In the first ever AFL representative match played on French soil, the Australia Under 18s team overwhelmed the enthusiastic European Titans by 167 points in a great exhibition of exciting football.
Played at the picturesque Chantilly Polo Club just outside of Paris on Thursday April 12, the young Australian side had great mobile marking targets up forward in Jake Stringer and James Stewart.
The team received great supply from its exciting midfield lead by Nick Vlastuin, Emmanuel Irra and Jason Pongracic.
When the Titans went forward it found it almost impossible to get past the Aussie defence with tall defender Lachie Plowman and the versatile Lachie Whitfield reading the play superbly and setting up many forward thrusts.
Europe’s only goal came in the last quarter with a smart evasive step from one of the three Frenchmen in the team, Gregoire Patacq, slotting it through from 40 metres, delighting the appreciative crowd that attended this historic game for the AFL code.
The Europeans took plenty from the days spent under the tutelage of Peter Schwab and Tadhg Kennelly with the knowledge they passed on sure to speed up the development of football all across Europe. Most valuable player medals were awarded to Australia’s Jake Stringer (Victoria Country, Bendigo Pioneers) and European Titans’ ruckmen Paul O’Halloran (Ireland).
The Australia Under 18s team, all members of the AIS-AFL Academy, return to Australia on the weekend and will prepare for next month’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.
The European Titans return to club football in Ireland, Holland, Sweden, England, Wales, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and France after the history-making match in Chantilly. The lessons and experience will live long in the memories of the European group as they watch the best young players in the world mature into AFL stars in the coming years.
Australia U18s: 6.4 (40) 14.7 (91) 20.11 (131) 27.15 (177)
European Titans: 0.0 (0) 0.1 (1) 0.2 (2) 1.4 (10)
Australia U18s: J. Stewart 6, J. Stringer 3, T. Membrey 2, E. Irra 2, O. Wines 2, L. Wilkins 2, J. Bourke 2, T. Smith 2, B. Grundy 2, L.Whitfield, N. Vlastuin, J. Toumpas, T. Menzel
European Titans: G. Patacq
Australia U18s: J. Stringer, J. Stewart, J. Bourke, L. Plowman, E. Irra, L. Whitfield, N. Vlastuin, J. Pongracic
European Titans: P. O’Halloran, E. O’Suileabhain, J. Van Der Hulst, S. Walton, M. Kilheeny