Have you ever daydreamed about visiting Australia?
To see the unique animals, the vastness of the outback, the endless stretches of secluded beaches and of course to play and socialise with our Korfballers?

Good News! Korfball Australia (with the support of IKF and KNKV) is seeking expressions of interest from players with International (or similar) Experience to come to Australia to help increase our players’ exposure to different opponents at an elite level.

Australian Korfball is a comparatively small community spread across 3 of Australia’s Cities. We’re hindered by distance and cost from regularly travelling between each city (800 km or more!) and to other countries to expose our players to high level opponents.

In a novel solution to that problem, we’re inviting International players (from across the globe) to form a touring squad and fly to Australia. Estimated cost for the trip is €1500.
If you’re interested, please contact Edwin Bouman.

English Flyer
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There were no great surprises from any of the results of the finals except maybe for the dominance of Australia over India, or the complete lack of scoring in the England Catalonia final, which finished up a very boring 11-10 in favour of England (surely one of the smallest score-lines in a world championships?).

In the Australia/India match, the Australian team looked in trouble in the opening minutes with the Indians restricting their scoring and taking a 2-0 lead for the first 10 minutes of the match. But once the deadlock broke, it was the Australians who started to make the score keeper work. Ashlee Othen scoring all 5 of her goals for the match in the first half.

The Half time scoreline looked very health at 6-15 in favour of Australia, but India were not beaten so easily and came back hard in the second half opening with 3 consecutive goals before Australia steadied. India kept chipping away at the lead and still had a sniff at with 13 minutes remaining and 5 goals to make up. But the Australians had been through the pain of a late game loss to India and responded to each score to maintain the 5  goal buffer with 5 minutes remaining.

A flurry of substitutions brought on 3 fresh players to run out the remainder of the match for Australia. The final score-line with the same 5 goal margin, 22-17 and 9th placing for Australia.

Hong Kong faced off against Portugal for 7th placing, but the Europeans were far too strong, winning easily, 32-19. It’s fair to say that Australia wouldn’t have fared any better than that themselves.
The coach would be disappointed to have missed out on the opportunity to play for 7th, but realistically, the European sides are a step above those from Oceania (apart from Chinese Taipei).  Australia needs to focus on maintaining its competitiveness against India, Hong Kong, and China all of whom have made dramatic improvements in recent years. Hopefully the rise of these countries increases the public face of Korfball in the Asia-Oceania region.

 

Finals matchups and match times (Adelaide time) for the U23 World Championships are as follows:

11th/12th - China Vs South Africa, 00:30 Saturday 20th*

9th/10th – India Vs Australia, 2:30am* Saturday 20th

7th/8th - Portugal Vs Hong Kong, 04:30 Saturday 20th*

5th/6th - England Vs Catalonia, 02:30 Sunday 21st*

3rd/4th - Germany Vs Chinese Taipei, 04:30 Sunday 21st*

1st/2nd - Netherlands Vs Belgium, 06:30 Sunday 21st*

In the match most relevant to Australia, South Africa pushed India to the limit last night. The Indian’s fielded an identical team to that against Australia but struggled to score, going into half time down 6-9.

The South Africans held an ever diminishing lead until the 46th minute, and capitulated, scoring only 2 goals to 8 to lose 13-19.

Great news for the Australian team saw Josh Berney play almost the entire match for the first time this tournament. It appears that he is again considered to be fully fit following his injury scare. He contributed 4 goals in the team’s win against China.
The Aussies came out alert and quickly took a 4-0 lead and continued to hold that lead throughout the first half, going into half time, 12-7. It was a similar story in the second half, with the Australians further advancing the score difference out to 9 goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

At this point, some intelligent substitutions were made to rest players and maintain the run with fresh legs. The substiutes didn’t let their coach down and in the remaining 10 minutes of the match they held and then stretched the lead out to the winning margin of 10 goals. The  siren sounding with the scores 23-13 in an excellent confidence building performance.

With India and Australia both winning their cross finals, they face each other again early Saturday morning from 2:30am (Adelaide time) in the final for 9th/10th placing.

In other finals,

Netherlands will play Belgium again for 1st/2nd (06:30 Sunday 21st*)
Germany will play Chinese Taipei for 3rd/4th (04:30 Sunday 21st*)
England will play Catalonia for 5th/6th (02:30 Sunday 21st*)
Portugal will play Hong Kong for 7th/8th and (04:30 Saturday 20th*)
China will play South Africa for 11th/12th (00:30 Saturday 20th*)

*(Adelaide Time)

It was the last chance for both Australia and India to get a win in the Pool stage of this tournament and Australia started very poorly, looking slow to react and allowing India to attack as they wished. The score quickly blew out to 1-5 after only 6  minutes.

At this point, the team started to improve their own offence and were able to reduce the deficit back to 1 (4-5) by the tenth minute, but the defence was still lax and again the Indian team were allowed to attack freely, their height advantage at the rebound again proving troublesome, as it did in Adelaide last year. The scoreline blew out again to 4-11 at the 26th minute and Australia looked in real trouble.

Our team was able to pull back 3 goals before half time to be down by 4, the score 7-11 and Australia still looking unlikely. A more alert team returned from the Half Time break with Interceptions and Increased Pressure in defence and more fluid and controlled attacks such that scores were levelled 13-13 at the 38th minute.

Australia’s defence was creating a number of shot clock violations against India and in attack they looked to be in control. A Time-Out and an extended period of tending to an “injured” player did not break the rhythm of the Australians and they continued to look the better side, finally achieving a 2 goal buffer 18-16 at the 51st minute of the match.

