The Sharks held a pre-season interclub friendly Saturday 18th of November at GHA Rugby Club.
The club tried out the new AFL-X rules in the game with an eye on fine tuning how the CAFL would function in 2018. AFL-X is a shortened format of Aussie Rules. Designed by the AFL as the way to play the game on Soccer and Rugby fields around the world (which are more accessible than the cricket pitches AFL is normally played on) the game is played with 7 players on the field (two defenders and two attackers must stay within each of the marked out 40 metre arcs before the central bounce) 3 players on the bench. There are two 40 metre arcs, around both goals, normal scoring is seen within the arcs though and goals scored from outside 40m arc are given 10 points instead of the normal 6. Quarters are 10 minutes long, the last person to touch the ball before it goes out of play has a free kick payed against them and kicks to team mates behind the kickers position does not incur a mark, instead play continues. After every goal and behind play starts from a kick in that must be taken from behind the goal line i.e. no goal square.
The interclub game was a fast, free flowing affair with a soft ground everyone tired quickly. Lots of new faces along mixed with experienced heads meant that there was plenty of opportunities to for our leaders to show how the game is played. Our more seasoned players took the lead during the game and helped to highlight just how much the AFL-X is focused on quick scoring, end to end football where turning the ball over is much more costly than ever. Though more impressively our newer players stole the limelight. Adapting to the sport very quickly and showing a willingness to take the game on was very encouraging. The game ended in a one point victory with the siren making the last kick of the game, though would have meant a draw, wasn’t counted.
After the game and discussing some aspects of play that suited and those didn’t the CAFL and it’s intention to improve players game understanding, knowledge and skills some of the rules will be adapted for the next outing.
Stephen Connor, Head Coach and umpire during the game said “The style and format of the game was really exciting, scoring was high and I definitely saw that people were encouraged to have a shot from 40m when presented with the option of 10 points and most had the ability to do so, this may help players feel more comfortable scoring from distance. All in all I think this was a great game to watch.”
The club is still looking for newer players and with another interclub game set during December and a few Tuesday trainings between now and then it’s a great time to get along and see what the sports all about. Make sure you let anyone interested know about how to contact us.