2005 Narita Cup

Post 96 of 127


Just over a fortnight has passed since the cup, injuries have healed, boots are still gathering mould in the bag, brain is functioning normally again after battering it with copious amounts of booze, slow hazy recollections are still forming in my head and here they are… This years tournament saw the Goannas, Samurais, Samurais B, GoKongs, Osaka All Stars and making the trip over from Oz, the Box Hill North boys lock horns and slug it out for the Narita Cup 2005. Leading up to the cup the heavens opened and I swear it didnt stop raining for 3 days. Coach Kokomo Stames was whipping the boys into a frenzy at the 11th hour Goanna meeting Cup eve at the Goannas favorite watering hole, the Clubhouse. Discussing many footballing factors and the in depth intricacies of our game plans, from kick in drills to how many water boys we needed, a bombshell announcement came from left field with Coach Stames announcing the scrapping of the coveted `running back` position from this years coaching manual. Such astonishingly big news was of course met with deafened silence but Im sure Coach Stames will go back to the drawing board and create another position that can adapt to the rigors of AFL footy on small grounds in Japan. Early betting has tight end, wing attack and point guard as the frontrunners, keep your eyes peeled. The weather produced a stinking hot day on the Saturday as the games got underway. The small army of Goannas (about 20 all up) watched on with interest as the Box Hill Boys ran the Sams to within 2 points in a cracking game. The Red Army took on the GoKongs first up as both teams desperately wanted to start the Cup with a bang. Not a great start for the Goannas as the fellas started dropping like 9 pins. Matty Riley went down clutching his knee (later to be seen with what can only be described as (and by no means am I ungrateful for the great work the trainers did) strapping/half an elephant trunk around his leg) and Mister Bantings incredibly skin tight shorts to blame for ending his day with a twinged groin (Ballsax meanwhile looked on in delight as he was not going to give up his title of the tightest/skimpy short wearer in the team without a decent fight). Anyway, the game went on as Mister Banting sat solemnly was on the sidelines as the physios went to work on removing his shorts with the Jaws of Life. The enigma known as the Predator was running amok down forward and dishing off no look handballs at will, Yasus drive in the middle was superb and Jonny H was mopping up (new nickname –Jonny the Janitor) everything down back as the Lizardmen went into half time with a comfortable buffer. Stand in coach Smokin Pete rang the changes in the 2nd half as the Goannas continued to stamp their authority on the game. Lex was putting on a clinic for the appreciative Narita locals and a trim and taut looking Ricey (still looks like Clarke Keating though) marshaled the troops in the back half with conviction. In the end it was a comprehensive and satisfying victory in pretty humid conditions. The second game saw us take on the Sam Bs and we gave them a pretty decent touch up too. Plenty of blokes were rested throughout the game to ensure that we were sharp for the Sunday games. First day highlights include: – Tugga looked on with respect as Calves demonstrated his class as a budding boundary umpire. With great arm extension on the release and dynamic spring and lift with those supercalves the AFL Umpiring Academy beckons… – Mad Dog Hunters pin point left foot picking out the window of the house across the road, later claiming he hit it deliberately…sure MDH. – The Wookie streaming out of the backline, ball in hand, trying to mow down a small group of Sam B players rugby style (the result was not to dissimilar to a discovery channel documentary I saw where a pack of small wolves brought down a buffalo) who gang tackled poor Chewbacca and dragged his hulk of a frame down to earth. – We all know the ground tends to have a few small rocks and pebbles scattered over the surface now and then. But the small meteor dug out on the wing on the Saturday (leaving a small crater) has to definitely take the cake…strap those ankles boys… – AND OTHERS Flannos abysmal zig zag effort at chalking the boundary lines, the GoKong full-backs gutsy attempt at headbutting a knee mid air, as the claret poured down his forehead and squirted everywhere he seemed to be more worried about how his hair looked, Tuggas half time cigarette, Tuggas full time cigarette, Tugga smoking anytime he wasnt