Men cruise past Blues, Quebec falls to Ontario
It was a jam packed day of Australian Football at the Manotick Polo Club last weekend. The best of the Ottawa Swans women’s team joined players from Montreal and represented the AFL Quebec All Stars as they faced the AFL Ontario All Stars in the first clash between the two leagues. The game was back and forth until the third quarter, when AFL Ontario pulled ahead.
Both teams came out hard in the first of four 20 minute quarters, and Ontario took the early lead with 3 quick goals. The score remained low in the second, with both teams playing physically and battling hard in the midfield. When the ball did get forward, the defensive lines stayed strong and made effective clearances out of the zone. At the half, the Ontario women led 29-21.
The longer quarters in the hot sun took their toll on Quebec, who faded quickly in the third. Ontario came out flying and dominated with consistent pressure in their forward 50, and Quebec was unable to keep possession. With 4 goals on 9 opportunities, AFL Ontario took a commanding 58-28 lead into the fourth, where they didn’t let up. After adding 3 more goals, AFL Ontario won the first All Star game 78-35. The next meeting for these two teams is August 13th in Toronto and the road team will be looking for the upset.
On the men’s side, the Ottawa Swans were back in action against the Central Blues. The game was critical for the Blues, who were on the cusp of the 5th and final playoff spot. But right from the first bounce the Swans were in control.
At half time the Swans were up 64-7, giving them the opportunity to get rookies into new situations and get them valuable playing time. The Swans were already missing some key veterans, and rookies were asked to play big roles for the team.
James Ruiter was named player’s player after his first game in the ruck, coming out of center half back in the second and fourth quarter without missing a beat. Scott Heeney played his first game after suffering an ankle injury and made an immediate impact, while Derek Picketts was versatile swapping in between half back and half forward.
The Swans made the most of a strong breeze in the fourth quarter, adding 5 goals to seal a 104-19 victory. With this win the men improve to 7-1 and have not lost since round 1.
“Saturday will go down as ‘round of the rookie’, as we put together a disciplined and strong performance,” said coach Rod Frank after the game. “We will continue to stay focused and committed as we prepare to close out the year against the strongest and best in the league.”
The next game for the guys will be August 6th in Ottawa against the Etobicoke Kangaroos and the women play in Montreal this Sunday.