Well, the first official game of the season kicked off last Sunday with a record number of players turning up for both teams. The Goannas fielded a team of 21, which could possibly be an all time record. This allowed 12 players on the field for the game, and Smokin’ Pete decided to run the bench for the day, with Kim doing umpiring duties again. But once again, in what seems to be a disturbing trend in Japan, thieves broke into Tokyo Uni before the game, stealing every blade of grass from the rugby field. This was not to disturb the players however, who took to the field in the cool of the afternoon. This time the Sams won the toss, and Hoshi decided to kick with the wind, but told his players the exact opposite. So once the players found their correct positions, the game began. As is customary with
Samurai/Goanna games, it was a physical opening, but on the short ground, the Goannas got the ball quickly to their forwards and scored some quick goals through Chuck. It was experience vs experience, with both teams starting with familiar faces, and after the first quarter, a familiar score line… Goannas ahead by 25 points. It was after he`d had a few beers in him that Smokin Pete started doing his work on the bench, pointing the bone at anyone who made a mistake and dragging them.
Influential players like Nanpa Trev, The Kid and Happy Steve soon found themselves having breathers despite creating havoc for the Sams. It was also in the 2nd quarter that new boy Alex showed his stuff, and long time Goanna Jim moved into full back, with the backline resembling the rugged Swans backline of the 80`s. The engine room was dominating, inspired by goal of the day by Cam, kicking a beauty across his body. Half Time, Goannas up by 57. The second half didn’t differ much from the first. The Goannas kicked 8 goals to 2 in the third. A dominating performance, with less heralded players Eppo, and first gamer Jeff playing well. Big Dave also got in on the act with a rampaging goal after bursting through the pack. Aussie was also starting to show off the fruits of his hard training. After meeting his idol Brent Harvey in Melbourne, he must have been given some tips, because he played strong over the ball and tackled well, to play undoubtedly his best game to date. Trev almost took a speccy, but took his eyes off the ball at the last minute, to see if Machan was watching… But the 3rd quarter will also be remembered for Chuck doing his ankle while running for a ball. The word is ligament damage which is bad luck for the reigning premiership coach.
By the 4th quarter it was seemingly all over. An insurmountable scoreboard lead and winners in every position. Tucky and the Kid showed great attack at the ball. The Sams were trying every trick they knew, but experience sure hands and clean disposal were what they lacked most. The forwards and backs were switched at half time, with both Jamie and Ando kicking Majors. There were a lot of tired legs out there, but with plenty of bench players, the Goannas didn’t fade, despite only kicking 3 goals in the last. A lot of bad kicking meant Smokin’ Pete was kept busy till the final siren. When Kim blew the whistle, the Goannas convincingly had the win.
|1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||4th Quarter||Final|
|Goannas||6.3 (39)||13.9 (87)||21.12(138)||24.16 (160)||160|
|Samurai||2.2 (14)||4.3 (27)||6.4 (40)||7.6 (48)||48|
Goannas Goal Scorers: Jezza 5, Steve, Chuck, Eppo, The Coach 3, The Pres 2, Nanpa, Trev, Jamie, Big Dave, Cam, The Kid, Ando.
Goannas Best: Nanpa Trev, The Coach, Aussie, The Kid, Happy Steve, Alex, Tim (new), Big Dave, Chuck, Jezza, Eppo.
Goannas Injuries: Chuck (ankle ligaments), Callum (“I’ve done something to my neck”).
Umpires: Kim (who did another excellent job and was red hot on the holding the ball decisions) Thanks Kim! Cameron (Bags) who patrolled the mud on the outer side. Thanks Bags!
Bench: Smokin Pete, Told everyone who was boss. Special thanks : Again to Migi, Rachel, Kaoru, Jarrod and anyone else who helped out with the barbecue.
Special Mention: To the kid who played in the mud all day while his dad played footy, showing us what footy is all about, getting dirty.