Adelaide Reclink Community Cup – Rockatoos v Anchors: from the little things

Rockatoos v Anchors

Norwood Oval

Sunday 16 July, 1pm


The Adelaide leg of the Reclink Community Cup is now in its third year. A great opportunity to build communities and support them all in just 80 minutes of football (and a heck of a lot of preparation). Reclink Australia provides sport and art programs to disadvantaged Australians to create socially inclusive, life changing opportunities. Today is a chance to support that work and have just a bit of fun along the way.


The Rockatoos (the muso team), under the expert tutelage of famed radio personality and Port Power lover, Peter Goers, have won the last two matches and come charging…ish out of the player’s race that leads out from under Norwood Oval’s 88 year old grandstand. Some great names have run down that very race and these players have names too. Waves of Rockatoos emerge from the rooms, in fact an entire flock numbering the best part of 50.



Not so much ‘not to be outdone by’ as ‘to completely outdo’ the Rockatoos, the Anchors (the media types) emerge with team captain, Jessica Braithwaite shoulder high, aboard a hand-built boat which cruises the southern end of the ground. While unlikely to have been constructed in Adelaide’s state of the art shipbuilding facilities (canoes aside) the SS Anchor is sufficiently robust to handle the leafy eastern suburbs under a stubbled grey sky. Much like the Rockatoos, the Anchors provide quantity – the quality is yet to be determined.


The Anchors’ grand entrance as Rockatoos’ coach Goers heads to the dugout


After a brief but thorough warm up the teams line up, almost spanning the Parade’s svelte dimensions, for the national anthem. But no Julie Anthony is forthcoming, rather Paul Kelly and the Messengers doing From the Little Things Big Things Grow. From the little things, indeed. A national anthem we can all get behind… except for Lord Vestey, maybe. His Kellyness would hopefully be tickled pink to think of his voice sounding across his beloved footy ground.

Then we get underway – 20 a side with all female centre bounces. It is immediately apparent this is no kick and giggle exhibition match. Players throw themselves in at the footy at risk of head and (others’) legs. When the ball finally escapes the centre square the Anchors start the better. Lilla Berry and the mysteriously unlisted no. 44 provide midfield grunt while Sam Goodman, David Jean, Alex McKenzie and Jimmy Gratton build a wall across half back. Forward options are not overwhelming however, as Matt Horvath works the ball down the Rockatoos’ flanks.

The hard ball being got


Against the run of play, and with its trademark efficient ball movement, Dan Gaskin of the Dilettantes kicks the Rockatoos’ first. After that the ‘Toos grow into the game through the endeavour of Luke Hancock of the flowing locks and Lowana Schmuker’s (a good South Australian ‘sch’) attack on the footy. As a gentle rain tickles the ground and patters the grandstand roof, the Rockatoos head back into the halftime depths leading 2.1 13 to the solitary Anchor point. Families kick footies while, no doubt, coaches fire rockets with greater regularity than North Korean dictators (either that or people are having a beer and a giggle, we’ll never know).

You know sometimes when someone, speaking figuratively, says it seemed like only one team came out of the sheds after half time? Well, it is literally the case this time (using literally in the sense of ‘literally’ rather than the new definition that does not mean literally). As the siren sounds to start the third quarter only the Anchors are out and in position. Perhaps the difference between a group who have to be ready to go the moment a disc stops spinning and another whose gig starts at 11ish after they’ve finished tuning. Regardless, highly coincidentally the Anchors are able to level scores through two Braithwaite goals before the Rockatoos make it into position.

Nick Harmsen clears the congestion for the Anchors


Normal service is resumed as Horvath sneaks forward and kicks a goal and the Rockatoos pull away again. And then the streakers happen. Now streakers are usually a flash (pardon the pun) in the pan – onto the ground, tackled (pardon the pun), and wearing an appropriately placed police hat before you’ve had a chance to force yourself to look away. Today Streaker 1 saunters out on the ground, wearing a sufficiently large guitar (not a mariachi musician thankfully) as the play carries on around him. Streaker 2 rolls out onto the ground, the traction the wheels get on his electric wheelchair a testament to the quality of the surface they are streaking on. Once they’ve had their fill of public substantial nakedness, the streakers are interviewed by the on ground announcers and finally disappear again. Presumably either to reacquaint themselves with clothes or participate in an SBS dating show.

Adelaide’s streakers at a tasteful distance


Into the last quarter and after Bad//Dreems’ Alex Cameron kicks his second (disclaimer: approximately 50% of the Rockatoos sport a healthy beard so it is possible that some worthy deeds were misattributed) the game is effectively over. This is confirmed as all players, mascots and cheerleaders enter the arena to play out the remaining minutes. Surprisingly, it does not improve the standard of play.

Taking flooding to ludicrous new heights


The siren sounds for the last time. The bonhomie is palpable despite the Anchors once more falling to the Rockatoos – the imminent presence of a soothing ale clearly a consolation. The players lock arms across the ground once more and head towards the open esky… and the trophy presentation. The players, volunteers, enthusiastic crowd and sponsors such as the Community Cup and Footy Almanac’s own Blundstone have created another brilliant day, raising much needed funds for Reclink’s admirable work. Well done all, especially the all conquering Rockatoos.

The Rockatoos celebrate yet another victory



Adelaide Rockatoos: Too Many
Adelaide Anchors: Not Enough

Rockatoos: Men with beards 7
Anchors: Braithwaite 2

Rockatoos: Horvath, Schmuker, Cameron, Thomas, Hancock, Cioffi, team effort
Anchors: Jean, Berry, McKenzie, Eastick, Mystery 44, Gratton, Goodman, team effort


Read more about The Women’s Footy Almanac 2017, the story of the inaugural AFLW season. CLICK HERE.

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Great stuff,Dave v entertaining report of what sounds like a great day and well done re Norwood fc for having the game on the hallowed turf
    ( hope you got a kick,David Jean )

  2. Mark Duffett says

    Were I one of the streakers I might be a bit miffed at the apparent continued focus of the (mostly female around this contest?) players on the ball despite my proximity!

  3. Dave Brown says

    Yep, Rulebook, great to have it at the Parade – the players really appreciated the history of the venue.

    Particularly given the group, Mark, they have seen plenty of men with guitars.

  4. Mystery number 44 was the fabulous Monique Hepden who kindly filled in due to another team member having to pull out at last minute.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Great report Dave on what looked like a fun day. Your story, and JTH’s story about the Melbourne Community Cup day, has me keen to get along next year.

  6. Dave Brown says

    The mystery solved, but the enigma remains, thanks Libby. Monique was tops.

    Thanks Luke, highly recommended.

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