2018 U24 'Livestream And Chill' Guide - Day 1

By Mark Evans

So you've asked your Ultimate crush if they want to come round, watch the U24 livestream and chill, but you've got no idea what's going on. Don't sweat, IOU's got your back.

At IOU, we cannot be more excited for the World U24 Ultimate Championships to start. It’s in our very own backyard and we have heaps of friends competing in Australian and international teams. 

In this series of articles, we’ll use our (very limited) knowledge to break down the teams playing in the scheduled live stream matches and give you our prediction as to how the games will go down. 

If you’re using U24 Championships as an excuse for ’live stream and chill’, feel free to adopt our opinions as your own if it means you’ll impress your date.

Opening Ceremony 2.30-3pm (5.30-6pm AEST)

An eternally mediocre necessity, this year’s opening ceremony is likely to be no different. Actually that’s a lie, it will be hot (31 degrees celsius), so expect the flag bearers and teams to really not want to be there.

Ok now I feel like a jaded old man. The opening ceremony is a big deal for some, and often a very meaningful event for smaller countries like Malaysia who have never sent a team to a world event before. Clap extra hard for these legends for making it this far.

Mixed - Australia vs India 15:00 (6pm AEST)

Hot take: The occasion and the crowd will make this a hotly contested game, initially with lots of crazy bids and questionable throwing decisions from both sides. Second half sees Australia settle and pull away with the game 15-9.

Team India

The game of Ultimate is relatively new to India, but jeez am I excited about watching them play. The first time we’d really seen them was when top Australian coach, Dan Rule, went over to India to coach the U24 team ahead of the 2015 Championships. In London they performed far above expectations, quickly winning the hearts of Ultimate fans around the world with their incredible athleticism, raw style, and charming spirit. Here they beat the more established programs of Ireland, Phillipines and Colombia and won spirit! We expect more of the same in 2018 for India, punishing any team that underestimates them.

Game style:

Traditionally, India move more through their male players, who can athletically dominate most match-ups. Shutting down these key ‘every second pass' players and winning the high-stall Hail Mary’s, will be crucial to success for the Bluebottles.

Team India players to watch:

  • Sivaraman Venkatesan #99: I watching this guy play at the most recent WCBU, and he was nigh unstoppable on sand, it’ll be interesting to see whether than translates to grass. Fast, crazy athletic, this guy is a big game player.

  • Krishna Damor: He played in the India u20s last year and will be looking to take that experience to the big stage. Also very fast with a big leap, Damor will be a key goal scorer for India.

  • Bhavya Trivedi: has great disc skills and will be a key centrepiece for team India’s offense. Look for her throwing long to India’s slew of athletic cutters.

  • Meena Kallappa: A strong cutter, Meena will be the one quietly scoring goals for India, while the other team worries about the afore-mentioned boys.

The Australian U24 Mixed Team (Bluebottles)

 

The Bluebottles have seen mixed success on the international stage. In 2013 they finished in the lower end of the roster, after the team was hastily formed late in the campaign. In 2015, a number of key players preferenced mixed, and the team finished 2nd, an incredible result for Australia. The 2018 version of this team is somewhere in the middle of these two, and while they lack the star power of the 2015 roster, they are a team comprised of role players. This will see them through the lower end matches, but against teams like Canada, USA and Great Britain, the Bluebottles will need their key athletes to step up and make the big plays.

Game style:

Tall and athletic, with a whole cast of enticing, enormous male and female receivers, we expect the Bluebottles to try and huck their way to victory. If India can stifle a few of these early options, and put the fear of the long ball in the Aussies, they may be able to clinch a victory.

Bluebottles players to look out for:

 

  • Maya Suzuki #77: Athletic co-captain of this outfit, Maya would be a tough assignment for any player at this tournament. Look for her as the initiating cut or popper in a zone.

  • Abbie Dawson #61: Very fast, defensive machine and happy to score deep on the turn. Throws aren't what she’s known for but every now and then she throws a bomb outta nowhere. 

  • Kate Robertson #79 - Handler with a pretty extreme range of throws, very reliable breaks and penetrating passes. Shreds zone O. Expert at back-the-fuck-up fakes.

  • Mark Wee #50: Leading from the front as co-captain of this squad, Weezy is a lightning quick cutter and has the game sense to take advantage of it.

  • Thomas Deller #1: A bike courier by day and an Ultimate player by night, this guy is fit, really fit. I played against him a few months ago and was impressed by his defensive grit and intensity. Expect a couple of key blocks from this big unit.