NZ defence holds strong against Fiji

The New Zealand national AFL side has won their second International Cup game after defeating Fiji by 70 points on Wednesday afternoon.


The game was played in beautiful weather at the St Kilda Football Club’s training facility in Seaford on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. Initially both sides showed a lot of emotion during the pre game challenges as they readied for the battle ahead

In contrast to the game against Nauru, New Zealand started the game slowly but it wasn’t long before Barclay Miller kicked his first of three goals for the game. Miller has now kicked five goals in his past two games and is looking strong up front.

Sam McKenzie kicked two goals to celebrate his 29th birthday while fellow forward Brendan Clark looked sharp in front of goal, kicking three for the game.

Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas was best for the Kiwi’s as he stamped his mark on the game in the second half. The midfielder’s endurance shone through as he ducked and weaved his way through the opposition defense to set up the forward line attacks.

North Shore Tigers and Northern Suns midfielder Jackson Clince continues to impress in his first International Cup with another solid game along with Northern Suns and Hutt Valley Captain James Kusel who is proving to be very versatile.

New Zealand held Fiji scoreless in three out of the four quarters. Brothers Andriu Sucu and Brandon Sucu along with Michael Boyce worked hard ensuring limited point scoring opportunities for the Fijian team.

Hawthorn Football Clubs New Zealand recruit Kurt Heatherley, showed his support to the team by supplementing the back line coaching staff for the game. After the full time siren, Kurt was presented with a medallion to recognise his selection in the AFL New Zealand Heritage Team over the past five years, followed by a Haka from the New Zealand team.

AFL New Zealand would like to thank Gerard Jess and the St Kilda Football Club for utilisation of the Linen House facility at Seaford.


Goal Scorers:

New Zealand: Barclay Miller 3, Brendan Clark 3, Sam McKenzie 2, James Kusel 1, Will Dickinson 1, Andrew Howison 1.


New Zealand: Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, James Kusel, Andrew Howison, Michael Boyce, Andy Christensen, David Rattenbury.

New Zealand’s next game will see them come up against a confident Canada team this Saturday after the North American’s defeated Great Britain during the second round on Wednesday. The game will be played at the Waverley Blues Football Club, Charles St, Mount Waverley. First bounce at 12.30pm and entry is free if you show a NZ passport.