Showing the same unquestioning belief in my body that policy makers have in trickle down economics, I might have done a bit much leg training prior to the game. Consequently, my legs were more spent than Bronwyn Bishop’s political career by the time I got to the ground and I was relieved to see we had no shortage of players, so I could start on the bench.
The game started at a slightly slow pace, with both teams being a little conservative. The Lions showed their rugby background, passing the ball around a lot and looking to run across each other to confuse the untouchable defence.
Well that was the intent, but the Untouchables defence was up to the challenge. The defensive line was impregnable early, with each player holding their position as resolutely as Anti-Vaccers in the face of scientific evidence. Going forward, the Untouchables took a bit longer to find their mojo, but after about five minutes the deadlock was broken with the Stegosaurus and Archangel Gabby driving a series of touches straight through the Lions’ defence and scoring a try before they could get back on side.
The lead was doubled shortly after when Aaron the Toolman Taylor wrapped quicker than Eminem, drawing a defender and making space, before cutting the pass back for me to run onto the gap and score an easy try.
I haven’t donated blood recently (which incidentally I hope everyone does regularly- there is no punchline there. That is a serious comment) but I gave up a bit for the team soon after, diving over for our third try. The Tasmanian Government may not want to admit we are in a drought, but in the ‘drought-like conditions,’ were pretty obvious as the hard dry ground made short work of the flesh of my arm. I left the field to get patched up in the club rooms and by the time I returned, Archimedes had experienced another ‘Eureka moment,’ and scored an inspired fourth try.
The Lions went desperately close to pulling one back when one of their runners evaded two Untouchables defenders and looked to be through, only to be caught by the diving Stegosaurus just as he got to the line.
The Lions were actually much better than the 4-nill scoreline suggested at half time. They had made the Untouchables’ defence work hard to hold them out. One of their female players in particular was extremely dangerous. She had a burst of speed that caught a few people out and could sidestep better than Malcolm Turnbull in an interview. The only thing catching the Lions out was the Untouchables’ very direct style of play that was consistently catching them off side and leaving their defence exposed worse than Travis Cloke and Dane Swan in front of a camera phone (maybe not quite that bad).
The Untouchables’ defence continued to give them the upper hand in the second half. King Richard was imperious controlling play in the centre and directing his fellow defenders. The Lions attacked with renewed energy and penetration for a while, focusing on our left flank, but they ran into a Potassium roadblock in perfect position a number of times just before reaching the line.
The Untouchables had a prolonged period in attack, where each time the ball was lost they quickly won it back and were pressuring the line again. To their credit, the Lions held out well, stopping a number of attempts by Archimedes, the Archangel Gabby and the Stegosaurus at the last second. Finally we broke through with a quick play that saw the dummy get in behind the defence and give of a lofted pass to the onrushing Stegosaurus to make it five-nil.
On the back of a defence that was a lot more airtight than OJ Simpson’s, the Lions were being strangled into giving the ball up with uncharacteristic errors and the final result was looking as foregone as an ATP tennis match. Soon enough the Untouchables had the ball again and King Richard, the Stegosaurus and the Toolman rucked quickly through the centre with the Bridge and the She-stegosaurus poised on their right. “Take it to the Bridge,” I shouted (channelling my inner James Brown) and although they probably didn’t hear me, the ball made it to the Bridge who passed it wider to the She-stegosaurus. The little dinosaur seemed to pause for a moment before exploding into motion, and getting far to the right much quicker than anyone expected (a bit like the Abbott government) eluding the Lions’ wing and scoring our sixth.
The Lions did get through a few times, but were charged down again, usually by the Stegosaurus. Finally towards the end, they were able to get away and score a couple of well-deserved tries, to make the final score 6-2. It was an impressive and comprehensive victory for the Untouchables, who are still in with a shot of making finals if things go our way.