AFL Grand Final Asia, Bangkok - Thailand

The social event of the year is coming up (well the Asian Champs will be hard to beat, ... more

2011 Asian AFL Champs - Bangkok, Thailand

The Asian Champs are on their way to Bangkok Thailand for the second time over ... more

AFL Footy Pattaya Cup 2011

Thailand Tigers play against the Cambodia Cobras in Pattaya on the 3rd & 4 ... more

Anzac Day Match 2011 - Kanchanaburi, Thailand

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Thailand - Aussies rules State of Origin

STATE OF ORIGIN – VICTORIA vs ALL-STARS When it comes to football Victorians are a bunch of arrogant pricks, so it came as no surprise, as the Victorian team stepped off their Crown team bus for this year’s Tigers State of Origin match, this particular sportswriter experienced the unsavory taste of bile in his throat that was only eventually overpowered by a yellow Gatorade. The Victorians, all carrying their footy gear in plastic Villa bags with the letter’s ‘illa’ strategically erased, swaned off the bus like they owned the joint, chests puffed out and swaggering. The All-Stars; a hastily cobbled together motley crew of journey men from the footballing backwaters of Australia, arrived with their fellow statesmen. The Sandgropers took a mini van, the New South Welshmen squeezed into a family car, the Tasmanians hired a bus only to discover they could have just got a taxi, while the Queenslanders all managed to fit on a scooter when a uni-cycle would have sufficed. They greeted each other, swapped names and submitted their preferred playing position with the coach and went out for a kick-to-kick with the Faulkner’s. All the while the Victorians, gently oiling each others glistening biceps and thighs, were sitting and giggling at the whimsicalness of these upstarts trying their hand at Victoria’s sport. The All-Stars, a somewhat curious name given they counted the likes of Baglin in their ranks, could still feel confident given they still had mighty man-mountain Chris Cleave in the ruck and ball-magnet, running-machine, calendar-model, skulling-god Damian Woo everywhere else. However, they remained cautious as they were still up against a finely tuned Victorian machine who all started kicking a football long before they started kicking the wall of the womb. The opening bounce was once again a total failure with Maggot’s inability to throw a ball vertically once more blatantly evident. Once the second attempt one went up, it was Kinky who stole the ball out of the centre delivering to a Victorian forward line that looked dangerous with the rejuvenated Baggers charging out of full-forward. However, after fluffing a few opportunities, it was the Vic defense that leaked the first two goals of the quarter. Despite Kinky continuing to dominate the clearance count, Disco Dave Paterson being his usual burly best around the ground and Tommy Polk doing a great job down back, it was the All-Stars who had kicked clear at the first break with 3 goals to 3 different goal kickers. Several things were evident after the first quarter; firstly, the All-Stars badly needed to put someone on Bags, secondly, the All-Stars needed to improve their conversion and thirdly, the All Stars were being coached to perfection by the keen football mind and classic good looks of Samo. Master coach Samo, never one to obey the laws of convention, really threw a spanner in Victoria’s works in the second quarter, moving goliath Cleave from the ruck to fullback to play on Baggers, with The Doc (who had earlier in the day betrayed his home state, proclaiming his long-time love of pies in pea soup and bridges over habours) replacing him in the ruck. With a nice combination of the Tassie-boys, Pud and even a Kiwi giving good support to The Hoo, the All-Stars again lived up to their name with some scintillating running. As was always going to be the case, the All-Stars struggled to kick the oddly-shaped ball accurately and despite dominating the half, entered half time with a handy but hardly-insurmountable lead. Super coach Samo, looking to add the State-of-Origin cup to his growing list of accomplishments in his short yet glorious coaching career, was taken off guard with news that both Cleave and the ever-reliable Hendo would be leaving at 3-quarter time to be with their wives (on this day, of all days!), leaving the All-Stars a little bit less starry. So the order was given; Cleave and Hendo on the ball all quarter, help get a match-winning lead so you can at least hold your heads up high as you leave and possibly give you and your wives something to talk about over dinner. So it was that the All-Stars hit the final quarter like rogue trains. Promising Victorian forward thrusts were quickly expelled by a All-Stars defense that was desperate to the score goals before the next break, with all the on-ballers delivering down to Canberrans Lobby and Ando deep in attack. Forward fifty after forward fifty were rewarded time and time again with behind after behind. Unlike their vile Victorian enemies, the All-Stars had not been kicking footballs since birth and such relied heavily on luck and dodgy umpiring decisions (and only one of those is certain a Tiger’s match). The last quarter started with an air of expectation, with the All-Stars only a few kicks up but a couple of players down. The Vics went all-out attack at the beginning of the 4th, catching the All-Stars coaching panel off-guard with Disco, Sefto and Bags creating an all-class forward 50. The heat was taking a real toll on all players, with turnovers regularly resulting in runaway goals for the opposition and with 3 first-gamers on the pitch, it was inevitable that the pace would slow. Eventually and despite a desperate effort, Victoria was unable to claw back the goals it had handed the All-Stars in the first half and came up a valiant 9 points short of back-to-back State-of-Origin victories; disappointing an entire state. Best players, awarded by the umpires, were The Hoo (predictably) for the All-Stars and Polky for Victoria. After Polky claimed he was off the drink and therefore couldn’t partake in the traditional scull-off, he was striped of the award and it was instead handed to Kinky, who handled the scull-off only slightly more successfully.


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