Almanac Rugby League – Homo Morphsuitius

Homo Naledi was discovered by scientists recently to add a new chapter to Human evolution. It took years of hard work to put the pieces together found in a deep cave. A breakthrough of Darwinian proportions. It was a species that scientist had never before suspected of complex behaviour. What a shame they were not at the Brisbane Second Division Grand Final at Langlands Park on Saturday. A new species Homo Morphsuitius turned up in public. It would have been a scientist’s delight. Two extinct clubs Brothers and Valleys (under the Bulimba banner) were meeting in a challenge of the years. Bulimba- the aging red hot favourites in the Royal Blue and White bars against the mighty Brethren –a young side- in their traditional Navy Blue and White Butchers stripes. What else could evoke such tribalism that would see a species thought to be extinct come out in public for all to see?

The Can Bar was the gathering place for Homo Morphsuitius. They swaggered into the ground clearly with an appetite for alcohol and tobacco. Their ancient clothing- blue and white in colour- struggled to disguise the imagination of us mere lay onlookers. The trained scientific eye may have been able to more clearly identify the male appendage but to me it looked like junk. Strangely there seemed to be no female companion to this species. Evolution has a strange way of bringing extinction upon species and I fear this band of twenty Homo Morphsuitius males with their predilection for alcohol and tobacco and now pies may have problems in the area of procreation. A leader was soon evident but to my untrained eye I struggled to find any evidence of complex behaviour.

As the teams entered the arena communication became evident. As Brothers came down to the Can Bar end a mighty thunderous applause started. Singing to the Bless em All tune Morphsuitius rekindled the ancient era of Corbett Park. I suspected intelligence. Bulimba entered and my doubts returned. A guttural cacophony of incomprehensible noise reminding me of booing but at a level of Neanderthal proportion. Game on and from the first hit-up the big Brothers front-rower pole-axed the champion Bulimba Coach and five eighth. We Brothers men – whilst concerned for his health- were happy to see one of the guns possibly out for the match. Morphsuitius on the other hand showed no empathy. Homo Naledi had this as a trait so the jury was still out on complex behaviour.

My old centre three quarter mate from my Brothers days, Crackers, turned up – pumped up. What a start. In absolutely perfect conditions the game was being played at a great pace and in the 15th minute the son of a legendary club family and nephew to Crackers scored a fine try. Morphsuitius went crazy. In unison they roared for want of a better word as we hit the front. As everyone knows I hate XXXX Gold but I think it was the right choice for Morphsuitius as they were knocking them over with merry abandon. Clearly money was an area this species was well and truly in control of. By the 25th minute Bulimba had scored and Crackers blamed the winger. 6-4 Brothers. Four minutes later, bad numbering off by our men – try. 10 -6 Bulimba. Crackers was up the winger again. “He has to do better than that.’ Oh no! Mistake from a Bulimba kick-penalty – try! 16- 6. We are in big trouble. Hold it? Morphsuitius has gone quiet. They clearly understand and can read danger.

The Brothers needed something and our lock delivered. On the stroke of half-time he scored a great try and we had a glimmer of hope. This act sparked one of the greatest displays by a previously unknown species. As one, and behind their leader, they entered the arena at half-time and performed a series of ancient rituals. If only an archaeologist had have been there to fully interpret what was going on. Homo Morphsuitius performed what to me looked like stretching, wrestling, chariot racing and wheelbarrow racing. To be honest it just looked like plain simple drunkard tom foolery. But it could not have been. Security watched on people laughed and applauded as people at a sports event seemed to be having unregulated fun. It had to be a mating ritual. I was sure some female of the species would emerge from somewhere but that was not to be. I feared Morphsuitius was destined for the DNA waste paper basket.

Crackers agreed with me that at 16 -12 we were in the game. We thought there was hope. Crackers as a well-known international tourist tried to work out what Morphsuitius was on about but the best word he could come up with was banal. Then it happened. Five minutes into the second half a kick was put in and it rebounded. We shifted the ball to the right second man play – try! With the conversion successful (Crackers described it as going over the geometric centre of the uprights) we thought the game was ours at 18-16.

But not to be. Straight away with the Bulimba Coach back on the field after passing the “how many fingers on my hand concussion test” their second rower scored the try of the match. He ran a great line to score and it was 22 -18. 28-18. 34 -18. 40-18. 44-18. Morphsuitius was slowly losing energy. Our men scored last but it was all Bulimba Valleys. Full time 44-22. They were too good. As I left the ground Crackers told me we would be stronger next year. Slowly and surprisingly Homo Morphsuitius were piling into of all things – a Toyota Coaster. They were dishevelled degraded defeated and dejected. Clearly they understood complex emotion. What a find. What a day.


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