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.
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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.
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.