It was a great day for football on Saturday, as the Tigers hosted Vietnam and Cambodia in Bangkok for a hit-out in the lead up to this years Asian Champs.
Game 1: Tigers vs Swans
Played across four 12 minute quarters, the Tigers kicked day off against the Swans. In what seemed like a good match up body for body, the Tigers jumped out of the blocks quickly, catching the touring Swans off guard to grab 3 quick goals. G-Macs dominance out of the square and stoppages assured good clearance for the Tigers speedy midfield players of Shields, Jordan and Chippie, and with Andrew Smith (No.2) who dominated possession and service into the forward line. The Tigers having 7 scoring shots in the first quarter – 3 of them goals. Samo and Mo asserted their presence up forward with good support from Pattaya based Matt H. Similarly, the backline was well marshaled by Kris, who kept the Swans out of the game early. It was fantastic to see the realization of the non-Australian players becoming dominant forces in the game. Great goals and play from Chippie and Jordan, and the ongoing improvements and confidence of the Mo, Adam, and Yusef, and of course the return of the mercurial Rut, all combined to produce a well balanced team for the Tigers.
The swans never recovered from the first quarter deficit, despite getting themselves back into the game as fatigue set in for the Tigers, and outscored the Tigers in the second and final quarters. In very hot conditions both teams competed well in what was a great hit out, the Tigers too strong in the end taking out the match.
Tigers 3.4.22 4.5.29 5.7.37 5.11.41
Swans 0.0.0 2.1.13 2.2.12 4.2.26
Best: Shieldsy, Chippie, G-Mac, Jordan, Smith
Goals: Jordan 2, Mo, Chippie, Samo
Game 2: Tigers vs Eagles
The match between the Tigers and Eagles consisted of two 12 minute halves, to replicate this years Champs format. As the heat sweltered, the Eagles quickly used their fresh legs to over power the Tigers from the first bounce. Belting the Tigers goal line with 8 scoring shots to take a 3 goals (5 behinds) to 1 goal advantage into the halftime break. As the Tigers attempted to catch their breath, the Eagles kept flying high with their young speedsters tapping and handballing their way forward again in the second half. The Tigers managed to stem the rout thanks to the efforts of Kris and the welcome return of Rut, in his first game back in Tigers colors this year, who both showed commitment and courage as the Eagles peppered the forward line. One of the funnier highlights of the match was to see Tigers speedster, Shieldsy, outpaced by 2 Cambodian locals with Mo in hot pursuit as the ball bounced in the Tigers forward 50, only for the ball to bounce out the back of the chasing pack. Shieldsy cleanly gathered the ball and snapped through a major for the Tigers. Not often you see Shieldsy outpaced, but definitely not out-skilled. The Tigers edged further into the contest as the second half professed, not least assisted by 50 game veteran and Jedi master Yoda, who seemed to be everywhere over the afternoon. Both teams battled to the final whistle with the Eagles maintaining the ascendancy to take out the match in convincing fashion : 13 to 38.
Tigers 1.0.6 2.1.13
Eagles 3.5.23 5.8.38
Best: Kris V, Rut, Tyler, Yoda, Shieldsy
Goals: Samo, Shieldsy
Many thanks to the Swans and Eagles for making the journey to Bangkok for the games. Special thanks needs to also go to all those that helped out on the day umpiring and working the bar and barbie. In particular, special thanks to Phil Stevens for the fantastic job he did in getting the ground ready, and setting up everything for a great day of football.