umpiring, certain Goanna players buying a footy record under the false pre-tense they have actually learnt how to read (harsh), Yasu pulling the pin on his Sunday company exam to stay and play footy – thus destroying his promising career and extinguishing any hopes he had of promotion (great work Yasu!). A lowlight was Osakas Andy Carne trying to mark the ball with one digit harlem globetrotter style and watching as the bone pushed through the bottom of his finger thus halting his budding career as one of Australias top pianists. True to the mans character though he was seen not two hours later with beer in mummified hand encouraging his mates. With the wind kicking in the Radissons brainstrust moved the poolside party indoors where hungry carnivorous footballers encountered lines for the buffet that far exceeded those seen at Disneyland and the Clubhouse toilets. Flanno wrapped up a solid day by scooping the Best Player Award (well done mate), Simon Evans was inducted into the prestigious Goannas Life Members Club (well done mate) and Smokin` Pete MC`d the evening like a pro (prostitute that is) before we all powdered our noses and boarded the bus ?Speaking of noses the driver incidentally looked like the Japanese equivalent of Klinger from M.A.S.H?. Beers were downed at a cracking pace and as some of the Goannas Leadership Group were limbering up in readiness to carve out some moves, a very disturbing event took place that Im sure still has players waking up in cold sweats. Whether by accident or the mistaken belief that us finely tuned/chiseled athletes actually liked leather pant wearing Latino studs, for reasons that only the DJ will ever know, the sound system started pumping out Ricky Martin. Needless to say a wave of homo erotica swept over the dance floor and blokes who should never, ever, ever consider showing off their bodies in a public area started doing some shirt lifting. Never have I seen so many sucked in stomachs, hairy shoulders, sweaty lovehandles and flexed dance moves as the Narita locals headed for the exits faster than Bump & Grind in full flight running downhill with the wind behind him and a bottle of Wild Turkey waiting for him. Our shenanigans didnt go unnoticed though as some denim short/white sneaker wearing Northwest Airlines male cabin crew vied for good viewing positions whilst sipping their vodkas. The merriment continued into the wee hours of the morning as the Goannas headed back to the Radisson for some shut eye, passing those crazy bastards the Samurais in the hallway, up at dawn for a stretching session. If that isnt a contrast in match preparation then I dont know what is…? Plenty of weary looking Goannas staggered to the ground for our final day assault on the Cup. A Goanna player who shall remain unnamed won the Superkick Competition with a woeful looking 52 metre mongrel floater with Flanno (the pioneering force behind the floater in Japan) standing on the sidelines stroking the chin and nodding with approval. The Goannas Sunday line up had been strengthened with the inclusion of Roppongis favorite trolley bitch Anthony (whos ripped calves are sure to have the original calfmeister Calves looking over his shoulder…) and the man who would soap up Brett Harveys genitals if he would only ask, Aussie. The game got underway with the Box Hill boys midfield on top early and building a handy lead. Inaccurate goalkicking by the Goannas didnt aid the cause as the game was halted by the Box Hill boys verbal assault on the fully clothed head to toe white maggot (also goes by the name of Craig). A mini revival before the break saw the Goannas go into the half with a bit of momentum but still 3 goals down. Jonny H was doing a sterling job on Box Hills gun forward, giving away 30 kilo`s, 30 centimetres and 2 criminal convictions, whilst Flanno was continually in the thick of the action and Rabbit was on the bottom of every pack. Coach Kokomo Stames wheeled out the heavy artillery in the 2nd half as Mad Dog Hunter came on for a run in a free scoring final 20 minutes. As the Box Hill boys stretched the lead the Lizardmen didnt throw in the towel and continued to push all the way. In the end it was a deserved victory to Box Hill as the Goannas headed to the shade to piss and moan, groan about the umpiring, complain about injuries and readjust the reg grundies after some serious chafe action. Seeing how the Box Hill boys celebrated together, it was easy to see we were beaten by a tighter knit team. Something that has been addressed since and something that we must continue