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.
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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.
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!