final term that shaped as a fitting climax for the tournaments two dominant sides.

A pulsating final fifteen minutes’ saw Ireland once again see off the early Canadian onslaughts, before Linda Connolly again almost lifted the roof off the stadium, narrowly missing her shot after getting on the end of a stirring counter attack down the wing.

With nothing to lose the Irish pushed numbers forward in search for the goal that would put them in front, and with a ball up fifteen metres out from goal provided the perfect platform for Carol Quinn to be a hero. Sharking the loose ball, she calmly slotted her chance to ensure pandemonium ensued in the stands.

The Northern Lights responded by throwing everything they had at the Banshees, dominating a final five minutes where all thirty-six players filled the sixty-metre radius around the Canadian goals, but a heroic team defensive effort from Ireland kept their rivals at bay.

In the dying stages with Ireland clinging to a 4-point lead, the umpire threw the ball up directly in front of goal, with a swarm of green jumpers throwing themselves in to negate the contest before the siren bellowed and euphoria set in.

As the players celebrated in the crowd with the throng of Irish supporters, Carol Breen was named best on ground to cap off her magnificent tournament.

The title is Ireland’s second in the women’s division of the International Cup, having also beaten Canada back in 2011.


Irish Banshees: 4.1. (25)

Canada: 3.3. (21)



Irish Banshees: L. Connolly, A. Gillespie, M. Moriarty, C. Quinn

Canada: TBC



Irish Banshees: TBC

Canada: TBC


IC17 Round 5 Match Reports

The 2017 AFL International Cup returned to Royal Park for the last time this year yesterday as teams battled it out for their closing position on the ladder in the Finals round. With the Men’s Division 1 and Women’s Division grand finals taking place at the MCG and Etihad Stadium today, there was certainly plenty of excitement in the air as teams prepared for their final matches of the tournament.

The French Coqs kicked things off once again with a bright and early match against the South African Lions. After a tough tournament for both teams, the French were eventually defeated after putting in a huge effort for their final game. The French showed how far they have come defensively and managed to whittle down their losing margin to 31 points. After being placed an the extremely competitive First Division, the French Coqs finished off the IC17 in 10th place.

The European Crusaders celebrated their first win of the tournament yesterday when they defeated Pakistan 64-6. After scoring only one point in their previous 4 matches, the Crusaders were elated to celebrate their first goal of the tournament, let alone the onslaught of goals that followed to result in them gaining their first victory. In a show of true sportsmanship, the Crusaders cheered alongside the Pakistan team when they too scored their first goal of the competition. The Crusaders finished off IC in 7th place on the Women’s Division ladder.

Next up was the match of the round – the Men’s Division 2 Grand Final, and all-Euro clash between the Croatian Knights and the German Eagles. After both having such successful results throughout IC17, this was always set to be a huge contest between two massive teams. With typical Melbourne weather conditions making playing almost impossible, it was the Croats who adapted better and dominated most of the match. The Croatians now have another trophy to add to their shelf after celebrating their 74-8 victory over a dejected Eagles side.

The GB Swans put on a show yesterday when they made a surprise comeback in the final minutes of the match to take out 3rd place in the Women’s Division. Their opponent, the USA side, looked likely to take home the victory before the a huge effort from the Swans saw them kick two goals in the final minutes and come out on top with a 32-25 win.

After narrowly missing out on making the Men’s Division 1 Grand Final when they were defeated by New Zealand in the semi finals, the Irish Warriors were never going to be content with fourth place and really put this to the test when they faced up to the USA yesterday. Despite being severely undermanned and injured, the Warriors left everything on the field to take out 3rd place on the ladder when they defeated the USA 48-16.

The closing match of the finals round saw the GB Bulldogs take on one of their toughest opponents, Nauru, in the fight for 5th place in the Men’s Division 1 competition. After a gruelling and physical match, the Nauru took things up a notch in the last half which saw them defeat the Bulldogs with a 21 point victory. The Bulldog’s have now finished in 6th place and are already looking to take out the Championship at the next IC.