to strive for before we are gonna give the Narita Cup a proper shake. We have the players, the skill and definitely the spirit, the final ingredient, team unity is the key thing that if we get right, will have the teams at Manila talking about us. With one more game to play against the GoKongs for 3rd spot, Coach Stames played with the line up as the large contingent of Filipino carpenters (dont ask….) demanded some thrills and excitement, some of these highlights were: Jonny H poaching at least two sausage rolls of the goal line, Maccas first goal for the Goannas with a roost from the top of the square, an unidentified flying mouth guard hitting an infant in the crowd, the Narita Police meanwhile are still looking for the culprit, Aussie`s ability to lose his man thru hard running and find himself unmanned in front of goal, surely the GoKong boys will wake up soon to the unassuming scoring threat that is Aussie, just as the Kong mounted a small challenge Aussie boobed up with two majors back to back, the first a courageous chest mark with a posse of Kong bearing down on him, the second a clinical finish after reading the ball of the pack in a piece of trademark roving, hitting the ball at speed and finishing in devastating fashion, Riceys, the defender cum forward, blatant refusal to leave the forward line after repeatedly missing set shots, Ballsax ability to complete another game without his tight red shorts not splitting (a wonderful ongoing achievement). The final saw the Samurais up against the Box Hillians in what would turn out to be a superb game of hard footy. The wiley and cagey BH boys (Dads Army) pitted against the slick, quick ball moving Samurais team (fast little bastards) in a winner takes all affair saw a physical first quarter with the Sams gaining the early ascendancy. With Tugga doing a sterling job umpiring solo, the stifling heat was taking its toll on the pace of the game and most there expected the BH boys to run out of puff. It was a comfortable lead to the university boys at half time as the players took a deserved break. The third stanza saw the Sams stretch their lead before a ball tearing checkside from the boundary on the siren by the BH full forward sent his team into the huddle with a spring in their step. The final quarter was probably one of the best of the tournament as BH slammed though the first 3 goals to gain the lead for the first time and it looked as if the momentum had shifted. The Sams refused to buckle though and in the end it was the smallest of margins as BH continued to throw their bodies into every contest until the final siren/buzzer/foghorn but just came up agonizingly short. Watching from the sidelines I think all supporters were treated to a great hard at it game of footy. Congratulations to the Samurais, back-to-back Narita Cups and at the rate they are improving you would suggest they would be favorites again for next year. The Box Hill guys played a great tournament and can definitely hold their heads up high. I think the Goannas learnt a lot from BH and what it means to be a part of a real team, brothers in arms and playing for each other (and all those other footy clichés I cant seem to think of at the moment…). It was clear to see the pride and passion in their actions once they pulled that club jumper on and stepped foot on the field, that is something us Goannas need to develop and we cant wait for the Box Hillians to return next year so we can have another crack at them. Thanks also to Tugga and Craig who umpired all weekend and given the sweltering conditions did a grand job…maggots! I personally think the Goannas took a few big steps forward at the Narita Cup and to continue our upward surge we really must get our arses back down to training, down to the Clubhouse on Thursday nights and also to the fundraising functions to raise some dough for Manila. As most of you know the next step for the Goannas is the Asian Championships in Manila on September 10th. For those of you who missed the Osaka trip in March, just ask the boys that went and theyll tell you what a pearler of a trip it was with stacks of classic moments. This is going to be an awesome footy trip and going by the show of hands of blokes interested a few weeks back we will have good numbers. Simply put, the more cash we raise the cheaper YOUR trip will be… Finally, special thanks to the Goannas Committee for organizing a great Narita Cup tournament this year, the Goanna players for giving it their all and to the coaches Kokomo Stames and Smokin Pete. Daniel McGrath