Around the Boundary: Solomon Islands AFL Reply

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August/September update

Solkick & Junior Development

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 6.08.07 pmDuring term 3, SIAFLF staff members have been targeting grade 3 and 4 students across a number of schools around Honiara. Three new schools were added to the list of AFL schools thanks to volunteer teacher trainers: Jenny Dunn and Jo Kelman. The organisation was also invited to attend Tulagi Kids Games late in August. This was the first the time the organisation has visited and promoted the sport of AFL in Central Province.

Term 3 Clinics:

  • Kukum SDA
  • Global Harvest
  • Koloale
  • Schammer School
  • White River Primary
  • Ports Field Community
  • Woodford International School

 

AFL Goes Central – Tulagi Kids Games

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 6.08.56 pmDuring the midyear school holidays, AFL staff assisted ‘Kids Games’ organisers with recreational activities at KG. In August, AFL was again invited to assist Kids Games, but this time in Tulagi.

Many of Centrals residence have never seen AFL let alone know the meaning of the acronym! Never the less, boys and girls of all ages, including adults were very keen to learn more about the game and have their first try at kicking and handballing a Sherrin.

Staff arrived Friday and ran small skill sessions with various age groups from preschool up to middle school students. On Saturday morning, heavy rain delayed activities. Once the rain eased children flocked to the field for more games. Students enjoyed the handball target and other modified games. Later in the afternoon, students from Hailita School played an actual AFL match.

n true footy fashion, the heavens opened up again and it became a wet weather slog out. Students, undeterred by the immense down pour continued playing footy. Considering the students lack of knowledge of the game and training, staff were impressed by the natural ability and footy-nous of the players.

SIAFLF staff will be looking to return to Central Province for one week during term 4 to conduct clinics across 4 schools and finish with an interschool competition.

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Senior Footy

Big Meat Pie – Nationals Take 4th Straight Victory

The stage was set at King George VI for yet another historic clash between the Solomon Islands Nationals against the combined expatriate & local side – Barbarians. A hot and dry day would see plenty of rotations and test players endeavour and willpower to win the footy for their team. With several National players unavailable for selection this year the Barbarians were hoping for an upset victory and to claim the trophy for first time.

Nationals won the toss and elected to kick to the school end with the breeze. Both teams met in the centre of the field for the official anthems and a minute silence to pay respect for two close friends of SIAFLF who recently passed, Graeme Wilson and Ed Smith. As the game got underway both teams took some time to find touch and settle into positions. Opening goal came off the boot of Nationals centre half forward Rossco Maeloboa. Barbarians snagged a quick goal a few minutes later and it was game on.

Nationals continued to use their pace to break the lines and move the ball forward in the first half. They could have secured the match had they kicked straight in front of goals but wayward kicking in the second quarter kept the Barbarians within reach. Barbarians were able to convert a couple goals of their own to keep the pressure on. The Nationals now needed to continue their work rate. Sam Bua found a lot of the footy and was instrumental in the first half setting up the Nationals along with ruckman Jermaine Akaramo, who was taking strong grabs around the field and giving first touch of the footy to his midfielders.

After the halftime break, the Barbarians would have to work extremely hard to not let the scoreboard blow out. Nationals opened with the first goal but the game was evening out. Both teams showed good passages of play around the ground. Nationals were very composed coming out of defence, often switching the ball to the open side of the ground before attacking. Barbarians lacked the speed to run with the Nationals when the ball was out in space. Javvy Serere, David Holo and Ringamoto Mosese were all finding a lot of the footy for the Nationals and Jermaine continued to put the Nationals forward through his ruckwork. Chris Idu worked extremely hard on Sam Bua to keep him to only a handful of touches and Freddy Una stood tall in defence. Gut running wingmen for the Barbarians – Andrew McEvoy and Andrew Piper provided targets coming out of defence and also kept the pressure on the Nationals going the other way. Pizza Pete was also working extremely hard to make it to the contests. Barbarians were able to score 3 successive goals to bring the margin back to 11 points but a late goal from the Nationals saw them take a 17point lead going into the final quarter.

As players tired in the blistering heat the Barbarians would have to leave nothing in the tank if they were going to win this match from here. Nationals maintained their quick ball movement and were able to find target s up forward. Barbarians struggled out of defence and began dropping like flies with players cramping. Unable to run with the Nationals, the game was all but over for the Barbarians as the Nationals kicked away in the final quarter. Although it was a blow out in final term, the Barbarians fought gallantly against a younger, fitter and faster side. Coach of the Nationals Job Vulita was happy with his team’s effort considering many of their more experienced players were unable to play. Nationals declared the 2014 Big Meat Pie champions.

Final Scores:

  • Nationals – 12 goals 14 behinds – 86
  • Barbarians – 7 goals 4 behinds – 46
  • Nationals Best on Ground –Jermaine Akaramo
  • Barbarians Best on Ground – Pizza Pete

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Premier’s Medal Presentation

2014 SIAFL Premiers – White River Demons took part in a medal presentation in late August. The Demons were the stand out team during the season and proved too strong for last years’ premiers, Central Coast Eagles. The Demons will be looking to go back to back next year in the 2015 season.

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International

Oceania Cup

Every year, AFL South Pacific hosts the Oceania Cup, an under 16’s competition available for all AFL affiliated Pacific nations. The competition will take place early December in Fiji. Solomon Islands have been represented in two of the past three competitions. Solomon Islands have never sent a full squad due to lack of funding and sponsorship.

This year, we will be providing AFL fans with an opportunity to sponsor an individual player. The Sponsors, whether it be an individual, business or group of friends will cover the return airfares of one national player. Sponsors will have the opportunity to select one of nine national representative players. More details on the sponsor packages and player details to come so watch this space! If you are interested in donating you are encouraged to contact SIAFL staff.

Coolaroo Update

Unfortunately, Peter and Francis were able to make it to the Darling Downs AFL Grand Final having lost their Preliminary match to University Cougars by 13 points. The boys are set to return to Honiara on Wednesday 7th Oct. The following is a message from Coolaroo Football Club Senior Coach, Shaun Johnson: –

“It is pleasing to say that both Peter and Francis have grown into very handy players. At the start of the season they lacked the ability to go with the bigger harder bodies but as the year went on, we gave them a bit of space on the wings and they showed a lot of ability to beat their bigger opponents in one on one contests. The boys have been a pleasure to have at the club and have represented Solomon Island AFL exceptionally well. Both the SIAFL and their families should be very proud of the way they have conducted themselves during their time in Australia”. Regards Shaun

Contact: Job Vulita, Development Officer, 7444 878, siafldevelopment@gmail.com

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