The Jakarta Bintangs have confirmed they will be traveling to Vung Tau for the 2016 Anzac Friendship Match, to be held once again at the Lord Mayor’s oval on Saturday 23rd April.
The Swans’ Anzac Friendship Game continues to grow in stature each year, with the 2016 game to be no exception. Record crowds are expected for this significant Anzac Day in this 50th Anniversary year of the Battle of Long Tan.
The Bintangs and Swans have a great rivalry, which stretches back to March 2006 when the Bintangs first traveled to Vietnam for a game against the Hanoi Swans at the United Nations International School. This was the Swans’ first recorded win, defeating the Bintangs 6-7-43 to 2-4-16
This later led to the “Kainey Cup”, an annual game played between the two teams in honor of Dave Kainey who was instrumental in the establishment of both clubs.
In 2013 the Bintangs made their first visit to Vung Tau for the ANZAC Friendship Game. Jakarta came from a 7 point deficit at half-time to record a 10 point win over the Swans 10.9.69 to Vietnam’s 8.11.59, a loss which still lingers in many a Swannies minds.
In recent years the rivalry has only intensified, with the Swannies upsetting the Bintangs in a come from behind win at the 2014 Asian Champs to reach the semi final ahead of the ‘tangs on percentage, although this year it was the Bintangs who were the more impressive of the two teams, defeating the Swans at the recent Champs in Bangkok to reach their first semi-final in many years.
“The Bintangs are a classy outfit and will make a formidable opponent for us next year” said Swans President Grant Keys. “They are leading the way in many respects with their local player development and I hope they will bring some of their impressive young Indonesian players along. We will need to be at our best if we are to overturn the 2013 result.”
In recognition of the importance that this game now has on the AFL Asia calendar, Bintangs President Brenton Harris didn’t have to think twice about making the decision to tour next year. “We view the Vietnam trip as the pinnacle of ANZAC tours in Asia and loved our previous trip – the win helped of course.” said Harris.
With the traditional Anzac Day Dawn service at the Long Tan memorial to this year land on a Monday, the Swans are very happy to announce the McMillian Dinner will be back bigger and better than ever in 2016, to be held on the Saturday night following the game.
Players and supporters will also be encouraged to stay on and enjoy the famous hospitality of “Vung Wow” over the course of the weekend, with Monday’s dawn service of particular significance given it is the 50th Anniversary year of the Battle of Long Tan.
Keep an eye on the Swannies website and facebook for more details about the game, dinner, battle field tours and dawn service arrangements over the coming months.
Featured image: Tim Burdeau standing up to take a grab for the Swans in their loss to the Bintangs at the 2016 Asian Champs in Bangkok (Photo: Rob Brewer Ardmawr Photography)