Conditions couldn’t have been much better for the start of the Goannas’ return to the footy pitch. The game started on time in spite of last year’s championship banner being raised to a couple of trees in the general location of the oval.
It was a well-tempered and FairPlay focused match, with the Goanna boys pushing and shoving each other just to offer a congratulations and shake hands with the Poseidon’s water “boy”.
Against a spirited but inexperienced Poseidons squad, the men in red and white made a firm start, Travis “Arms” Wilson marking everything in sight, giving the Goannas an early lead that they would never relinquish.
The game was defined by a dominant midfield display in which no less than TWELVE midfielders ran, tackled, made the extra pass and showed the composure that made them champions last year. Andrew Last - the first of his name- calmly ran the ball out of the back linking beautifully with Owen and Brett for some of the finest handball and running displays in recent Goannas history. Thumbless Sam Ghirardello’s tactical training showing its full value. Not through with his tactics and with the Goannas sporting a mere three goal lead at the end of one, President Ghirardello changed the formation.
It was a wise decision.
Making the extra man, Jason brought the Fans to life with some excellent running on the flanks and a spectacular diving mark. Creating space upfront, Doug Bonham (most improved player by far) and Alex Wyatt continued their practice of being gigantic. Alex made an early contender for mark-of-the-year, followed by an intimidating shove that added to the havoc forced into the Poseidons back line.
With space created by the twin towers, no one took better advantage than Harry “the prince of Adelaide" Pride, having paid his dues toiling in the back row for six minutes, he finally got his chance to move into his desired scoring role. Taking space imperiously, and kicking for goal with aplomb, Harry (now eligible for the Grand Final) has made himself welcome amongst lizard kind henceforth.
For some reason Parma’s three goals earned him the ire of the team. But not from the boys from Eire, whose fantastic running display, running off the ball, constant playing of one-twos, put the world on notice that paleness is next to greatness. Great display from Steve and Luke, who are always welcome to play footy when not playing football.
Chris ‘The Muzzle’ Murray was only forced into one difficult situation, when facing a two against one, skied to reject the hand pass to the unmarked full forward, Dikembe Mutombo style. The Muzzle generated cries of “No, no, no, not today” and “Who wants to sex Mutombo?!” He wasn’t alone though as James “Bobby Boucher” Dennier stripped off the dress shirt and leather jeans he rocked up in to manfully stand man-to-man with the men from the sea. He put on an uncompromising display that would’ve surely made Vicki Vallencourt proud!
Life was made easy for the back line by further midfield excellence: Yuji Yamamoto impressing the ladies with his fearless attacking play, Pistol Pete running through and making the extra man in the wave on virtually every occasion, the ever-improving KC Imai pressuring the Poseidon’s ball carriers at every opportunity, and Dan Last typically running with such effortless effort, he basically covered two positions.
Finally, man of the match, Oceans “Boomer” Huynh was his typical bulldog self in the middle, un-tackleable while running, indefatigable while kicking, unwavering making marks from excellently place kicks from the back-line… *Cough*, making himself available for his teammates all over the pitch. He was as unstoppable on the pitch as he was on the road, opponents and red lights were equally no match for the Roos champion.
Great display by the boys on Sunday, but tougher challenges are ahead and 23 behinds won’t hold them in good stead against the cream of the competition.