While the Piranhas celebrated, the Rhinos were left to lick their wounds and count the cost of their first loss of the season. In a heart wrenching moment for all Rhino and Chicago fans in general, Gordon Ambrosino went down with an apparent knee injury in the last quarter, effectively killing any chance for a Rhino comeback and putting the United team in disarray as they set themselves to duke it out with a vastly improved Cincinatti in two weeks. While the extent of the injury wont be known for a few days, fingers are being crossed at Burgmann Towers.
From the opening bounce it was obvious this was going to be a cracker of a game. The star studded Piranhas kicked the first two through Hoyt and Beau before the Rhinos hit back through McCoombe who looked to be in terrific form again. The Piranhas dominated the quarter but were unable to convert with some desperate defending from Rhinos Fenton, Pat Hoyt and Case. Deri Morgan popped up late to score a major and at the first break, heads were being scratched in the Rhino huddle. The Piranhas had the momentum and Kastilahn demanded more out of his lads as he sniffed an upset.
At the break, LP 3.1: 19 v WV 1.3: 9
The Rhinos hit back in the second with some lovely passages of play. McClamroch continued his marvellous form on a flank that will one day be named after him. Ambrosino started to get a lot of the ball and managed to have 4 pings at goal, but unluckily for the rhinos, all were minors. Wolfe was starting to dominate both in the ruck and around the ground and it was all of a sudden looking very powder blue. The Piranhas however had other ideas and with Beau having a field day on the flank and the Piranha runners in Oscar Meyer, Deri Morgan, Betty Palmer and Ryan Hayes starting to get more of the ball the tide turned again. A bubbly Mustard was giving the Rhino defenders headaches and Hoyt started to find room in the wide open Piranha forward line. But like the Rhinos, Lincoln Park weren’t able to convert where it mattered most and at the long break it was LP 3.5: 23 v WV 1.8: 14.
The Rhinos sniffed a comeback and they took it right up to the Piranhas. Wolfe continued his domination in the center and Ambrosino was running riot but Kastilahn had a few tricks of his own. He moved a quiet MacGlashan to full forward and Mustard to center half back on first gamer Dave who was playing a great game for the Rhinos. Mustard was able to give the Piranhas the jolt they needed as his constant delivery to Beau, Betty, Oscar and one of the games best in Deri Morgan set up numerous forward thrusts where an overworked Rhino defense struggled to contain the Piranha numbers. Oscar Meyer broke free to kick a long bomb to extend the Piranha lead and Betty Palmer bagged himself one as the Piranhas threatened to blow the game apart before the Rhinos hit back. A busy Jezza Morgan who had his best game of the season started getting a lot of the ball and the ever impressive Ambrosino found a leading McCoombe who finally got the Rhinos second.
At the orange break it was LP 5.9: 39 to a terribly inaccurate WV 2.11: 23
With his charges tiring and the Piranhas threatening, the Rhinos threw an injured Miller up front to see if he could spark a revival but it was all in vain as the Piranhas dominated the last quarter. Against superior numbers, the Rhinos tried to hold out the inevitable but after Oscar Meyer kicked a beauty from 40, the game was over and the only thing that could make it worse was a major injury and low and behold, it came with the shocking knee injury suffered by Gordo. To rub salt into the Rhino wounds, a classic mongrel punt from Big Al fell into the arms of his captain and DK kicked one of his very rare goals, the perfect icing on the victorious cake for the embattled leader who will enjoy this victory for a long time.
Final scores in this one were LP 7.13: 55 to WV 2. 13: 25 meaning an incredible 26 points to 9 goals were kicked, possibly some sort of record.
For the Piranhas it was a well deserved victory as they look to kick start their season. The run they achieved out of the backline and their delivery to their forwards must have pleased Kastilahn. A return to form from Deri Morgan and Betty Palmer and the good form of himself brought a smile to the face of DK. New recruit Rohan played well and will be much better for the trot.
The Rhino hierachy though must be very concerned that their season just went down the toilet with the injury to Ambrosino. Drake will be pleased with the fight shown by his lads but in the end, a loss is a loss and this will be a bitter pill to swallow as the Rhinos go into the bye week.
|Goals||Piranhas: Meyer (2), Kastilan, Morgan D, Hoyt B, Palmer, Beau
Rhinos: McCoombe (2)
|Best||Piranhas: Meyer, Kastilan, Morgan D, Palmer, Beau, MacGlashan, De Jong
Rhinos: McClamroch, Fenton, Panek, Hoyt P, Morgan J, Ambrosino, Wolfe