d Japan, New Zealand emerges from pool play at the AFL International Cup as tournament leaders, with Ireland and Papua New Guinea snapping at their heels.
Don't know anything about the AFL International Cup? No surprise if all you follow is mainstream media and mainstream sport. But as this report from
the Victorian tournament base describes it, "I there were such a thing as a United Nations of Australian rules football it would have looked something like this - 700 players from 17 nations crammed into the grandstand at the Warrnambool Racecourse."
The winners of the trophy in 2005, NZ's 229-o demolition of India on Monday sets
them up as tournament favourites once again, and their top-of-the-table finish has them in good heart going into the finals series, -- where New Zealand faces Ireland in the first semi-final at 5:30 AEST time this afternoon (which is +10 GMT), just after PNG squares off against South Africa in the other semi -- and hopefully for the final, to be played at the MCG this weekend!
Check out some of the highlights videos here, and keep up to date at the tournament home page and the NZ AFL site.
NZ captain Andrew Gongalton soars high against the Japanese Samurais.
UPDATE: For those wanting to follow progress in the two semi-finals (and all the 'plate' games), World Footy News is updating scores each quarter as games progress here. They report a cool day down in Warnambool, "around 14 degrees Celsius, but fine after early fog. Partly cloudy with light to moderate southeasterly winds. The overnight low is then supposed to be zero degrees Celsius, so the evening will turn very cold very quickly - no need for ice baths for the players!"