The Punic War, Bryce McGain, and Fitzroy at Bluff Road

I took Friday arvo off. The Cricket Society had a lunch at the Kelvin Club with Bryce McGain the guest of honour. As you all know, anything less than four hours is not lunch, merely the taking of sustenance, merely the warding off the evils of hunger. It just left no time to get back to the grind, even if one did not need to allow an alcoholic beverage or two to work their way through the derrinalphil system.
Bryce played one more Test Match for Australia than I did but it was not a pleasant look. The South Africans massacred Bryce, scoring one hundred runs off his first ten overs. It was a massacre of the first order and on Saturday we Fitzroy fans journeyed down Warrigal Road to watch our boys play Hampton. We were expecting a massacre of Roman proportions. Hampton have been losing matches like the Romans lost battles to Hannibal in the Second Punic War; Trebia, Lake Trasimena and Cannae all had Roman casualty stats very much like the scores from Hampton’s matches this season.
I missed most of the Twos but Rick the Click was of the opinion that Harry Topp stood out. Matt Coad, suffering from a cold, told me after the match that it was hard to get up for the match. (I hope people get the joke here, I mean he is ten foot tall)
Quite a few out today; Ablett, Josh, Pickers and Two Dads which left a hole up the middle and on the ball but I was interested that Michael Lee started in the ruck and Roscoe started at full forward. Roscoe has played well as a short ruckman this year but it annoys me that we cannot find a way for Roscoe and Pickers to play together up forward. Roscoe has kicked thirty odd goals in a season, at this level, in a struggling team. Roscoe is the better all-round footballer and Michael is the better ruckman. Both players played well today and I noticed Two Dads looking worried after the match.
We started out poorly, with handball that seemed to be aimed at players’ feet. All day we seemed determined to give one more poorly aimed backwards handball. It was only in the last quarter that we started to bomb the ball forward with satisfying results. I spent some time down back and early on it was apparent that the porcupine did not turn up today. I like seeing multiple defenders flying for the ball with fists extended to smash the ball. This done well makes the opposition’s forward line look like a porcupine’s back. Early on our backs were going for marks on a windy day with a slippery ball. Despite this we were well in front by at half time. We had a brief scare at the start of the third quarter when Hampton’s midfielders got on top and they managed to get within three goals’ but class will tell and the expected massacre happened in the end.
It was a frustrating game to watch and was best summarised by Torch Magee “It was a tough seventy point win.”
Jessie Dimond was in sparking form especially early in the match, running hard to create “spread.” Big Matt Brown (I now name him “Big Matt Brown” or “BMB”) was a dominating player all day. One thing that did catch my eye was the forward set up in the last quarter. Believe it or not we had Scott Cations and another small (I can’t remember who it was) as our “tall forwards.” I think the coaching staff needs to look at this issue. When Pickers does not play we need to think about having a tall option in the goal square. We lost against Pegs largely due to a poorly structured and therefore non-functioning forward line.
I’m off to Darwin next week so I will miss the match against Pegs. I will be at Richardson Park with young Pete, watching the Darwin Rugby League, sitting on the hill behind the posts having an amber fluid or two. Go the Redders.

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