AFL Asia’s ANZAC Round continues to grow in stature following a successful series of games and tributes across the Asian region over the past week.
Three AFL Asia League games, special ANZAC Rounds of the South China (SCAFL) and Philippines (PAFL) leagues and exhibition games in Hong Kong, Borneo and Pakistan all paid tribute to the ANZAC Centenary.
In Kuala Lumpur the Malaysian Warriors continued their impressive start to the 2015 season with their third AFL Asia league win, defeating the Jakarta Bintangs 16.7.103 to 7.5.47 to win the Batik Cup. Warriors forward and former Richmond AFL player Tim Fleming bagging 7 and winning best on ground in his Warriors debut while Dave O’Shea was solid for the touring Bintangs with 2 goals.
The Warriors are the form team in Asia, remaining undefeated following big away victories in Thailand and Vietnam and if you believe what Wikipedia says “Fleming is going to play a major part in the Malaysian Warriors upcoming campaign to take out the AFL Asia Championships in October 2015.” They will head to the Manila International Cup at the top of the AFL Asia ladder and full of confidence and belief after yet another convincing performance. The Warriors are working hard to move themselves into the top echelon of AFL Asia teams and going on their start to the season and players they have been able to recruit, this might just be their year.
In Vung Tau, Vietnam, defending Asian Champs the Singapore Wombats had a tough start to their 2015 campaign with the Vietnam Swans recording one of their most famous ANZAC Friendship Match victories in front of another big crowd at the historic Lord Mayor’s Oval, with many diggers who played at the same ground in the old Vietnam Football League (1966-71) in attendance.
Following a moving dawn service at the Long Tan Cross where both teams laid wreaths, it was an even first quarter back at the dog track before the Swans rallied in the second to go into the half with a 5 goal lead. Midfielders Mitch Hyde and Tom Doer providing the Swans forwards with plenty of ball. The Wombats rallied early in the third kicking the first two goals of the quarter but the Swans were able to stem the tide and run away with the game in the 4th, convincingly defeating the Wombats 13.12.90 to 7.7.49.
Many WWII veterans were in attendance for the Thailand Tiger‘s 9th Anzac Game in Kanchanaburi to watch the home side record their first victory of 2015 in a big win against the Myanmar Fighting Cocks 22.12.141 to 2.1.13 after a Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass.
While not winning the game, the Cocks’ won many admirers in the way they went about it, never giving up until the final siren with guest of honor Neil MacPherson, of the 2nd/2nd Pioneers and survivor of the “Death Railway” commenting “You fought well and courageously and although the score was against you, you come away with a good reputation”, as noted in this article in the Myanmar Times.
In Hong Kong the Hong Kong Dragons hosted a massive few days of footy starting with Round 4 of the South China AFL (SCAFL) where 6 games were played at Happy Valley. HK ex-pat teams the Cobras, Typhoons and Lantau Lizards continued their domination of the competition with their respective victories all moving them to the top of the SCAFL ladder with a 6-2 record. Chinese team the Guangdong Seagulls also making it a successful tour across the border winning their first game for the season, with a confidence building 27-point win over the Macau Lightning.
On Wednesday the Dragons in conjunction with Port Adelaide hosted an Anzac Day lunch where Port Adelaide President David Koch made several important announcements about their commitment to South China Football. The day also featured an exhibition match between IC14’s TEAMCHINA v Zhujiang Pearl River Power.
In round 2 of the PAFL it was the Eurekas who won the Sands of Gallipoli Trophy with a dominant performance over the Dingoes, converting their opportunities up forward to win 12.4.82 to 2.8.20 in very hot and windy conditions in Manila.
In Balikpapan, Indonesia the Borneo Bears defeated the all-local Jakarta Garudas team, while the Islamabal XI won a tournament played in Pakistan.
Article – Aussie rules football part of Anzac Day across Asia (Australia Plus website)
On Anzac Day in Pakistan the Gujranwala Giants and Rawalpindi Blues played an exhibition AFL footy match during the half time break of a Pakistan Cricket Board XI v’s a Diplomatic XI led by Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The Gujranwala Giants starred on their first outing showing fabulous clean ball skills, gut running and determination to overcome the Islamabad Rawalpindi Blues. Despite the hot weather the boys ran out the game well and before an enthusiastic crowd gaining the admiration of many locals and expats. Peter Heyward the Aussie High Commissioner (a Saints fan) has supported the efforts in developing organised sports for Pakistani youth and marvelled at the skills the boys showed on their first official outing. The Gujranwala Giants from deep in the Punjab won the closely fought encounter by a few points.
The Pakistan Football League is developing under the administration of President Mr Tayyab Chatta, supported in training sessions by AFL Pakistan Markhors International ‘Aussies’ Marzio Da Re (Muzza) and Danny Caruana (the Copulator) and Stavros Lambropoulos (The Penetrator). The Pakistan Markhors (the Goats) played their first International at the 2014 Anzac Day Clash in Thailand and have concentrated this year on developing and training the local lads who have taken enthusiastically to footy.
Go the Goats, Go the Gujranwala Giants and Go the Rawalpindi Blues.
TOKYO GOANNAS GO DOWN IN FINAL OF HIROSHIMA CHALLENGE
Tokyo Goannas made the long journey to Hiroshima to take part in the inaugural ANZAC Day Football challenge, hosted by the Hiroshima Cranes, Japan’s newest AFL team.
In their major pre-season hit out, Goannas showed impressive form to defeat a combined Osaka/Nagoya Team (playing as the Dingbats), then hold off the hosts who showed up in impressive numbers but were lacking for experience.
Moving into the final without a break, the Goannas went down to the Dingbats in a spirited game that was worthy of the event, which had also featured a moving ANZAC ceremony.
Sam Ghirardello got the supporters’ nod for best afield, with brave efforts coming from Dan Last, Oceans Huynh, Pete Chalmers and plenty of drive provided by Evan Kerr and Yuji Yamamoto, on field and off.
We were delighted we could bring 14 people (including supporters) from Tokyo to contribute to this landmark development event, and would like to thank our sponsors NAB and Hobgoblins Roppongi again for their support, and the Herculean Jono Cooper for putting on the tournament.