Keep an eye out for the Women’s Grand Final match report, which sees the Irish Banshees taking on the Canadian Northern Lights this afternoon at Etihad Stadium as a curtain raiser for the Carlton and Hawthorn match in a rematch of the IC14 Grand Final.

Finals Round – French Coqs vs South Africa

Finals Round – European Crusaders vs Pakistan

Grand Final – Croatian Knights vs German Eagles

Finals Round – GB Swans vs USA

Finals Round – Irish Warriors vs USA

Finals Round – GB Bulldogs vs Nauru

IC17 – Round 5 Preview

After some huge Semi Finals matches in Round 4, IC17 will return to Royal Park tomorrow for the final time after a massive two weeks of footy. The Round 5 finals are sure to be the biggest yet as our teams compete for their final placing on the ladder across all three divisions.

Click here for all the Round 4 match reports.

Click here to access the AFL International Cup Livestream.

Friday, 18th August 2017 

French Coqs vs South Africa – 9:00am – Ransford Oval 

The first AFL Europe match of the final round sees the French Coqs going head to head with the South African Lions as they compete for the 9th place position in the final men’s division 1 competition. Both teams have struggled to play to their full potential throughout the tournament, with the French side suffering injuries to several of their crucial players early on in the competition.

The French are yet to get a win on the board and South Africa have been defeated in 3 of their 4 matches so far. The French side have showed improvement in each progressive round and fared the better of the two in the Round 4 matches, and will be looking to draw on this when they face South Africa. These two teams will both be determined to keep away from the bottom place on the division 1 ladder and will be giving it their absolute all tomorrow in their final match of IC17.

European Crusaders vs Pakistan – 10:00am – Western Oval 

The European Crusaders will also be looking to finish out the tournament by getting their first win on the board when they compete against the Pakistan Shaheens for 7th place in the Women’s Division tomorrow morning. Both teams are without a win so far this tournament but that’ll all have to change tomorrow, with both teams fighting to keep off the bottom of their ladder.

The Pakistan side remains scoreless so far this tournament while the European Crusaders celebrated their first point in their match against Fiji on Tuesday. Defensively, the Crusaders have proved themselves to be the far superior team with 243 points scored against them so far across the four rounds, while Pakistan’s defeats have had much larger margins with 522 points against. The Crusaders should be confident in their ability to get a win over the Pakistan side tomorrow and end their IC experience on a high.

German Eagles vs Croatian Knights – 12:30pm – Ransford Oval 

Two of our European teams will go head to head in the Men’s Division 2 Grand Final on Ransford Oval tomorrow. Both teams are fresh off the back of big wins against China and Japan in the semi finals on Tuesday and will be confident in their respective sides for the double Euro face off. Ironically, both teams have only been defeated once during the tournament – by China and Japan, who were both beaten by each other’s grand final opponent in Round 4.

Germany and Croatia are two very evenly matched teams with similar playing styles, particularly with both teams usual technique being to rely on the sheer size and height of their players. It should prove for a very interesting match when these giant sides come up against each other with the incentive of taking out the Division 2 Championship. Both teams will certainly come prepared for a fierce and physical match and will leave their all on the field.

Great Britain Swans vs USA – 12:30pm – McAlister Oval 

The GB Swans will battle it out for third place in the women’s division against the USA in Round 5. After being narrowly defeated by the Irish Banshees in the semi finals, the Swans will be going into this match full of confidence after showing they have what it takes to push the grand finalists all the way to the end. The USA faced up to their North-American rivals, the Canadian Northern Lights, on Tuesday and came away with a disappointing loss of 44-8.

The Swans have really shown their strength this tournament as newcomers to the IC and have only been defeated by the two grand finalist teams, Ireland and Canada. If the Swans play up to their full potential, as they have throughout the IC, they should be able to take out third place – a fantastic effort for a team that only formed last year.

