What's on Tap: 9/9/23

Cue up the Europe, we're entering the final countdown.

With five weeks until Nationals, the seeding committee's computers are starting to whirr.  Time to dust off the hard drives, I reckon.  And so we come upon the last big weekend of matches of season 2023, though there are still some captivating matchups after this weekend.  A bunch of regional rivarlies are in store, and one big milestone by a pioneer in the women's game.

Should be a beautiful (if not still slightly toasty) weekend throughout the country, so if you're near one of these matches, come out and support local Aussie Rules.

Here's what's on tap this weekend:

Baltimore Dockers (8-2) v Philadelphia Hawks (1-6) (Men’s)
11am EDT – Herring Run Park, Baltimore, MD

The I-95 Derby returns with the Hawks trying to peg back the Dock Show, after the latter had taken them down 49-39 in the season opener.  Baltimore looks to go flying into D2 next month in Florida, while the Hawks will try to pocket their second victory of the season ahead of a D3 placing.  Both teams have one set of matches left, in DC to finish off the Eastern Round Robin on the 23rd.

Virginia Lions (0-5) v North Carolina Tigers (1-2) (Men’s)
11am EDT – Westover Hills Elementary School, Richmond, VA

It’s been an immensely competitive season for the Virginia Lions, and they’ll kick off the final month of the season with a home-and-home against NC.  The Tiges’ only victory of the season came at home against a Jacksonville side that had a handful of Lions on it.

Houston Lonestars v Austin Crows (Women’s)
Houston Lonestars (6-2½)  v Baton Rouge Tigers (0-3) (Men’s)
11am/Noon CDT – Cullen Intramural Fields at the University of Houston, Houston, TX

Houston hosts a doubleheader at the U, as the Lonestars men try for a season sweep of the cagey Tigers from the Bayou.  The ‘Stars have won four of their last five, and are on the hunt for a season ending dub before going into the fray in D2.  Meanwhile, the Lonestars Women, having fallen to Austin in June, will attempt to turntables in a final tuneup before their own go at Nationals.

Atlanta Kookaburras (1-2-1) v Jacksonville Saints (0-3) (Men’s)
1pm EDT – Daffin Park, Savannah, GA

The Magnolia Cup returns to the hostess city of the South.  Jacksonville, with help from the local Hurricane players, face the Kookas in their lone official encounter of the season.  And, with Nationals down the road this year, both sides go for one last dub before heading into battle next month.

New York Magpies (7-2) v Boston Demons (2-4) v Quebec Saints (1-2) (Men’s)
New York Magpies (0-6) v DC Eagles (4-1-1) v Quebec Saints (2-0-1) (Women’s)
Starts 1pm EDT – Tibbetts Brook Park, Yonkers, NY

The ‘Pies men have arguably been the best team in the East this season, though Baltimore and DC will have something to say about that. On this day, however, it will be rivals from Boston and Quebec who will be in front of them; Boston looks ticketed for D1 this season, while Quebec hopes to play rude guests down South of the border.  On the women’s side, Drea Casillas’s 300th game across all competitions will fire up her teammates to bring home their first win of 2023, facing DC and Quebec, potential D1 foes.

St Louis Blues (3½-7½) v Wisconsin Wombats (3½-3) (Men’s)
1pm CDT – Buder Park, Fenton, MO

An evenly matched contest in the relative shadow of the Arch; the Blues try to snap a three game losing streak, while the ‘Bats (not counting their Super Regionals wins as part of a combination with Denver) are in on a four-game skid.  Wisco took the season’s first matchup, a 52-14 decision at the Des Moines 10’s. 

Seattle Grizzlies (3-4) v Portland Steelheads (2-2) (Men’s)
Seattle Grizzlies (1-3) v Portland Sockeyes (1-0) (Women’s)
Noon/2:30pm PDT – Vassault Park, Tacoma, WA

When the two Cascadia teams get together, it’s always a happening.  They’ll meet down in Tacoma with the boys from the Rose City looking for revenge for a 40-14 loss in June at the Midway Matchup.  The Grizz Women saw some of the Sockeyes playing for Golden Gate at Western Regionals, and want to improve their record before heading to Nationals and a possible first Grand Final appearance in four years.

Birmingham Bushrangers (2-2) v Rome Redbacks (2-2-1) (Men’s)
6pm CDT – Heardmont Park, Birmingham, AL

The Bushies and Redbacks finish their three game season series under the lights in B’ham.  Birmingham took out the Three Rivers Cup in May, but the Redbacks got whatfor and whatfive three weeks ago in a 55-point rout.  Two teams set to make debuts at Nationals will want to sparkle in the twilight.

Photo: Sebastien Di Maulo

Posted in 
Watch AFL