VAFA Premier B: Fitzroy v Peninsula Old Boys


Fitzroy played the Pirates (Peninsular Old Boys ) on Saturday. Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor, was captured by pirates early in his career. They held him until a ransom was paid (Caesar told them to up their demands as he was worth  much more than they originally were going to ask for) and until the sum was paid Caesar was held a prisoner by these pirates. They must have treated him well as he exercised with them, but he cheerfully told them that when he was freed the first thing he was going to do was to raise a fleet of ships, and come back and crucify the lot of them.


This is exactly what he did, but he mercifully had their throats cut before he strung them up on crosses.


We wouldn’t do anything like that now. Imagine the health and safety regulations governing blood spills for a starter and Peninsula Old Boys (POB) and the Reds go back a long way.


I was delighted to see Sambo and Howard, the founders of the POB, at the post match drinkies and they all they wanted to know “Where is Peter Hille?” The Reds beat POB in a preliminary final in 1980, by a point, and the next week we won our first Premiership. The flag has pride of place in the function room. Sambo reckoned he and Howard should knock our 1980 Flag off!!! This was POB’s first year in the Ammos.


The next time we played them in a final was in the early 2000’s, when they were undefeated all year, apart from two games, the second semi-final and the grand final. We beat them both times and once again we went up a grade so I hope this is an omen for this season.


Unfortunately, POB have come up a grade without recruiting any new  A Grade players so they will struggle, in the same way we struggled, when we did the same thing a few years ago. I noticed that both their Firsts and Seconds gave away numerous twenty-five metre penalties, becoming frustrated with the umpires. In both games POB, at times, competed well and were ‘in the game’ but undisciplined acts cost them dearly. If I was coaching them I would make it a rule that any player who gives away a twenty-five, metre penalty immediately runs to the interchange bench, sits down for a minute and settles down.


The seconds had an easy win despite inaccurate kicking for goal. Ross B looked a class act and may come into the seniors next week. Max Davie had the ball on a string but butchered his disposals. Tommy C and Dalts looked a bit rusty but at least Dalts did not kick any points. Of the young blokes I was impressed with Lachie Grace, playing in number 50, who is just out of the under nineteens but moves well, can take a grab, and has some size about him.

The big news out of the senior’s game was the debut of Nino Lazzaro who kicked five goals. With the retirement of Danny B, Dohers and Dillan P, injuries to Lachie Henderson and Pickers I thought at the start of the game we needed some new goal kickers and, boy, did we get one.


The game started the way it finished. POB lacked polish, making many skill errors deep in defence which gave them little chance to transition play cleanly down the ground. This, allied with several silly twenty-five metre penalties, meant we might have been looking at a massacre but late in the quarter POB dug deep, kicked a couple of goals, and dominated general play.


We went to quarter time fourteen points up but the POB ruckman was dominating play and at the start of the second quarter, he laid the ball down beautifully. They went forward, kicked a goal but this was as close as they got all day. We then kicked some beautiful goals. Nino oozed class as he hit the scoreboard and Nathan J earned himself a new kick name by threading the needle with a simply wonderful goal.


I am now calling him 15C. Now, this is not 18C which is the law that says if someone offends in certain ways, all hell can break loose. No, 15C is the name of my favourite scalpel and I wish I could cut as well as Nath sliced through the POB defence in the second quarter.


Down back, Maxie Ellis, back from OS, is having a stellar year and I am now calling him our very own Back Acting Gingivectomy Knife and this is the very instrument I always use after the 15C. Max got forward in the last quarter and nearly had a shot for goal and this was the only thing that got me excited in the second half. Max, who I sponsored for years, has never kicked a goal (he kicked a point once and his parents are very proud of it).


The game wound down to its inevitable end. Apart from their ruckman, we out sized them around the ground, which is something I can rarely say in these reports. Corbs and Aiden B had good games but Matty K impressed me in the last quarter when he forced a spillage with a savage tackle, bounced to his feet, spread from the contest, and received a handball; perfect inside and outside play.


So we are now two zip, something I have never been able to say in these reports but we play Old Brighton next week. They have thrashed Mazenod and Parkdale so far this season so it is game on next week.


I will see you all there. Go the Roys.



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