Great Britain Bulldogs vs Nauru – 2:15pm – McAlister Oval 

The Swans’ male counterparts, the GB Bulldogs, will play against a tough Nauru side tomorrow as they compete for fifth place in the men’s division 1 competition. The Bulldogs have played consistently well throughout the tournament, only going down to men’s grand finalists, the Irish Warriors and PNG. The Bulldogs have managed to defeat highly ranked teams Fiji and South Africa, and should be confident that they can defeat Nauru tomorrow to cement their 5th place spot on the final IC17 ladder.

It’s sure to be an exciting match between two quite evenly matched teams, with both teams sitting on equal points and the Bulldogs only pulling ahead through percentage. The two teams have different strengths and playing styles so it should be an interesting match at McAlister Oval tomorrow!

Irish Warriors vs USA – 2:15pm – Ransford Oval 

The Irish Warriors will certainly be hungry for a victory against the USA tomorrow to earn themselves third place in the men’s division 1 after narrowly missing out on going through to the grand final when they were beaten by New Zealand on Tuesday. The Warriors, despite their 4 point loss, showed that they came to take out the whole competition on Tuesday and they’ll draw on this for the 3rd position placing final at Ransford Oval tomorrow afternoon.

Both Ireland and the USA currently sit at 3 victories and 1 loss and are only separated by percentage on the ladder. Both teams have some giant players that they typically use to their advantage so it’ll be an interesting matchup in the final round. After their disappointing loss in the semis, Ireland is not going to want to settle for 4th place and will give it their all tomorrow.

Umpire Appointments: 

Our three AFL Europe umpires, Oscar, Josh, and Geoff, will umpire their final matches of IC17 tomorrow at Royal Park.

Oscar will be umpiring tomorrow morning’s match when the French Coqs take on South Africa, which is sure to be a big final match for the two men’s division 1 teams.

Josh has been appointed the men’s division 2 final, which will see Japan and China battle it out for 3rd place after losing out to Germany and Croatia in the semi finals.

Geoff will be umpiring the European Crusaders vs Pakistan match which will hopefully see the Crusaders earn their first win of the tournament in the women’s division.

Saturday, 19th August 2017 

Irish Banshees vs Canada – 4:30pm – Etihad Stadium 

The final match of the 2017 International Cup sees the Irish Banshees face up to the Canadian Northern Lights in a rematch of the 2014 IC Grand Final. These two teams consistently prove why they’re the best in the business and both remain undefeated so far this tournament. The Banshees conceded the Championship title to the Canadians in the last IC and will out to take it from them this year. The Banshees have a percentage advantage on the current ladder but when these two teams do battle it’s anyone’s game.

It’ll certainly make for a thrilling match on Saturday as Etihad Stadium provides a fitting backdrop for the match. The Grand Final is a curtain raiser for the Carlton v Hawthorn game, but the Banshees and Lights may have an even fiercer rivalry!



IC17 Round 4 Match Reports

As we approach the final days of the 2017 International Cup, all the teams gathered in Royal Park today to compete in the semi-finals of Round 4. As usual, it was a mixed day of victories and defeats for our 8 European teams, with 3 teams progressing through to their respective Grand Finals.

The French Coqs kicked off Round 4 nice and early with their match on McAlister Oval against the USA. The Coqs fought hard to the end but couldn’t overcome a strong USA side, leading them to a 132-19 defeat at the hands of the Americans. France applied plenty of defensive pressure to the USA side in the first half of the game but fell short of earning their first victory of the tournament.

The Great Britain Bulldogs faced up to Fiji this morning in their final group stage match in the Men’s 1st Division. The Bulldogs got the ball rolling early in the first quarter with a strong wind blowing in their favour, but their performance didn’t slip when they had to face the other end of the pitch in the second quarter. The Bulldogs managed to keep their lead throughout the match in a fast flowing second half, before taking out the with a 56-27 win over Fiji.

