Hobart turned on one of those beautifully warm Summer’s evenings, that would prompt Kenny Rogers to write a song and we were lucky enough to be playing touch football. After losing a couple of female players at short notice, the possibility of a sausage fest (any event were there are more than twice as many guys as girls) was on the cards. Thankfully the Cruel Sea (I showed my age last week with a reference to Jane’s Addiction, which half my team had to google, so I figure I may as well keep doing it) was making an appearance, giving us just enough girls to put a full team on the park.
Our opponents for the night were the Fistfullobats (not a typo, just a name that earns points for originality, but not much else). They were sitting in third place so we were anticipating a tough game. Being a teacher, giving advice is a difficult habit to break, but being new to the team I had promised I would keep my mouth shut this year. Unfortunately I’m as good at keeping promises as Tony Abbott and sure enough I was making unsolicited suggestions about team strategy before the game had even started.
The early part of the half was largely uneventful with both teams making plenty of ground, but not creating many clear cut chances. Manbuns and psychedelic clothing aside, the Fists were a strong team. They had a lot of speed and played with a more direct approach than our last two opponents, making a lot of ground and always threatening to break through with their quick rucking. Fortunately our defence was well organised and proactive, with Archangel Gabby and Puddleduck swooping in to make touches and prevent the Fists gaining much ground.
The Untouchables took the lead when they pressed forward quickly through the middle and then rolled over quicker than the Carlton Football Club, creating an overlap on the wing. The Steczkosaurus, showed that rumours of his extinction were greatly exaggerated (thanks Mark Twain) as he ran onto a pass close to the line. Soon after, I was able to take advantage of a penalty and play on before the Fists were back onside, which allowed me to run in on the far wing and make it 2-0.
Credit to the Fists, who kept punching away. They pushed hard with their offence and the Untouchables’ defence had to be at their best at all times. Critical touches by the Silver Surfer and Jane’s Addiction stopped several particularly dangerous moves in close succession. The Fists eventually struck and earned fair reward for their efforts late in the half, when one of their runners reminded me how much older I was, by turning me inside out and setting up a try for a teammate. The two try buffer was restored after the Fists were slower getting back onside than Worksafe Victoria were in fining Essendon for their supplements scandal. The Untouchables broke through their line and eventually found Archimedes who (unsurprisingly) worked the angles to perfection on his way to score.
The Steczkosaurus scored again late and we went to half time leading 4-1. As a team, we were pretty happy with the lead and also a performance in the first half. Little did we know, the second half was going to exceed expectations, with the Fists’ attacking zone about to experience a comparative drop in activity to Egyptian airspace.
The Cruel Sea continued to defend her wing with discipline in the second half and began to get more involved in the attacking play as well. Despite the heat and lack of female subs, Jane’s Addiction showed no sign of weakening and neither did Archangel Gabby’s righteous wrath.
A Fists’ player dived for the line and tried harder to make himself invisible than administrators of Russian athletics, but he was denied at the last moment by desperate Untouchables defence. At the other end, Jane’s Addiction finished an excellent team move and powered into the end zone on the wing. Soon after, a vintage Puddleduck spinning manoeuvre saw him somehow evade an opponent and get through a gap smaller than the supposed link between red meat and cancer.
The Steczkosaurus picked up another pair of tries, first running onto another short pass near the line and within a few minutes pouncing to intercept a Fists’ pass (that was as accurate as ‘scientific facts’ presented by anti-vaccers) and running the length of the field. Archimedes finished the scoring, diving to catch a perfectly measured pass and ground it in one motion. This was fitting reward for a period pressure in which we had attacked with the same sustained and accurate fire as the UNHCR has been directing at Australia’s asylum seeker policy.
Much to our surprise, margin ended up as one-sided as the Myanmar elections, so it was much less surprising that the Steczkosaurus was hugely impressed by the emphatic team performance. His biggest concern was next week’s bye coming at a time that we are playing into some really good form. Have to give credit to again to the Fists, as some teams on the end of this type of scoreline get as petulant as Mitchell Starc, but our opponents for the night remained positive and courteous throughout.