The Goannas rocked up with a good sized group, a similar pattern seems to occur every GF where a few glory hunters only wanna put in for one game all year…. Now we all have our own little ways of dealing with pre-game nerves when a few butterflies are in our stomachs, some choose to stretch for longer periods, others may read books, I personally choose to take a massive dump, however the Evil Grind`s choice? To scull a can of beer. That is the kind of level of professionalism that we`ve come to expect from the Evil Grind and I`d go as far as saying he has taken over the mantle of biggest pisshead from our other past Goannas alcy, the beloved Mad Dog Hunter. The signs were good in the warm up`s, lots of yap, good skills and even the Pube managed to complete the kicking drills without doing his hammy. The national anthems played and Lex`s hand on heart gesture was quite touching despite some concerned teammates thinking his injury curse had gone internal.
Five goals down at quarter time wasn`t in our script and a bit of a reversal from past encounters. The Sam`s midfield was linking well and making life tough for our boys down back. Angry Jonny H wasn`t enjoying being under siege and the resultant goal after kicking into Crazy Horse on the mark (that inexplicably made it onto the ABC Asia Pacific highlight reel) didn`t do the already throbbing vein on the side of his temple any good. Heggsy was doing well in the midfield and setting up many forward thrusts and Flanno was his usual busy self in the guts. A stern dressing down by Coach Kokomo Stames at quarter time saw an improved performance in the second stanzer but the lead at half time was still about 6 goals. Ronny was pretty much the lone target down forward and was putting in a lion hearted effort, snagging a couple after some strong contested marks, Trav was at every contest and getting leather poisoning, Ballsax was winning the majority of taps outta the middle, however the Sam`s had clued onto our main clearance winner Ricey and whenever the ball fell his way they were on him quicker than flies on shit. A lot to think about at half time as Yasu went in search of his chipped tooth, time to invest in a mouthguard Yasu. With a crim`s smile Yasu couldn`t lay claim to his title of team pretty boy so it was decided Spacey would take over this role until Yasu got his tooth fixed. We all knew we had to be in striking distance coming into the last quarter and hope for a repeat of last years GF heroics, it wasn`t to be as the Sam`s absolutely destroyed us in every department in the third quarter. I forget exactly how many goals they slammed through but it was a truckload. The less said about this quarter the better I think. Turning into the final bend we were a whopping 84 points down. I don`t know what it is about this team, where the on/off button is, where the fire in the belly comes from, where that mad dirty little bastard in us all appears from, but for some reason it showed itself for those final 20 minutes. The result was a massive turnaround in our performance and the gap between our potential and our regular normal style of play was plain for all to see. Perhaps we could put it down to Coach Kokomo Stames`s rev up or his on-field presence, perhaps we could put it down to the fact it got pretty damn dark, maybe the Sam`s got tired (doubtful), any which way you look at it the `full force` of the Goannas was far too much for these little Japanese boys to handle and their whole game deteriorated under our pressure. I swear every single player lifted and there was not one contest that we didn`t have numbers at. Gang tackling, running in packs, endless talk, intensity, good hard at it football and even though I have heard some people say the Sam`s took their foot off the gas I think this is absolute crappola. You could even tell by the looks on their faces that they were shitting their undies once we got a roll on. Now we all know turning around an 84 point deficit in 20 minutes is bordering on impossible, I think the closest we got was 24 points before Crazy Horse kicked a couple of cheap ones at the death. In the end 37 points is pretty respectable when you consider we only played one quarter of footy. Final Scores: Samurais – 25.20.170 Goannas – 20.13.133 Goals – Ronny 5, Trav 2, Helgus 1, Hotcakes 2, Dan 8, Ricey 1 and Flannel Shirt 1 Best Players – The umpires, white maggots! Injuries – Team effort Credit to the Sam`s for winning, we can`t knock them or discredit them for their whole season`s efforts. Despite our best efforts in the GF we simply weren`t good enough and whilst we can savour the memories of our last quarter, it still sux complete arse to lose. Looking at our playing group and taking into consideration that a few guys are leaving, there will be a few holes in our line up and some good opportunities to put your hand up. Take a few of the Sam`s senior players (graduated one`s, 2 from the GF I think) and Michito out of their line up for next season (things are looking pretty rosy for him to stay and play in Melbourne in 06) and there goes a huge chunk of their time and midfield drive. If we get a decent squad together early on in the year, train consistently (twice a month maybe and your own personal stuff, Trav, arm curls recommended), make the March trip to Osaka (this is a cracking trip lads and if you miss out you`ll be kicking yourself) and start the season in decent nick then I am supremely confident we can go into every game against the Sam`s and win. We also always need reinforcements as our playing numbers tend to be how do you say, pathetic, early in the season so be sure to ask around your mates, and your mates mates, and if you don`t happen to have any mates spread the Goannas gospel by telling random gaijin lingering at train stations. It has been a successful year despite our GF loss and I look forward to Season 06 and hope all you boys that read this are just as keen. The Goannas are heading in the right direction with Helgus at the helm so lets all support him and the club both on and off the field and have a belting year. Finally, the highlight of my GF day (apart from putting Michito down and scraping his face on the gravel like surface resulting in some nasty scabbing) would have to be the send off to 2 Goannas stalwarts who played their last game, Coach Kokomo Stames and Angry Jonny H. Chairlifted off with 20 men singing the Beachboys hit `Kokomo` I am sure these two great blokes will treasure this memory…or not. Cheers, Danno