Round 7 Review
By The Remonstrator
Red Lions Reserves 14.10-94 v 4.7-31
The Red Lions Reserves were on the rebound from their first competitive loss since round 1 2012 when they faced the boys from Burleigh at UQ in round 7 action.
Decimated by injuries to their backline stalwarts Paris, Tommy G and Swoop de Loop the Lions looked ripe for the picking against a well credentialed rival. The desperation reached fever pitch when coach Wilkinson was drafted into the line-up at the eleventh hour and three young under 18’s were handed debuts.
The first quarter belied the tumultuous preparation however with the Lions showing a desperation noticeably lacking in the previous week’s loss. After initial doubts about how he would adapt after his code swap from Quidditch, the ½ Quid dominated the back half taking a leaf from the G-Train and playing in front of his man to devastating effect. Through the middle the team were well serviced by the hard edge provide by Brett Donald Hoare. The veteran almost cracked a rare smile as he did what he does best, bust packs and crack skulls.
Despite having a clear early goal denied the Reds were relentless as they kicked four majors in the opening stanza. The standout was a long bomb from the oft-injured but equally devastating boot of Rohan Smith. The halfback/wingman was marauding down the left flank all afternoon and even occasionally entered the defensive 50m. By the first (piss weak) siren the home team had a two goal lead and were looking good.
The second quarter was equally impressive. The forward triumvirate of Mayes, Kourakis and Hahn caused chaos with their perpetual leading resulting in multiple scores. The work of TK on the half forward line showed his added versatility as he rotated with Jak ‘Bubbly Toes’ Johnson in the ruck. The good natured crooner showed a natural aptitude to the ruck work and was putting the ball on a platter for his runners.
The midfield, who had struggled the week before, were dominant against the bigger but less agile opposition. James ‘Florence’ Nightingale was particularly damaging playing his best game for the club and laying on a couple of goals. While Ben Coombs recovered from the boat shoe debacle which marred the warm up by having a field day through half back and the wing. The boys went into the sheds at the long change with a commanding 5 goal buffer.
The half time break allowed Burgo to offer some rare praise to his much maligned forward line, albeit with some prompting from this author. The team was feeling good and determined to execute a four quarter performance.
The third quarter was the most pleasing of the game for the home side who anticipated the surge from the opposition and redoubled their efforts resulting in a measly 3 points to the opposition. The hamstring injury to Sam (Justin?) Long was the only downer in a quarter which saw some excellent work from the three youngsters. Young Dr Phil managed to evade 3 on the near wing much to the chagrin of the opposition coach.
The smiling assassin that is Nathan Freebody continued to mount his case for permanent selection as he showed grit over the ball and the tireless Hondow made his usual 10 tackles with only 3 of them being high.
The real stars of the second half however were the backline. Barry Gwynne, Jezza Lewis and new father Hyde were all exceptional as they gave their respective opponents a bath running off them at will and creating excellent spread. The fact that the opposition only scored two goals after ¼ time spoke volumes of the undermanned but impressive backline unit.
The last quarter was another strong one as the legs of the opposition tired. Sean Wester showed some brutish strength and his well known endurance by spending some time in the forward half and Matty Rosen, refreshed after not speaking to anyone since 2003, was dynamic as he continued to show others how to use the pill.
In the end the result was never in doubt. A 10 goal victory with multiple goal kickers was a fair result for the day. The ½ quid rightly took home BOG for a performance which pencilled him in as a defender for the foreseeable future. Next week provides a sterner test as the lads travel south to face fourth placed Palm Beach-Currumbin.