Canada Day Showdown
The Northwind and Northern Lights, Canada’s men’s and women’s national Australian Rules football teams, got a chance to test their strategies on Canada Day and both came away with convincing wins against their opponents.
The sides were only represented by their players from the eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, with the teams to come together with their players from British Columbia and Alberta for the International Cup in August in Melbourne, Australia.
The Northern Lights played first and showed that they will be hard to beat in Melbourne. Despite playing a side of lesser fitness and skill, it was still a good contest, regardless of the score line which saw the Lights win 26.13.169 to 0.1.1. The high levels of skill and fitness training proved effective and saw the Lights produce an effort that is sure to make other sides take note, especially with the addition of the British Columbia and Alberta women.
The Northwind then took to the field to play a team composed of mostly Australian men. This match was more closely contested, with the Australian men appearing to be more skilled after having grown up with the sport, but the Canadian men were fitter, better drilled and had clearly more practice as a team. The Northwind’s hard work paid off, running away in the end with a victory of 16.9.105 to 6.10.46. The Northwind will also be joined by players from British Columbia and Alberta in Melbourne.
The International Cup will be played from the 10th to the 23rd of August and the Northwind will be playing China, the United States and Sweden in the opening rounds. The women’s draw is yet to be released, but Canada will be sending a secondary women’s side along with the Northern Lights, known as the Midnight Suns, which shows how advanced women’s footy is in Canada. The men’s side will be looking to improve on their position of tenth from their last appearance, while the women will be hoping to bring home the gold after finishing second in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Rob Colburn