In what can only be described as the closest 100 point victory in footy history, the Magpies were unjustly represented on the scoreboard. They played a tough, physical, active game and will be a challenging match-up for any team they come up against all season.
That said, it was an equally strong performance by the Goannas. Murmurs before the game were that ‘if Trav shows up, we win this one’. And in veteran form, big Arms did in fact show up… on his own time. He did, as he has so many times before, put on a clinic on how a leading forward should play. Using his size, strength, and experience to full effect, Arms dominated the forward line kicking goals and unselfishly setting up easy marks to on-running midfielders as he has done an astonishing 149 times before – showing the longevity of two Boomer Harveys sat upon each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat. Well done big fella!
This game started well with midfield domination from Oceans, Lasty, Brett-o, KC, Jason Fan and Sam Ghirra, who played most of the game hunched over like an old man looking for a penny; Sam showed what it meant to get your head over the ball, and though he didn’t get the bounces from the footy gods, he put in a presidential effort, preferring to win the ball than protect himself. Oceans was in good form chasing and harrying, in one instance sprinting for what must have been about 150 meters before winning the ball, but then spraying wide. It was a great effort deserving of his magnificent dirt beard.
Not to be outdone in the midfield new comers Andrew ‘Principal’ Shinners and Matty ‘it’s gotta be the shoes’ Uphill proved brilliant signings. Matty running the left wing with impunity and Shinners making at least three line breaking runs for goals. Without the Irish to do our running for us, the new boys came through in fine form.
It was also a terrific effort from the full forwards. The tap pretty much a forgone conclusion after Brett-o went full Jean Claude Van Damme on the Magpies ruckman. A lot of balls went over the heads of the big men, but Yuji was still able to sky for a great mark that unfortunately only led to one point. Big Alex, and Big Doug were able to pad their goal totals while taking attention away from Trav.
Also in line for praise was Jason Fan, who was such a midfield dynamo that the Goannas decided it was better to tackle him, just in case. The midfield can’t be mentioned without bring up Mitch, whose tattoos drew the referees ire. The left leg tattoos giving away a fifty (well… 30) in the first half (even though it was really Yuji!) and the right conceding a holding the ball despite an empirically proven, successful handball to Alex.
Jarrod Woodward and KC were full of running, combining for a few sausage rolls. In particular, Jarrod ran forward fearlessly, kicking from goals from medium range like a myopic sniper. He was partly able to do this because KC provided excellent cover for Owen Kearny and Super Nintendo Chalmers who were both equally adept at wing or half back and was able to turn offence into defence consistently. Speaking of defence, the excellent midfield didn’t leave much for the back line to deal with. Muzzle, able to bring the Maggies full forward to heal the entire game, didn't give away a thing. He was spelled by 2-point best-and-fairest award winner Bash, whose desire to support the team is matched only by his complete and utter lack of talent. With that said, despite very undeliberately deliberately kicking the ball out of bounds, the man from America’s Hat beat multiple opponents on more than one occasion to prove invaluable in restricting the Magpie forwards.
But the best of the back line was clearly Andrew Last. As he did in the Poseidon’s game, Firsty turned the momentum of the game effortlessly. Along with brother Dan, the Lasts were clearly the best on ground for all to see. Lasty with limitless energy tackled, marshalled, and led like a general, not to mention kicked a bit of a screamer. Andy, in perhaps a more elegant way was able to read the game like New York Times book reviewer. Knowing where to be and where to go at a level unmatched in the JAFL. It was a great display by the brothers, and I mean that the way black people say it… which is more meaningful, I think.
It was a good win, but in watching a dominant Suns team play the second match there will be much to work on in the upcoming month. Let’s all make sure to get around each other for a well won match and prepare ourselves for the wars to come.