AFL International Cup

Nauru Chiefs finish tournament on a high note

After 2 tough losses to Grand Finalists, PNG and NZ in the first two rounds, the Chiefs came charging back with impressive wins against France and Canada and ended up playing Great Britain for 5th position.

After a slow start, the Chiefs hit back hard in the 2nd half to take control of the game and eventually ran out comfortable winners by 21 points.

The dangerous Bronco Deidenang hit the scoreboards again with 3 goals and Aykers Daniel provided the match highlight with a miraculous goal from the boundary line that would have made Eddie Betts proud.

Nauru Chiefs optimistic about remaining games

"If you look at it, apart from PNG, New Zealand and Ireland the table is very even," Vice captain Kenneth Oppenheimersaid.

"We could be fourth, you know. South Africa is not looking too strong and Great Britain as well and we're looking at maybe fourth of fifth place if we're lucky".

Nauru failed to score in the opening quarter against PNG and Oppenheimer said they've performed well below expectations.

"We expected it to be pretty tough but not this tough," he said.

"Our team is struggling a bit to get used to the conditions here, the cold, and I don't know.

No recovery after Mozzies sting Chiefs hard in first term

But the big hard body clashes expected particularly from Nauru, were just not there in the amount we come to expect.  

Or maybe it is just that open play six goal opening quarter from PNG just took the sting out of Nauru?  

PNG are very aware that if they can play well enough and finish with a 3-1 record next Tuesday then they are still a chance to play in the Grand Final if their percentage is good enough.  

And so it was they burst out of the blocks at Sebastapol.

NZ Hawks too tall and clean for Nauru Chiefs

The rain had thankfully passed - however as this 3:45pm game progressed the sun also began to pass - as the moon rose in the East the lights were flicked on, with limited benefit to the onlookers.

The New Zealand squad had the height advantage and match up pretty well on weight so wouldn't be pushed around. Nevertheless there were some fierce clashes and players on both sides will wake up sore tomorrow morning.

Nauru Chiefs will be a competitive team at International Cup

AFL Nauru President Mathew Batsiua said they have been competitive at every international cup tournaments since they entered the tournament in 2008 so they are expecting to go well and be in contention.

Batsiua said the structure of the 2017 tournament is different now with two divisions, so they are pitted against top ten ranked teams in the world.

“So there is really no place to hide as each game will be super competitive.

“But we won’t want it any other way. We want to play against the best because we belong with the best.