The Irish Warriors have had their Grand Final hopes shattered today in a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of a highly fancied New Zealand side. The match had a grand final atmosphere to it and the two teams proved why they’ve earned the top two ladder positions in a game that was evenly matched from the first bounce. The Warriors played their hearts out but a kick after the siren saw New Zealand take out the match with a 4 point victory. Ireland will now have to face up against the USA on Friday in a battle for 3rd place in the IC17 Men’s Division 1 Competition.

The European Crusaders have accomplished a personal team goal today when they scored their first point of the tournament in their match against Fiji. The Crusaders were always expecting a tough match after seeing Fiji put the GB Swans to the test last week, but managed to hold their own and Fiji’s points were hard fought. Despite going down by 87 points the Crusaders showed plenty of improvement in working as a team and will use this to their advantage when they go up against Pakistan on Friday.

The German Eagles were back to their winning ways today when they took down the China Dragons in what was possibly their strongest match of the tournament so far. The Eagles were strong across the board from the get go and their Chinese opponents had plenty of trouble handling their on point marking and clean kicks. Germany held a 12 point lead at half time and were determined not to let anything slide, and after a stellar performance in the second half took home a 50-22 victory over China.

The Irish Banshees have once again earned themselves a place in the Women’s Division Grand Final at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, after a hard fought victory over the Great Britain Swans this afternoon. GB held the lead right up until the final quarter, when the Banshees kicked things up a notch and kicked a further two goals. When the final siren sounded the scoreboard read 23-15 in favour of the Banshees, meaning that they will now face off against Canada for the championship title while GB will take on the USA on Friday to battle it out for the 3rd place position.

The Croatian Knights have earned their spot in the Men’s Division 2 Final on Friday and will face up against fellow Euro team, the German Eagles, after a glorious win over Japan this afternoon. The Croatians expected to be tested by the speed and agility of the Japanese but used their size and strength to their advantage to take home a 66-1 win. The Knights powerful playing style kept their opponents goalless the entire match and allowed them to kick their way into Friday’s Grand Final.

For full match reports, click the links below.

The Irish Warriors vs New Zealand Semi Final match report will be published tomorrow.

Round 4 French Coqs vs USA

Round 4 GB Bulldogs vs Fiji

Round 4 European Crusaders vs Fiji

Round 4 German Eagles vs China

Round 4 Irish Banshees vs GB Swans

Round 4 Croatian Knights vs Japan

Round 4 Irish Warriors vs New Zealand

IC17 – Round 4 Preview

After two away rounds hosted by both Schools and Community Clubs across Victoria, the IC17 teams return to Royal Park tomorrow for Round 4 with matches being played across McAlister, Ransford, and Western Ovals for a massive day of Aussie Rules.

Round 3 saw our teams venture out to Kew, Lyndhurst, Caulfield, Box Hill, Diamond Creek, Hallam, and Melbourne University for the Community Round with some mixed results across the board.

Tomorrow’s draw certainly has some interesting matchups in store in what’s sure to be a huge day of footy at Royal Park.

Click here for all the Round 3 Match Reports.

Click here to access the AFL International Cup Livestream.


French Coqs vs USA – 9:30am – McAlister Oval 

The Coqs will be facing up against the USA at Royal Park tomorrow off the back of their third consecutive loss and without a victory so far this IC. The USA side have been playing very well by taking out two of their three matches against South Africa and Canada, but fell short against PNG over the weekend.

The French will be desperate to get a win on the board after going down to a very strong Nauru side on Saturday. They’ve been placed in a tough pool with fierce competitors but will be looking to climb their way up the Division 1 ladder in these final rounds of the 2017 International Cup.

Great Britain Bulldogs vs Fiji – 11:15am – McAlister Oval 

The GB Bulldogs will take on Fiji tomorrow, fresh off the back of their first loss in the tournament so far when they were defeated by the Irish Warriors in Round 3. The Bulldogs had a solid start to the tournament before their narrow 15 point loss to IC veterans the Irish Warriors, and should be able to get a win over Fiji on Tuesday.

