The men’s competition consisted of all the 18 teams being split into 3 groups.
Each team would subsequently play three games within their group, and afterwards, the three group winners along with the best second place team (based on wins and then percentage: goals for divided by goals against), would move onto the medal round. The remaining teams would be further split into a Division 1 (teams ranked 5-12) and Division 2 (teams ranked 13-18).
Our first game was against China on a chilly afternoon. We really had no idea what the Chinese team was going to be like since they didn’t actually arrive in Melbourne until the night before our game. Although we started slowly, we eventually cruised to a convincing 119-1 victory. Match report can be found here: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20140811074921345
Three days later, we got to take on our perennial opponents: USA. This was going to be our best shot in a couple of years at finally taking down the states, and it turned into a hard fought and physical game. Despite being down by only two points at 3/4 time and having several opportunities to take the lead, we eventually ended up losing 51-20. Match report here: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20140814090255390
Last of our initial seeding round was taking on Sweden at a local footy team’s home oval. While I personally was not playing due to some tightness in my hamstring, and subsequently being rested as a precaution, we jumped out to an early lead, and ended up shutting Sweden out 130-0. Match report: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20140817082038662
Unfortunately, we missed out on the medal round by only a few percentage points (if we had prevented two of the goals against in the USA game we would have been through!), but got seeded against France for our fourth match. While we as a team probably went in somewhat overconfident, the game became fiercely competitive and a bit nasty at times. We were up by 4 points at quarter time, but after a bit of a talking to from our coaches turned things around and eventually came out victorious 69-15. Match report: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20140818214703967
So with all but one game remaining, Canada finds itself in a 5v6 playoff game which is alternately, the “Division 1 Final” against Tonga on Friday at 1pm and will again be streaming online at: http://afl.com.au/global/aflic14/streaming/. That correlates to an 11pm start on the evening of Thursday, August 21 in Toronto, and 9pm in Edmonton.
Canada’s best previous finish was 6th, so we’ve got a chance to eclipse that this year, and much better than our 10th place finish three years ago!
STREAMING VIDEO LINK:
Melbourne Time – 1:00pm (Friday, August 22)
Toronto Time – 11:00pm (Thursday, August 21)
Edmonton Time – 9:00pm (Thursday, August 21)