Contributed by: Cam Homes Wednesday, August 16 2017 @ 11:00 pm ACST
Papua New Guinea Flames Burn Pakistan Shaheens
Papua New Guinea and Pakistan 3rd and 4th place teams in their respective pools played an entertaining match in Semi-Final 4 of the Women’s Division of IC17 at Western Oval, Royal Park. Although the outcome of the match was very predictable as the experience of the Flames is well documented, no chance of a boil over by International Footy newcomers Pakistan was given.
Some discussion revolved around whether the Shaheens could finally register a score in this match. I watched their match against Canada last week and was hoping to see some improvement from the girls and wished to see them keep the Flames score to less than 20 goals.
I can safely say I scored 1 out of 2 in my wishes, sadly for Pakistan fans the Flames scored 21 goals 24 points, but the improvement shown by many of the Shaheen girls was quite evident, with many more marks held and kicks finding their target, and some great tackles laid. The last quarter in particular, the Shaheens harried and chased and tackled, to turn what had previously been successful shots on goal, into behinds (about ten of them).
We also saw some “successful” changes in tactics from the Shaheens as the game progressed, and good passages of play that enabled them to move the ball forward into their forward fifty a few times, this wasn’t seen in the previous game I witnessed. A huge learning curve was being enthusiastically undertaken by the girls and at the interchanges many of the girl’s expressions asked “did you see that” and were still grinning despite the shellacking the Flames were inflicting on the scoreboard.
Stand out players for the Shaheens today were Ahmad, Eraj (taking some telling marks in back lines in last quarter), Misbah, Sheelah Bana, N Ul Nisa, Haider and Memoona.
The Flames speed and skill was just so good, repeatedly setting up lightning passages of play and interceptions of Shaheen ball movement. They were great on the ground and in the air, taking strong marks all over the ground and excellent kicking to their targets.
Best on ground had to be the Flames fireball, Valerie Mai, a tearaway all over the ground and 8 individual goals (did miss one tho), Fatima Sovara (2 goals), Alison Gaur, Emil, Alois, Lavai and Hedwick must rate a mention as her name mentioned by the live stream commentators on numerous occasions.
Western Oval 2:45pm - Placement playoff - PNG vs Pakistan
Papua New Guinea will next come against Fiji Vonu in the 5th/6th Place Play-Off match on Friday in what should be a much more challenging encounter for the Flames.
The Shaheens will tackle the European Crusaders in the battle for 7th place and if they can repeat some of passages of play seen today they might just get on the scoreboard in their first IC. Go You Shaheens!!!