AFL England

Fantastique en France- Vixens & Dragonslayers Euro Cup 2017 glory!

Photo Credit- AFL Europe

On the weekend of 7th October 2017, 21 National Aussie Rules teams from all across Europe converged on Bordeaux in the 12th edition of the Euro Cup. The 14 men’s and 7 women’s teams represented 15 different countries, making it one of the largest Euro Cup competitions to date and our very own England Dragonslayers and England Vixens were once again in the mix vying for victory!

Pool Stages 

With 7 women’s teams making the trip over to Bordeaux this year, two pools were formed for the first half of the day with the Vixens taking on the French Gauloises, Scottish Sirens and Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries. The Irish Banshees and the England Vixens topped pools A and B, with the rest of the ladder proving to be a close finish with hard-fought matches played around the grounds all morning.

 

The men’s competition was split across four pools to accommodate the massive 14 teams that made the trip over to Bordeaux. The Dragonslayers, with plenty of GB Bulldogs returning from the International Cup found themselves in the final men’s group, Pool D against the Swedish Elks and home nations rivals the Welsh Red Dragons. While the Dragonslayers remained unbeaten to top the group, they were challenged and pushed all the way by their British neighbours the Welsh Red Dragons in the group stages. The Dragonslayers lived up to their name when they defeated the Red Dragons 15-5 refusing to go down to their rivals as they did back on home turf in 2015.

Predominately the big names succeeded in the pool stages but in arguably the main shock of the pool stages in Pool C the French Coqs saw out a decisive victory over last years Euro Cup Men’s Champions the Croatian Knights!


Womens Finals

This set up another mouth-watering women’s final between the defending Champions, and recent International Cup winners, the Irish Banshees and our very own Vixens. With many of the Vixens girls having competed in Melbourne a heartbreaking 8-point final quarter defeat to the Irish in the Semi finals of the competition was still fresh in the mind and they weren’t about to let that happen again! The Vixens didn’t waste any time any establishing a fast lead, their stellar performance earning themselves the Euro Cup title with a 38-14 victory over the Banshees.

The Vixens Rania Ramadan-Turner was named in the Womens team of the tournament.

England Captain Laura Turner-Ramadan celebrates victory (Photo Credit: AFL Europe)

England Captain Laura Turner-Ramadan celebrates victory (Photo Credit: AFL Europe)


Mens Finals

The Men’s finals saw each Pool’s top two teams progressing through to the quarter finals, while the remaining 6 teams were ranked on percentage to play-off in the Plate finals. The German Eagles, Irish Warriors, French Coqs, and England Dragonslayers proved to be the strongest four of the men’s side and entered into a gruelling set of finals matches as they battled it out to be Euro Cup champions. The French Coqs put up a great fight in the first semi-final but the Dragonslayers proved too strong for the Coqs and earned their place in the Men’s final with a 42-21 victory. Meanwhile, the German Eagles were taken down by the Irish Warriors 26-40 but eventually prevailed to take bronze in the third place play-offs Vs the gallant French Coqs.

So it was to be another England Vs Ireland final and it was certain a new champion was to be crowned for 2018! In a similar fashion to the women’s final, the English side pulled ahead early and scored seemingly at will seeing out a huge 58-9 victory over the Warriors.

In his final tournament before heading over to Australia, Luke Booth was named in the Mens team of the tournament.


Despite significant amounts of International experience within both squads, the most pleasing thing about both squads is that there were a number of debutantes, players who have never pulled on the England guernsey before. This bodes well for the England and GB teams at the beginning of a new International ‘three year cycle’ to which the end goal is lifting the International Cup 2020. If you feel you have the talent and the drive to be involved in the England and GB performance pathway please contact info@aflengland.org

You can catch both finals again in the video below by BarTV Sports from -1.45

You can also re-live all of the best bits of Euro Cup 2018 below!