Fiji had their second loss in Round 3 when they took on the Bulldogs’ Round 1 opponent, the South African Lions. The bulldogs won comfortably over the Lions and should be confident and ready for tomorrow’s match against Fiji. The Fijians are certainly hard hitters but the Bulldogs have been on fire this IC and should be able to handle them if they continue their current form.

Irish Warriors vs New Zealand – 12:15pm – Ransford Oval 

The top two men’s division 1 teams going head to head will certainly make for the match of the round at Ransford Oval tomorrow. Ireland and New Zealand are both currently undefeated, and separated only by percentage with New Zealand holding the number 1 spot on the ladder.

Both teams have completely dominated most of their opponents so far in this year’s IC and tomorrow’s match should be one of the most thrilling so far as they compete for a place in Saturday’s Grand Final at the MCG. The Warriors have shown that they’re in superb form this year and have already defeated IC14 Champions, PNG, in their first match before taking down fellow Euros the GB Bulldogs in the last round.

European Crusaders vs Fiji – 1:00pm – Western Oval 

The European Crusaders will take on another tough opponent in their match against Fiji tomorrow afternoon. The Crusaders have had a rough time this IC with plenty of matches against very strong teams, but are beginning to gel together as a team and their defensive side has improved massively since Round 1.

Fiji have regained their team spirit after being taken down by the GB Swans in Round 2, and got their first win on Sunday when they left the Pakistan Shaheens scoreless. The Fijians always put up a huge match and will be a real test of how far the Crusaders have come over the two weeks.

German Eagles vs China – 2:00pm – Ransford Oval 

The German Eagles will have their work cut out for them in their match against China this round. The Eagles have performed well this tournament, taking out victories in their first two rounds before falling short of a win over Japan in the last round. The Germans certainly have a height advantage but struggled with the speed of the Japanese side in their last round and will be expecting a similar playing style from China tomorrow.

China have topped their pool in the men’s division 2 with a currently undefeated reign, despite very narrowly avoiding being taken down by the big Croatian Knights in Round 1. If Germany uses their size to their advantage and takes lessons from Saturday’s match against Japan, they should be able to handle China and earn their third victory so far this IC.

Irish Banshees vs Great Britain Swans – 2:45pm – McAlister Oval 

The Banshees have certainly held up to everyone’s high expectations so far this IC as they continue their undefeated streak and currently top their pool in the women’s division. The GB Swans will prove to be a tough opponent for the Banshees as they took out their first two matches and gave reigning IC14 Champions, Canada, a hard time in their Round 3 matchup.

At this stage the Banshees look likely to take on Canada in a rematch of the IC14 Grand Final at Etihad Stadium, but first they’ll have to get past the Swans who have really proved just how enthusiastic and physical they can be, and have caused a stir despite this being their first IC. Tomorrow’s match should be a real highlight of IC and is sure to be a close one between two very determined teams.

Croatian Knights vs Japan – 3:45pm – Ransford Oval 

The final match of Round 4 will see the Croatian Knights facing up to Japan in the men’s second division. The Knights have been on fire this IC with two victories and only a single point loss back in Round 1. The Croatians have really stepped up since then and shown that they’ve come to take out their division.

Japan is topping out their pool at the moment with 3 wins from 3, and will be attempting to use their speed and agility against the big Croatian side in Round 4 tomorrow. If the Croats use their size to their advantage and get the game off to a solid start they should be able to take out their third victory over Japan, but it will certainly be a tight match between these two strong teams.

Umpire Appointments: 

It’s a big round for our AFL Europe umpires who all have games allocated for tomorrow’s matches at Royal Park.

