29 April 2014

Australian Ultimate Championships 2014: the wrap up

The finals have been played. Champions have been crowned.

In the women's division, Kaos brought a strong game to the final. They were clearly the best women's team we have seen come out of Western Australia. They looked like they were on a mission: no fear in the spotlight of their first final, coaches co-ordinating their tactics, warm-up drills using lots of short forehands, and and unending line-ups of athletes.

But the talent of Team Box was too much. Cat and Mich Phillips caught and threw what they wanted. Hussey and Joy controlled the tempo. Q laid out, including the winning goal.

Team Box won 14-12.

Team Box with smiles
In the Open division, Colony Pillage came out strong against Fyshwick. Gav Moore got an early block on a huck, which set the tone. The Pillage defence was piling on the pressure, and Fyshwick were not in the groove they had shown for most of the tournament.

Pillage won 15-10.

Pillage and Plunder
In other results, Hot Chilly and French pushed up to 9th and 10th respectively, demonstrating how they beat some top 8 teams earlier in the tournament. DUFF narrowly avoided the wooden spoon.

Champion: Sporting Team Box Athletico United
Silver Medallists: Kaos
Bronze Medallists: Rogue Traders
Spirit: Honey
MVP: Katie Bradstock (Sugar Magnolias)
Champions: Colony Pillage
Silver Medallists: Fyshwick United
Bronze Medallists: Colony Plunder
Spirit: I-Beam
MVP: Aaron Neal (Wildcats)

26 April 2014

Australian Ultimate Championships 2014: the pointy end

Here's a recap of the action from Day 3 of the Australian Ultimate Championships.

In the women's division, Rabble toppled Sugar Magnolias to make the quarterfinals, as did Sand Dunes by defeating Artemis.

The quarterfinals went to seed. Team Box, Honey, Rogue Traders and Kaos all prevailed. The closest one was Rogue Traders (one point over Factory) but the others were comfortable wins.

The outcomes of the semis matched the pool finished. Kaos topped their pool today and also topped Rogue Traders 15-7. Meanwhile STBAU remained undefeated by defeating Honey 15-8 in a Victorian derby.

The final tomorrow is STBAU (Melbourne) vs Kaos (Perth) at 1pm. This is the first finals appearance for Kaos, but STBAU are veterans of the process. Ulti.tv are aiming to offer live streaming, so stay tuned.

In the Open division, the game of the day may have been a pre quarter. Sublime battled Wildcats for a spot in the quarters, and Wildcats were down a few points throughout, but held on til the end, surviving a massive Peeley layout (that macked it up), a stall that was contested and a Twig bid on the winning goal. Wildcats just hucked better (not well, just better) than Sublime to get three consecutive breaks to win 13-12.

Sublime vs Wildcats
Magon outlasted Outbreak in a calmer game next door, 13-8.

The quarters saw Magon take down the erratic Phat Chilly, 12-10.

Colony Pillage found their defensive mojo from BCI and played strongly against a hard-working HoS, winning 13-8.

Then the semi saw Magon play Pillage. Magon had 13 players, lost another to an ankle roll, and were struggling to play a third big game of the day. Pillage were too energetic, with young 'uns like Rob and Nate scoring some double happiness. 15-7 to Pillage.

Fyshwick narrowly toppled Wildcats 12-11, which was Fyshwick's third one-point win of the tournament.

Plunder put away Firestorm 15-11, before meeting Fyshwick.

This was a rematch, which had gone to double game point previously.

The goal celebrations could be heard three fields away as the teams competed. Presumably Joel, Ant, Calan, Jonno, AJ and Mike did big things and everyone worked hard. There are no known written accounts of this event, so we may never know.

Fyshwick won 15-12.

Your Open final tomorrow at 11am will be Colony Pillage vs Fyshwick United. Fyshwick United make their second third appearance in an Open Nationals final and Pillage make their third. Or fourth. Or second. It's hard to tell with the two Colony teams. Anyway it's the team with Gav, Pete and Cupcake as captains.

Tin Tin (right) will be in the final. Ewan (left) sera regardait son ami jouer.

25 April 2014

Australian Ultimate Championships 2014: upsets abound

We are halfway through the Australian Ultimate Championships 2014.

The current standings are here, but let me break it down for you.

The women's division is mostly going according to seed.

In the first pool, STBAU are undefeated, followed by Rogue 1, Factory, Sugar Mags and Rabble.

There have been a number of one or two point wins in that group of four. The Rabble - Sugar Mags game will put one of them into the quarterfinals and the other down to the bottom group.

The next tier is Zig Theory, Smokestack and Cherry Bomb.

The second pool has Rogue Traders, Honey and KAOS in a three way tie. Sand Dunes and Artemis (NZ) battle each other tomorrow morning for the last quarterfinals spot.

STBAU look like the form team at the moment. Their for-and-against is clearly the best at +49.

Over in the men's division, it is an unholy mess. No-one knows who will win any given game.

Before this tournament, we had some patterns: Colony Pillage and Colony Plunder had won every game against non-Colony teams, except a Plunder loss at BCI. HoS were looking to be in third place, with a strong Regionals win over Phat Chilly, and a strong showing at BCI. Fyshwick and Firestorm were close but not getting wins on the aforementioned teams.

That's all out the window here at Nationals. Phat Chilly beat Pillage. Who beat Wildcats. Who beat Phat Chilly. And Firestorm beat both Pillage and Wildcats by a point each time.

On the other side, Plunder have lost to HoS and Fyshwick. Fyshwick is undefeated and the strongest team so far. Adelaide's Outbreak upset Sublime.

Footage of Plunder vs Fyshwick. Watch ulti.tv online!
Did I forget to mention that two of the top four teams (Phat Chilly and Firestorm) have suffered embarrassing losses to teams that likely will finish in the bottom 6?

The quarterfinals will be Fyshwick vs (winner of Wildcats - Sublime) and Firestorm vs Plunder.

The other side will be Phat Chilly vs (winner of Outbreak - Magon) and HoS vs Pillage.

This looks like the most even field at Nationals for many years. Stay tuned.