TIME TO DELIVER
As we approach the end of July, it’s crunch time for many of our clubs vying for finals action in 2018. In an AFL Europe exclusive, we are previewing the finals race across five nations as Australian Football heats up across the continent!
Will Taylor – AFL Europe
ENGLAND (AFL LONDON AND AFLCNE):
In London we’ve already started and after an explosive first week of finals footy, the competition is wide open in both the Mens’ and Women’s competitions.
With AFL London having three divisions of competitions (Premiership, Conference and Social), there are many fixtures to get through but here is just a glimpse of what is taking place in the nation’s capital.
In the Men’s Premiership Competition, the West London Wildcats are into the GF after a massive win against The Wandsworth Demons in the first semi final. West London were forced to go to extra time to defeat the minor premiers, meaning a rematch could be on the cards in the big dance if the Demons can knock off the North London Lions in the preliminary final. North London are coming off a massive win against the London Swans and will be full of confidence heading into this intriguing fixture. No matter the case, the race to becoming premiers of the Men’s Prem comp is once again a very close contest in 2018.
In the Men’s Conference Division and Men’s Social Division, the Wandsworth Demons look the goods and will be a very hard team to stop in both comps. Their Conference side will face the winner Shepherds Bush Raiders and the Regents Park Lions, while their Social side will play either the Reading Kangaroos or Bound Green Lions in their GF.
In the Women’s divisions, picking a winner in any division is a tough thing to do! The Women’s Premiership comp was shocked on the weekend when the minor premiers and previously undefeated Wandsworth Demons side lost to the North London Lions. This sees North London through the GF, while the Demons will have to fight arch rivals the Wildcats to make their way through to the final stage of the competition.
In the Women’s Competition Division, the London Swans have found their feet and they’re through their comp’s biggest match of the year. They’ll play the Clapham Demons in the first finalised Grand Final fixture. After these teams played in tight affairs earlier in the year, this is sure to be a ‘Conference Classic’.
In the Central and Northern England Competition, the Grand Final has been decided and the fixture is a beauty! The Manchester Mosquitoes will continue to press their claims as one of the competition’s greatest teams as they play the Nottingham Scorpions in the big dance this weekend.
Going for five consecutive AFLCNE crowns in a row, the Mozzies will be warm favourites but they will play a Scorpions outfit determined to turn the tide. These two teams have met in the last couple of premiership deciders and it’s been the Mosquitoes who have got the better of the Scorpions on both occasions.
With this game being held in Nottingham, can the underdogs upset one of the best teams Northern England has ever seen?
There may be plenty of action in England, but there is also plenty of action in Scotland leading into the SARFL finals! In a dominant display throughout the home and away season, the Glasgow Sharks have earned their spot as minor premiers ahead of the Edinburgh Bloods. To play the Sharks in the Grand Final, the Bloods will be forced to beat the Kingdom Kangaroos in a sudden death preliminary final.
It was be a tough task for whoever has to play the Sharks, but in a Grand Final anything can happen. While their season has without a doubt been impressive, in their last home and away game of the season Glasgow lost to the Tyne Tee Tigers showing they are a team that can be beaten.
Will the Bloods or Roos be good enough to beat them?
To find out, you’ll have to tune in to the SARFL Grand Final coming up in August!
If you follow ARFLI or AFL Ireland Women’s on Facebook, you’ll know that Aussie Rules in Ireland is in overdrive at the moment and don’t we love that! In the premier Men’s competition, the Belfast Redbacks have been superb all year to finish minor premiers after the five rounds of competition. The undefeated Redbacks are now through to the Grand Final and their opponent is yet to be determined!
The Galway Magpies finished second after a topsy-turvy last round of competition, meaning they will play either the South Dublin Swans or Leeside Lions in a brutal semi final in Dublin on the 11th of August. For the Lions and Swans, this will be a re-match of the 2017 ARFLI Grand Final, where Leeside were successful. Now they will need to do it the hard way if they are to make the Grand Final that will take place on the 25th of August in Belfast.
With four teams still in the mix to be the ARFLI Premiers in 2018, this competition is heating up nicely as we approach the pointy end of the season.
The final round of the home and away season in Stockholm is upon us and it’s the Södermalm Blues who remain the favourites to take out the 2018 SAFF Competition. Their biggest rival is still yet to be known as both Solna Axemen and the Norrtälje Dockers are fiercely battling for second place on the ladder.
Currently it’s Axemen ahead by just percentage and they should hang on to this position as they place the winless Ärsta Swans in their next fixture. No matter the case, a match between Axemen and the Dockers is set to determine who will challenge the Blues for the title this season.
Södermalm will start as warm favourites, but they have been beaten in 2018. Can they get the job done on Grand Final day or will the next best leave them in their wake? Find out when the SAFF Grand Final takes place in September.
With two rounds left of the regular season in Germany, the Hamburg Dockers are turning up the heat on the rest of the competition. A convincing win over arch rivals the Berlin Crocodiles on Saturday has ensured the Dockers remain stable at the top of the AFLG table. The Munich Kangaroos however are trying their best to overtake the Dockers and are currently in second position on the table. They trail the Dockers by just percentage and have now opened up a two game gap ahead of the Crocodiles.
While being two games behind the top two, the Crocodiles are two games clear of fourth meaning their position in the finals is all but cemented. The action in the AFLG therefore is occurring in the middle of the table, where the Rheinland Lions and Frankfurt Redbacks are fighting it out for the last finals position.
The Redbacks have a must win game against the Württemberg Giants in Round 9, while the Lions don’t play again until Round 10 where they face the mighty Hamburg Dockers. A win for the Redbacks and a loss for the Lions could see them split by just percentage at the end of the home and away season.
If that is the case, with a percentage of 99 compared to a percentage of 54, the Lions are still the warm favourite to make the finals this August, but only just!
While most people are expecting a Dockers/Roos Grand Final in the AFLG in 2018, the Berlin Crocodiles still remain a threat.
Can they repeat their 2017 heroics, or this this the year of the purple haze or the blue and white?
Do you have finals coming up? Do you have any news you want to tell us?
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