Oscar will be umpiring for a huge women’s semi final between the North American rivals, the USA and Canada, at McAlister Oval tomorrow afternoon. These two teams are sure to keep Oscar on his toes as they battle it out for a place in the women’s division grand final at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Josh has been appointed a men’s division 1 match tomorrow morning when Canada, currently in 8th place on the men’s Divison 1 ladder, take on the 6th place Nauru side in what’s sure to be a fast and physical match at Ransford Oval.

AFL Europe Umpire, Geoff, will round out the team with what’s sure to be the biggest women’s division semi-final match of the round, when the Irish Banshees face up to the GB Swans tomorrow afternoon. The two Euro teams will be competing for a place in the grand final against the winner of the Canada vs USA match in the race to Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

IC17 Round 3 Match Reports

The AFL International Cup continued for Round 3 this weekend as the ‘Community Round’ saw the national teams spread across Victoria with the matches hosted by local community clubs. With the men’s matches taking place on Saturday and the women’s division competing on Sunday, it’s been a massive weekend of footy for all the IC17 teams.

It was a double Euro clash in the Men’s Division 1 with the Great Britain Bulldogs taking on the Irish Warriors in a rematch of last year’s European Championships final. With some wayward kicks preventing the Irish from completely dominating the scoreboard early on, it was the Bulldogs who took the lead at half time. The Warriors stepped things up a notch in the final two quarters and came away with 15-point win with the scoreboard reading 70-55. With this win under their belt, Ireland now need to defeat New Zealand on Tuesday to guarantee their place in the grand final.

Croatia have well and truly turned things around after their disappointing one-point loss in Round one, and took out their second consecutive win on Saturday when they managed to hold their opponents to a single goal. Despite the windy conditions, the Knights were hungry for goals and managed to finish the match with a 59-6 win over Sri Lanka. The Knights have taken out second place in their pool, and will face up against Japan on Tuesday in the semi-final.

The French Coqs were unfortunately taken down by a powerful Nauru side. Despite the French picking up some momentum in the second quarter, Nauru went into the half-time break with a 55-point lead and continued their reign to take a 106-14 win at the final siren. France will take on a tough opponent in the USA side on Tuesday, but are confident that their team has what it takes to match up to them and get a victory on the board.

The German Eagles suffered their first loss on Saturday when they lost out to an extremely quick and agile Japan in the men’s division 2 comp. The Germans certainly had the height advantage in this match, which served them well in the first two rounds with victories over Pakistan and India. They’ll be looking for another win on Tuesday when they face China in the semi-final.

The Great Britain Swans were also taken down for the first time in Round 3, by reigning IC14 Champions, the Canada Northern Lights. Canada were always going to be the team to beat in the women’s division and their experience got the better of the Swans today when they defeated them 34-3 in a fast and physical match at Diamond Creek. IC newcomers, the GB Swans, have already earned themselves a place in the semi-final and will have to face IC14 runners-up, the Irish Banshees.

The Banshees, also a little battered and bruised, will be ready to face the Swans on Tuesday after claiming their third consecutive win against Papua New Guinea earlier this afternoon. The Banshees started the game off with a bang and couldn’t be stopped, despite a best effort from a tough PNG side. The undefeated Banshees will be looking to claim this year’s IC title after being thwarted by Canada in last IC’s Grand Final, but first they will have to defeat an enthusiastic GB side in the race to compete at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The European Crusaders suffered another defeat today after going up against a very strong USA side. The Crusaders, while left scoreless on the board, were praised for their strong defensive efforts in the final quarters of the game, and were able to thwart many of their opponents shots at goal. The Crusaders are expecting another tough match on Tuesday against the very physical Fiji team, who have been on point with only narrow defeats by both reigning champions Canada and the GB Swans.

For full match reports, click the links below.

Round 3 Great Britain Bulldogs v Ireland

Round 3 Croatian Knights vs Sri Lanka

Round 3 French Coqs vs Nauru

Round 3 German Eagles vs Japan

Round 3 GB Swans vs Canada

Round 3 Ireland Banshees vs PNG

Round 3 European Crusaders vs USA