Thai - Malay Cup
Malaysian Warriors Account For An Undermanned
But Gallant Tigers:
25 August 2007
Malaysian Warriors 13 . 5 . 83
Thailand Tigers 5 . 5 . 35
After a lot of last minute phone calls and desperate recruiting, 11 eager Thaigers congregated at the Sports Bar and Café in Suvarnabhumi Airport, ready to tackle the Malaysia Warriors for the Thai-Malay Cup.
Also due to join the touring party in Malaysia, were Asia’s smallest ruckman – Kerry Dyke, and two of his aussie mates – Simon and Amon - who jumped at the chance to pull on the famous Tigers guernsey.
Once in KL and still light-on for numbers, the undeterred touring party hit Malaysia’s worst bar ‘The beach Club’ to meet our hosts for the weekend and kick things off with a couple of quiet ales. I guess there must have been a feeling of inevitability about the result as a couple of quiet ales quickly turned into a much more solid hit-out. New international recruits Carl ‘J-Lo’ Stephens and Warwick ‘Wazza’ Baglin decided the tour badly needed an influx of Jack Daniels, so taking new vice-captain Tom Chapman under their wing, they proceeded to treat the vile drop with contempt as they went about setting the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Meanwhile more experienced heads were staring into their beers wondering how we could possibly pull off a win with such an undermanned and inexperienced line-up. Just as someone mentioned “we need a miracle”.. the savior himself appeared out of nowhere, with an aura surrounding him and his radiant locks somehow flowing without the aid of a breeze.. “Fear not Tigers, Jesus is here”.
This took our playing group to 15. Enough we thought to give the Malaysian boys a bit of a fright come kick-off. So after some late night hi-jinx that falls into the ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour’ ethos, we retired to our quarters ready to face the big day.
Bright sunshine greeted us on game day, perhaps a little too bright for some of the boys who were tucking into a healthy breakfast from a Kenny Rogers Famous Chicken franchise. It didn’t look too good, smelt worse, and by the look on faces of those who indulged, it wasn’t sitting too well either. However poor our preparation though, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm we all had for the contest. As we piled into our tour bus and headed for the hills of KL, a quiet confidence grew over the team. Rhino looked fresh as a daisy, Thwaiter was over his injuries, CJ was busting out of his shirt showing the results of a couple of months at camp Wagga, and Fish was chomping at the bit to come out of retirement and give his suspect knee the ultimate test, and veterans Chatters and Uncle Vaughn wanted to turn the clock back and show the young bucks a thing or two.
Unfortunately Chatters was perhaps too eager, as he felt a quaddie strain in the warm-up and thought he’s better start the game from the bench. Luckily one of the Malaysian players however, was pretty keen to belt some of his mates around, and readily volunteered to swap guernseys. ‘Fricko’ was built like a keg on legs, but his skills in the warm-up showed he definitely knew his way around a Sherrin. However he reckoned he hadn’t done so much as a jog in years, and wouldn’t be able to run out of sight on a foggy night, but we welcomed him onboard with great appreciation.
So the game got underway and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of some soft free kicks directly in front of Malaysia’s goal. However we managed to get one back through ring-in Simon, who showed a bit of flare to collect a loose ball and steer it through on the run. Then Rhino got involved for a brilliant solo effort to kick his first for the day to bring the margin back a bit. So we were well and truly alive at quarter time, but under some pretty intense heat and with no bench to speak of, the Warriors just had too much run from then on. With the ability to rotate players off the bench, and playing some pretty good footy to be honest, they were able to pile on the goals through the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
We did show plenty of fight, especially halfway through the 3rd when big Fish got into the play on numerous occasions and really showed us how to give 2nd and 3rd efforts under pressure. This lifted the Tigers and for about 10 minutes the Warriors were unable to get the ball past the midfield as we kept peppering the goals, only for about 5 shots to miss by the nearest of margins. After that effort, I think we were spent, as the Warriors kicked 2 goals in the last minute of the quarter to take any chance away from us.
The last quarter featured a couple of individual efforts, one from Chatters who somehow just dropped what would have been a great mark in our goal square, collected his own crumb, ducked, dodged, weaved, and threw it onto the boot only to see it hit the post. Then Rowdy, who had been solid in defense all day, showed true Tiger spirit when with the game a foregone conclusion, took on three Warriors, and beat them with three tackles and won the footy to force a ball-up.. Great stuff!
So final scores:
Malaysia Warriors 13 . 5 . 83 defeated Thailand Tigers 5 . 5 . 35
Rhino – kicked 90% of our total score and was a real live wire up forward. They couldn’t get near him.
Kerry – started slowly (thanks to Kenny Rogers Chicken) but rucked the second half and really got involved. Awarded our best player by the Warriors.
Carl (J-Lo) – Awesome debut! Tackling was suburb. Had them looking over their shoulders.
Thwaiter – took a dirty hit to the head/neck and fired him up, then took over the midfield. Some of his passes were pin-point!
Rhino – 4.3
Simon – 1.0
Chatters – 0.1
Thwaiter – 0.1
Saturday night is still a bit of a blur, but we did come away with probably the most important victory.. The Boat race! Seeing as Malaysia was claiming to be undefeated skulling champs, we lined up 6 of the best from each team and had a skull-off.
After a slow start (Patto) we got back into the contest through Wazza, J-Lo, Chappo, then the dark horse of skulling Rhino, and then secured victory when Jesus made his schooner disappear by looking at it. Some people reckon they saw him drink it, but I must have blinked and missed that.
After victory was secured, Fish decided we’d celebrate with some Tequila shots. Otherwise known as memory erasers, these lived up to their nickname and report concluded!