Australia dominate Touch World Cup

May 4, 2019 @ 11:30 UTC

Australia wins all three opens and five seniors divisions in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Australia has retained its mantle as the world’s best by winning the Men’s Open division at the Touch World Cup against long-time rivals New Zealand 4-3 in a titanic struggle in Putrajaya, Malaysia today.

However, the 2015 World Champions were never comfortable against their long-term opponents who kept coming at the Emus for the entire game. Australian coach, Tony Trad said, “It’s New Zealand. Everyone remembers 2015 when we were white hot, and that was our time. However, if you look at our games in 2016, 2017 and 2018, there was nothing in those games.

“We’ve had drop-offs and wins after the siren. Why would the World Cup be any different?”

Trad continued that in the second half it was tit-for-tat, with the Kiwis never allowing the Emus any breathing space. “At 1-nil at half time, it was anyone’s game. They came back. We got them back, and then they came back again.

“It’s always the bounce of a ball or a split-second decision that can separate us.”

While Stuart Brierty was named the final’s MVP, the Australian coach nominated winger Sean Francis, who scored the team’s first touchdown as one of the best on the park. He doesn’t get many accolades, but he was phenomenal all week.”

The Men’s final was played in relatively mild conditions in tropical Putrajaya, and coach Trad was happy for the relief provided by a cooling breeze for the tournament’s last match. “It was a relief and what I liked about this tournament is that the boy’s brought into the [Malaysian] culture. We did plenty of things away from the tournament and really enjoyed the local food. It’s so different, Asia to where we’ve been before.”

Watch the Men's Open final

In the Women’s Opens Final, the Australians beat their trans-Tasman rivals 10-2, a result that caught winning coach Swain Rovelli by surprise.

“I knew we had a lot of attack in us and can put on touchdowns very quickly. New Zealand has a good team with a good attack.”

To add to the sporting challenges facing the Aussie World Champions, the thunder and lightning that stopped play on the tournament’s penultimate day struck again. However, the phlegmatic Aussie coach said his team wasn’t worried by the storm that struck with 15 minutes left on the click and with his side well ahead. “We just had to play the game, and then get off. When we got the call back on, we got back into our processes and warmed up.”

The best for the Aussies were MVP Hayley Maddick, who was a powerhouse for the Emus before the game was stopped, while Rovelli nominated Ash Quinlan who score a triple, and the quickfire Hannah Dyball as other significant contributors to the World Cup Final win.

Watch the Women's Open final

The Mixed Opens final was a cliff-hanger, with the Aussies getting home late by 7-6 against the unlucky Kiwis. Aussie coach, Michael Lovett, says, “They are always a tough team to play no matter what form they’re in. They run all day, and they gave it to us in the midfield, but we just kept turning up. 

At the no stage in the thriller did the Emus believe they had the game won. “You never do against these guys. The momentum in a mixed game shifts really quickly.” 

The best for the Aussies, according to Lovett was Daniel Stone, who was a constant attacking threat to the Kiwis and two-touchdown hero Corey Russell. “Corry Russell was really good in the middle. The Mixed Opens final was a cliff-hanger, with the Aussies getting home late by 7-6 against the unlucky Kiwis. Aussie coach, Michael Lovett, says, “They are always a tough team to play no matter what form they’re in. They run all day, and they gave it to us in the midfield, but we just kept turning up. 

At the no stage in the thriller d the Emus believe they had the game won. “You never do against these guys. The momentum in a mixed game shifts really quickly.” 

The best for the Aussies, according to Lovett was Daniel Stone, who was a constant attacking threat to the Kiwis and two-touchdown hero Corey Russell. “Corry Russell was really good in the middle. He’s a real tough nut from Queensland, who never gives up.” Other Emus to score touchdown were Paige Parker, Simon Lang, Justin Cridland, Jackson Mills, and Elin Mortimer. 

Ifor Jones, Tiaan McIntyre with two touchdowns and Shanon Tomuri, who crossed once were constant threats throughout the electrifying game. Codie Taute, Nathanael Turner and Mark Hodson also crossed for the plucky Kiwis.

Watch the Mixed Open final

Article by Anthony O'Brien