The drizzly rain looked as gloomy as Joe Hockey’s first budget, as I drove towards Wentworth Park and despite the fact that it was quickly drying out, ongoing worries about my injury meant I wanted to play about as much as the New Zealand cricket team wanted to play against the Cricket Australia XI. I got changed in the club rooms and headed for Ground 1 with the lingering smell of deep heat clinging to me the way asylum seekers cling to their children when they see Peter Dutton.
Our opponents for the night were the Banditos and as the start of the game drew closer, it appeared likely that they may follow Bill Shorten’s lead with Malcolm Turnbull and not actually provide any recognisable opposition. Just as I was anticipating an early night, the Banditos appeared like ninjas, showing they were aptly named for their stealth.
The game started promisingly for the Untouchables, as we quickly gained control of the ball and pushed deep into attack. For a team that was working to get to know each other, we were rucking great (that was rucking with an ‘r’). It wasn’t long before the Steczkosaurus stayed low to the ground and dived over to open the scoring. Soon after I dived/tripped in a spinning manoeuvre that seemed to deceive everyone and allowed me to add to our tally.
Perhaps lulled into overconfidence, the Untouchables became uncharacteristically quiet for a short while and our defence was caught out by a quick play from the Banditos that enabled them to halve the deficit (if only Scott Morrison could do the same as easily with the budget). There was also a little bit of frustration creeping into the game with a bit of obstruction and heavy contact being let go. Citizen Kate got crashed into hard and without warning by an opponent behind play. She fell like a police officer at Melbourne Cup, but thankfully seemed none the worse for wear.
Archimedes wrote about the power of The Lever centuries ago and it was on display as he stormed over the line for our third, after some quick thinking and good assist from Jane’s Addiction. Jess (who I am yet to come up with an appropriate nickname for) had been guarding the right wing as fiercely as the Nauruan government guards information about its prison camps, but late in the half, she found herself with the ball close to scoring zone. She dived for the white line with such commitment and enthusiasm, for a moment I thought she was Jake Carlisle. Unfortunately the umpire had to make a 50-50 call on whether she was touched just before and it went against her. It was damn close so no one could really argue with it.
We regained the ball soon after and the Steczkosaurus scored another, sending us to the break full of confidence, already having 4 tries on the board and knowing that total was as certain to rise as the GST.
The second half was when the Untouchables team defence came to the fore, with the Banditos struggling to get much penetration and large periods of the game played in the Untouchables attacking half. The long arms of Ben Puddleduck- who unsurprisingly seemed to be relishing the wet conditions- made a number of important touches that halted the Banditos’ momentum, while going the other way we made the most of our advantage. The Steczkosaurus scored his third diving try, before the Banditos underestimated the strength of Jane’s Addiction and she easily sidestepped a player on her way to scoring our sixth.
I was watching from the sideline listening to Jane’s Addiction shortly after (haven’t used that sentence in nearly two decades) as the Banditos made a rare foray forward. Unfortunately I think they gave the ball to Robin Thicke who, as usual, had no idea where the appropriate line was and dived to put the ball down short of the try line.
A fantastic Untouchables try started deep in defence with Jess involved several times running up the left wing in a play that had the Banditos offside and out of position. The ball was swept inside as our opponents struggled to form an organised defence. As I picked up the ball from dummy, I could see the Silva Surfer lurking with intent on the opposite wing so I whipped it (resisting the urge to stop so you could watch me nai nai- I won’t apologise if you didn’t get that joke due to not having heard the song, as I think you got the better of the deal) across for him to finish a fine team move.
The Banditos finally got a consolation try when an agile runner proved too quick on the wing, but this was as much against play as Eric Abetz is against fairness. Soon after, efficient rucking through the centre again had the Banditos floundering in defence. Archimedes shimmied his way through at half way and streaked away from the field like Prince of Penzance.
The game finished with the score a comprehensive 8-2, and even more pleasing for me was that I was still uninjured. Despite a few moments of contact the game was still played in pretty good spirits by both teams. It was also well umpired (not something I always get to say) considering the experience level of the players and that both teams were as monochromatic a South African government in the 80s.
Next week is at 7 against the Fistfulobats- that is not a joke, it’s their actual name. They are presently undefeated so it promises to be a challenging match. Make sure you let the Steczkosaurus know early if you cant play as scrambling for numbers is seriously frustrating- just ask any leader of a minority government.