Contributed by: Michael Christiansen Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 03:43 pm ACDT
Again - the below match reports are courtesy of AFL Pacific Development officer Ben Drew.
Today saw Day 1 of the Oceania Cup component of the festival. With teams transitioning to 4 x quarter football on a fantastic Suva day!
Game 1 was a replay of the 2015 Grand final with Nauru Stars taking on Fiji Jnr Tribe. It was a close tough match all day with the ball moving up and down the ground quickly all game. In the end the Nauru Stars ability to have patience with the ball and hit their targets through the middle of the ground showed through for a hard fought win. The Fiji Jnr tribe worked hard and never gave up giving themselves every chance to run over the top of the Nauru team. In the end, The Nauru Stars used their bench very well rotating their players to keep fresh legs and kick 3 late goals in the 3rd to make it hard for the Fiji team. A fantastic game, close and tough! both team were terrific!
Game 2 was an epic close battle between 2 teams still very much learning the game. It was close, tough, fast and both teams worked tirelessly with their tackling pressure. The Tongan thunder were brilliant in with their tackling and pressure around the ball, the bigger, taller Tongan team held onto their marks early and had the run of the game in the first half just not able to convert through the middle. In the end the Solomon Islands sharks kicked a goal in the second quarter and held on to their small lead defending with all their heart as the Tongan Thunder had the ball in their forward 50 for most of the last quarter. The Solomon island Sharks held on for a fantastic morale boosting with proving that they are super competitive against all opponents. Coach David Holo is already dreaming of the 2017 campaign!
Game 3 and the Tongan Thunder took it right up to the defending champions the Nauru Stars. The stars didn't have it all their own way with the Tongan team tackling and moving the ball up the ground quickly to have every chance to kick goals. As the Nauru Stars steadied and rebounded the ball efficiently from half back they were able to capitalise on their chances and reward the effort with kicking goals. The Tongans never gave up and hit the post twice, but the Nauruan registered their second win of the day to sit on top of the ladder going into the break.
Tomorrow will see all the teams complete a rehab session at the Damadoor Pool in Suva then head back over to Albert Park for some education session on - Social Media, Health & Wellbeing with the Fiji Ministry of Health & a Stop Violence against Women session with the Ministry of Women.
Thursday will see the games back on at Albert Park, Check the AFL South Pacific Nations Facebook page for all updates
Match Results – Oceania Cup Day 1
|Fiji Jnr Tribe||2||2||14|
|Solomon Islands Sharks||1||3||9|