India took another strategic time-out and drew level shortly thereafter. The Pressure of the match started to show in the Referees with some unusual decisions and some disappointing missed calls for/against both teams, the worst example being a Penalty shot paid to a player in a defended position for contact on the shot (by the defender)!

Australia also pressured themselves, trying to run down time, they elected to pass instead of taking good, stable shots, with only seconds of shot clock remaining. India had stabilised their offence and were once again dominating the rebound to give multiple opportunities to their shooters.

Ultimately this dominance was the difference and they managed to draw level and then within the final minute, score to take the lead 20-21. Australia had one attack where again players were hesitant to shoot and India was able to run the ball out of defence just before the final siren.

The disappointing loss puts Australia at the bottom of Pool A, which draws them against  China (5th in Pool B) playing from 9:30pm (Adelaide time) tonight.

 

The first upset of the tournament saw Germany defeat the favoured English team 17-13. After getting rave reviews for their performance against Holland, the English have disappointed their fans with a scare against Australia and now the loss which puts them out of contention for a Top 4 placing.

Don’t forget tonight Australia play India from 7:45pm (Adelaide time). The match will be live on Youtube.

Ping the team with SMS, Facebook and Tweets all day to let them know you’ll be screaming at the computer (or TV, or Projector) screen tonight.

The winner of tonight’s match will play South Africa at 7:45pm on Thursday night, the loser will play China at 9:30pm Thursday, these games will also be live on Youtube.

For anyone lucky enough to catch the last match of day 4 early this morning, you saw the match that demonstrated that Catalonia are a force in this tournament and an absolute goal-fest with 67 goals scored in the match!

Catalonia lead Chinese Taipei 18-14 shortly after half time, but Chinese Taipei dragged the score back to level (after 2 consecutive missed Penalties by Catalonia) at the 48th minute, 24-24. The missed Penalties might be seen as the turning point as the Taiwanese put on 6 goals to 1 in the 6 minutes following to take the lead and create a buffer that the Catalans could not overcome. Chinese Taipei winning 35-32, Shu Ping Chu (who was reported to be injured in yesterday’s match) top scoring with 12 goals!
Clearly, the Taiwanese do a lot of attacking though their female players. They have 3 of their female players in the top 6 scorers for the tournament, with the next most prolific female scorer in the tournament coming in at 21st overall!

Australia played the Netherlands and went down (as expected) 17-46. Using the Netherlands score, Australia must go into their final match against India as slight favourite despite India’s dominance in the Asia-Oceania Championships last year. India lost 12-46 to the Netherlands.

(Photos from ikf.org)

Last night’s coverage was bordering on a professional quality stream. A vast improvement over Day 2′s coverage.

Tonight (Tuesday) a great match to sit down and enjoy in Prime Time will be the Hong Kong – Germany match starting 7:45pm (Adelaide Time) and early tomorrow morning (if you’re up at that time anyway, around 5am), Chinese Taipei take on Catalonia. The hosts will go in as underdogs, but they’re a Dark Horse in this tournament and will definitely challenge.

In an important match for Australian hopes for a top 4 place in the pools, Hong Kong held off India to make it difficult for the Australians to take fourth place from them.

To do so, our team had to defeat one of the genuine favourites for third place, England. The English have had a long term plan with this squad and the fruits of this plan are in this team. They have played as a group since Under 18, so are probably the most experienced team in the tournament.
There is good rivalry between the English and Australians and despite being the underdogs, Australia always manages to challenge the English. In 2006, Australia actually drew with England in the Pool rounds, ultimately that result cost England a 3rd/4th berth in that event.

Both teams started with arguably their “second” teams, and Josh Berney got on court for the first time this tournament indicating that he must be recovering well from the injury he sustained in the Pre-Tournament camp at KV Wageningen.


The Australian team has reasonable depth and probably the best fitness level of any Australian squad and our players matched it with the English right through the first half, going into Half time only 2 goals down (and we could have been 1 down but for a missed Penalty) in a low scoring half 7-9.

England made 3 substitutions at Half Time, bringing on some of their  more highly regarded players. Australia responded by bringing on two of their own and by the 47th minute had actually drawn level at 12-12.
This prompted England to make their fourth and last substitution to further boost their team but Australia scored twice more to take a 2 goal lead 14-12 with only 11 minutes remaining.

At this point, the Youtube stream ground to a halt and I was following by the live scores only. The stream returned with 2 minutes remaining, but in that time, the English had managed 5 unanswered goals to take the lead and a handy 3 goal buffer. They scored twice more to make it appear an easy win.

This match was the shock of the tournament so far. Most would have expected an easy 10+ goal win even with England’s second team taking the court, but Australia’s defense was dour. Daniel Papalia’s performance in particular was impressive. He top scored with another 5 goals for the match and he smothered his opponent in defence, gaining multiple defended shots throughout the match.

 

The other near upset of the night was Belgium-Portugal. The Belgians were ahead all night, but the Portuguese never let go of their coat tails, staying in tough with the Belgians throughout the match to go down by three, 16-19.

 

Tonight, the Australians play the Netherlands which is always a fantastic experience. In recent years, the Dutch have taken a course of relentless and merciless play rather than securing a quick 10 goal buffer and then easing off to allow opposition teams to score. As such, they’re more of a useful measuring stick than they have been in the past. India lost to them 12-46, England 14-22 and last night, Germany lost 16-31. It will be interesting to see what our team can score and what score they can keep the Dutch to.