The coach was missing for most of the train trip down to Osaka – having arrived back in Japan from his honeymoon only hours before, he treated himself to a Green Car seat and got the first decent sleep in a week. Also noticeably missing was ex-Pres Ronnie who was still suffering a hangover from the Gaelic games a few weeks ago in the form of some broken ribs. Ronnie’s usual pump-up on the train 6 hours before the game was well missed.
The first game of the season usually brings out a few new guys and this game was no different – Some new talls in the form of Mike, Brendon and Chris and midfielders in Wayne and James contributed to a few goals between them.
The game started with a quick Osaka goal and we realized that we were in for a tough afternoon. The speed of the Japanese players was far superior to our own and we had to use our height and skills to counter that. Michael Huberts, in possibly his last game for the Goannas, played a fine game in the ruck and was also good around the ground – He was supported by our US Navy recruit Mike Anderson in his first ever Aussie Rules game. We had our usual suspects in the middle with Dan McGrath and Carlos McGee provided drive from the middle with support from Wayne and Sullivan at Centre Half forward was having a field day outmarking the much smaller opposition – he ended with 6 goals. The defense, led by Nick Utting, Oges and Travis worked well all day
By 3 quarter time, there was only 10 points in it and a few changes were made to try to run out the game. Dan McGrath was moved to Full Forward and, with the help of Hubes in the ruck and the slowest ruck-rover ever to play the game(Sully), kicked 3 goals in the last to ensure the Goannas their first Win of the season.
The next game, against last years Grand Finalists, the Eastern Hawks, is in 2 weeks and we are looking to field a bigger and better team.