Dropbears Impress on Day One of the World Cup
Team Australia enters day two of the Quidditch World Cup full of confidence after three great wins and a close loss against tournament favourites, the United States.
As the fourth ever World Cup level Quidditch tournament, Australia set out to show that they were the favourites to go all the way once again.
Early in the day Australia faced European teams The Netherlands and Austria, showing off great team cohesion after months of training together. The Dropbears kept a clean sheet against The Netherlands in our first game of the day, with Neil Kemister catching the snitch to give a score of 220*-0.
Kemister caught again in the game against Austria, leading to another comfortable win, 170*-10.
The biggest game of pool play was against two-time champions, USA. The Dropbears played a near-perfect early game, completely shutting down the American offense on their first drives and showing a physical offense of their own to go up 40-0.
This was the first time in international Quidditch history that the US team found themselves losing a game out of snitch range – a huge feat for Team Australia.
After a timeout the US rallied, with a couple of fast breaks to eventually bring the scores level, 60-60. Australia still looked threatening with the quaffle in hand, and were unlucky not to score more to keep out of snitch range.
After several heart-stopping minutes of attempted snitch catches, America’s Tyler Douglas Trudeau finally took the catch to give them a hard-fought 90*-60 win.
In the final game of the day, Australia took on Vietnam, grinding out a 170*-20 win against a strong Vietnam outfit with a third Kemister catch for the day.
Winning three out of four games was not the result Australia were aiming for, but running ahead of the US for a majority of their game shows we can take on any team in the competition.
Entering the Round of 16 Australia has quite the gauntlet to run to take the World Cup a second time. Their first game will be against an experienced Mexico outfit, before a likely rematch with the United States in the Quarter Finals.
If the Dropbears are able to overcome both of those teams, a likely semi-final with another top team, the UK, awaits. If the Dropbears want to go back to back, they’ll have to do it the hard way.