2011 Nagoya Redbacks vs Tokyo Goannas
2011 Nagoya Redbacks vs Tokyo Goannas
If there was a nuclear holocaust tomorrow, there’d be only two things left scurrying around the Earth. The first would be cockroaches, the second would be the Tokyo Goannas Football Club. Since the founding of the club there has always been supporters willing to fight tooth and nail to keep the club what it is.
Yesterday, far away from home, in the mud, enemy territory, the last game of the toughest season in living memory, the Goannas came in numbers to show that they are once again on the way up.
Half way through the year things were looking perilous with numbers at an all time low, the club only having stitched up one win after having to solicit some help from the navy boys, and the impending departure of vital player and coach Lavs. Fast forward a few months and the Goannas look to have a great new nucleus of players ready to take on next season.
Indeed, if you were there at Aichi yesterday to see the red and white take apart a depleted Nagoya side, you would have gone back saying ‘Gee, what an exciting mixture of youth and experience they now have’.
Young gun Nick Fab continued his recent solid form proving a dangerous half forward flanker. Combining well with John Fab who took out the BOG, the father/son duo has proved a revelation and the Fev has been heard to have taken inspiration from John’s 20 goal haul this season- just don’t ask him about dropped marks. Yesterday, the Fabs combined for an amazing 11 goals, more than the opposition total.
Stealing the thunder though was debutant Derek Scheung the young lad from Oktoberfest. After battling early morning sickness he lit up the first half with blazing runs forward of centre and blasting his unorthodox kicks right through the middle. He ended up with 5 majors and a few tackles to boot. Please note, this was his first game of footy…ever. A gem plucked out of obscurity by the Fabrici recruiting team.
With the youth comes the experience. Mike Milton and Rob Scarlett is in that perfect age bracket with that much sort-after blend of size, power, and skill. The two of them saw the Goannas take control of the midfield for about 80% of the game yesterday. They dominated. Milts tirelessly rucked for most of the day and was the battering ram in the midfield consistently giving the boys first use of the ball. With Rob Scarlett, the team has unearthed a Pendles. Smooth as silk disposal, he was assured wherever he played constantly giving drive through the midfield and off the back line. He surpassed Jenkins (the Nagoya star and coach of the Japan national team) as the most important link man on the day.
Luke Eyes was clean as ever (even in the mud). Can’t remember a fumble nor a miss-kick from Mr Efficient. Playing through the middle Lukey boy was what the redbacks didn’t have. Somebody clean enough to keep the ball in possession. With Rob Scarlett, the two of them had the majority of inside 50’s for the day.
Spacey, taking over the fullback role for the day, proved his versatility by running through the middle to help out the tiring legs and then drifting forward in the last few minutes to kick a great goal on the run. In order to combat the tricky conditions, and in traditional left-field fashion, Spacey pulled out a pair of old gardening gloves and took to the field with them! The Goanna boys were a bit bewildered and didn’t know whether to think it un-Australian or utterly Australian. He may have been on to something though as his great defensive efforts kept Nagoya to a 1 goal first term and only 7 for the day.
Genta, who had never even played sports in his life before last week, played a full game on ball and will be better for the run. Didn’t shirk a contest and fired off a few handballs in all directions that bounced to our advantage on numerous occasions. His highlight was that full body smother in the dying minutes. He even surprised himself but hey, that’s natural talent coming out.
Dan Atkins, who commandeered the boys around for the trip sent a scare through the camp when he pulled his arse muscle on the way to the game while trying to pick up his ticket from the floor. He had to be helped onto the train and with true grit, started on the ground. He was under the packs from the first bounce. However, due to some Nagoya players being knocked out early, the gentleman that he always is, offered to take up ump duties after publicly declaring ‘me arse is shitting me’. The opposition player who heard him mistakenly took it as a diarrhea complaint after a big night saying ‘I wouldn’t expect nothing less from you boys’.
Oceans meanwhile is all smiles after drunkenly declaring that if he kicked another behind (his years tally stood at something like 0.11), he would buy every player a drink. He kicked 2 goals straight. Just to make sure he wouldn’t miss they were both from a meter out.
Finally, a big thank you to the supporters who made their way up, Caroline and AnnMaree. Hydrated and cheered on the boys magnificently.
The final score stood at 55-128. A 73 point thumping of the old enemy.
Here’s to 2011. There is life yet in this old lizard.
From the authors point of view, his top highlights of the trip includes:
The awesome hotel. Single room with double bed for each player. Cheers Nick Uttings.
Genta winning the Goannas poker tournament taking home a cool pot.
The shade of red on Dan Atkins face after he pulled his arse muscle.
The rock-star reception the Goannas team received from the high school kids after arriving at the ground.
The midnight kebab. Many reckoned it was the best they ever had.
Rob Scarlett’s address to the boys. Coach in the making.
…and finally dishing out a good ol’ shelacking to finish off the season on a beautiful muddy ground.