Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekends action and is presented by PSS International Removals.
Crocs with a Dream start in AFLG
Such a big build up for the inaugural AFLGW season, with the Rhein-Main Redcats in their very first game as a club, had onlookers excited. This match-up against the Berlin Crocodiles did not disappoint. In a dominating win in the previous round, onlookers were expecting much of the same from the more experienced club of the Crocs. This however, was not the case, the Redcats had eagerness for the ball in and around contests, creating this to be an exciting affair. The sheer class of the Berlin Crocodiles got them over the line by a mere five points in a nail biter.
This match-up of clubs was also on display in Frankfurt in the men’s competition, as the Frankfurt Redbacks were up against the Berlin Crocodiles. Building each round, the Redbacks were able to get their first win against the Munich Kangaroos since 2008 in the previous game. Playing tough in and under footy they seemed one of the top German teams for 2019. Coming up with some confidence against the well decorated Berlin Crocodiles, Frankfurt fought hard, but the pace and ball movement by the Crocs got the better of them as Berlin won this match by a convincing 88 point margin.
Final Scores (AFLG Premiership)
Women’s: Rhein-Main Redcats 3.6 (24) defeated by Berlin Crocodiles 4.5 (29)
Men’s: Frankfurt Redbacks 2.2 (14) defeated by Berlin Crocodiles 15.12 (102)
Demons edge over the Lions in AFL London
Two of Europe’s powerhouse teams in the Wandsworth Demons and North London Lions went head to head this weekend in the official first round of the season. A Grand Final rematch for the Women’s Premiership competition made for an exciting opportunity for the Lions to get some revenge on the reigning premiers. North London through their range of skill around the ground seemed up for the challenge. This was shut down though, by the Demons who showed great heart. With pace, skill and solid defence, Wandsworth were able to get a resounding 33 point win over North London to start their back to back premiership campaign.
The reigning premiers of the men’s competition, the Wandsworth Demons, were able to gain some strong leads in this Men’s Premiership battle. But the determination of the Lions, helped them to claw back into game through strong use of the body in contests. The Demons pace and aerial ability got them a slight lead late in the fourth and with the Lions gaining clearances and getting on the scoreboard, it turned into a tight finish. Wandsworth with a big home crowd behind them were able to hold on in defence and gain the victory by a thrilling one point.
Final Scores (AFL London Men’s Premiership)
Women’s: Wandsworth Demons 6.6 (42) defeated North London Lions 1.3 (9)
Men’s: Wandsworth Demons 7.9 (51) defeated North London Lions 7.8 (50)
Stade Toulousain Assert Dominance in Garonne Derby
In a real rivalry match and for a spot in the CNFA semi-finals, two of France’s top sides made for a great match-up on the weekend. Known as the Garonne derby, Stade Toulousain and the Bordeaux Bombers, played off in a shootout, where the game included a whopping 32 combined goals. Both eager, in a must win game for a playoffs spot, players put their body on the line and real passion was displayed throughout the game. The Bombers were accurate on the scoreboard, being efficient by foot, however the class of Stade Toulousain shone with their countless inside 50’s and attempts at goal. In great form heading into the postseason, Toulous were able to get a commanding 71 point win.
Finals Scores (CNFA Premiership)
Bordeaux Bombers 11.7 (74) defeated by Stade Toulousain 21.19 (145)
Magpies Swoop on the Swans in Ireland’s West Coast
2018 Grand finalists the Galway Magpies want to go one step further this season and win the ARFLI premiership. Coming up against the passion filled South Dublin Swans, this made for an intriguing matchup. The Swans battled hard all day putting bodies on the line and were strong through many midfield contests. The Swans played the game on their terms in small patches, but the sheer ability of the Magpies proved to be too much. A notable standout for Galway was the presence down forward of Shaun Murphy, who finished with 8 majors to his name. A real team effort though, where the Magpies used pace, kicking efficiency and scoreboard pressure and look to be one of the best teams in Ireland at this stage, finishing the match with a classy 52 point victory.
Final Scores (ARFLI Premiership)
Galway Magpies 13.8 (86) defeated South Dublin Swans 5.5 (35)
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Liam McAllion – AFL Europe