Thanks to the tournie, the main event was delayed to a 9pm kickoff. (And even then we had to wait just a little bit longer to start)
Friday was billed as an all out affair, where two sides would give everything and go hammer and tongs at it. The crowd and the players should not have been disappointed.
We had been off from playing for a few weeks, so I was surprised at the gees and the energy and intensity at the two practices in the week. You could just sense something big was coming. That was fat head Adam and his massive afternoon drinking before attempting to coach us on the Thursday night. Rich could smell him ten feet away. At least we could semi understand the slurring. But overall the feeling was good.
Match day arrived and the team gathered early to watch some schoolboy action. The ever present debate raging about who went to the best school, Reddam being dominated by SACS, ‘Bosch and Paul Roos. Sorry Robbie #YOLO. Ha ha.
Big Dawg Terry arrived uncharacteristically with a shorn beard and wearing a beanie. Thanks T dog for the awesome surprise under there. Terry had shaved a W 100 in marking the occasion. (see pic) So too did Sargey make the effort with a big shaved 4 on his jersey undercoat glistening in the changeroom light.
The big moment neared and before too long it was time to change and warm up. There was a good focussed intense warm up before retreating to the changeroom to don our kit.
Not much was said really in the build up, but we were all aware that Friday was the first time a fourths.com player would reach a milestone. 100 up for Wazza! Wow guys, that’s a lot of rugby and thanks to each and every one of you who I have played with over the years. I do appreciate it.
Thanks to the Bay and my boys for making a tunnel for me to run out through to the theatre of dreams otherwise known as the A field.
After soaking up the atmosphere for a short while, we then were told by the ref that we had to wait a few minutes. Eventually we got under way, kicking off, we played towards the clubhouse. Certainly from what I remember, we put untold pressure on the Bay and were in their half for a long while. Unfortunately we made silly errors here and there and were penalised back and forth. Eventually an opportunity came for points and Captain BK stepped up for the shot. Pity it went wide as I do believe had it gone over, we would have been well set for a dominating win. Nevermind, heads up, play on.
Bay got some much needed encouragement from that miss and a little more confidence and they ended up entering our territory. A few more mistakes and it was FIFO’s turn for a shot. Their kicker on form for the night saw him slot it easily. Bay had another shot not long after to take a 6 – 0 lead into half time.
We were greeted by Jose, Jose Mourinho, coach Cookies, if you will, in what must regard as his finest regalia from his cupboard. (Maybe it was a rental) But he certainly looked the part! The special one imparted some important info on us and off we went, spurred on to achieve greater things.
The second half got off with a bang. Wazza took the kickoff and in doing so somehow managed to take a beating to the head and split his skin above the eyebrow. The ref noticed the bleeding and sent Wazza to be patched up by the big man, ‘The O’, Theo the medic. T dawg came on for a well earned run after many weeks on the sideline with an ankle injury. So while this writer was being patched up, the game kind of fades into a blur. (Maybe Povey can fill in the time here?) (EDIT : Sorry Wazza got no info I can add here, I didn’t even know you had left the field till you came back on)
The rugby events from now take a blurred memory, but I do remember some innovative calls from the ref. We made it down to the far corner of the field for a lineout in our favour on the Bay five meter. This was definitely where the ref erred. Unfortunately he was not ready for us after we had thrown in already for our new lineout move. That plan was given away, so we went with another safe option and the drive was on. Some definite infringements from the Bay saw them sacking the drive and the ref awarding us a penalty try. Deserved after long periods of pressure in the Bay half. Batman BK got the conversion, so 7 – 6 to TheFourths.com.
An error at the restart kept us in our half and out of nowhere a scrawny Bay player carved his way through the field and sailed over the try line. What a bummer. Much to the yelps of satisfaction from the Bay lads who were gloating about that being the way to score tries. Ha ha. Nevertheless, their kicker slotted it to make it 13 – 7 to the Bay.
Some intense rugby and pressure played by the home team but us back in the scoring zone and the SOLO Spanish crossed over the whitewash, right in the corner. I mean, could he not get under the poles? The pressure was on for the conversion and BK gave it a fine effort but it was not to be. The score now being 13 – 12 to the Bay, with a short time left to play. Thefourths.com tried everything to get back in the zone and work a penalty or scoring opportunity and it did come. It was fantastic, spirited rugby and oh so close to being a try. Great effort by Spanish to get the ball to BK on the wing who had to stretch to reach the pill and couldn’t quite juggle it to safety. Pretty much last chance saloon so with that knock on, the ref saw fit to blow the whistle and Bay pulled off an unlikely win.
It was a game of inches. And unfortunately we didn’t take those inches. But well done to FIFO. Thanks for the great game.
Danny Zuko was cheered off the field and thanked all his team mates for the great opportunities.
No doubt that the DoD vote was going to be swayed Danny Zuko’s way, so it was a fun filled night filled with wearing pink and swallowing a drink or two. The sympathy man of the match vote went the same way, so another first for the team. Good on ya, Wazza T – 100 up!
After fines there was a special jersey presentation and speech. Thank you so much for the jersey lads!
And then what would a memorable occasion like this be without the customary Haka (learned while playing a bit part in Invictus)? A huge thank you to T dawg for not being scared and leading the Haka to rapturous applause from the large crowd upstairs.
To top it all off my lovely wife made the most delicious cupcakes marking the day. You just have to ask Zac Dunning and the hoards of u20’s who savaged the cupcakes.
A superb night was had by all. Well I certainly hope so, but if you didn’t, well then I’m sure you’ll find another night. Thanks must go out to all who played, all who stayed, our sponsors, the club, my wife and to my team.
‘It’s electrifying and better than hanging out with you dorks’ – Danny Zuko