In one of the classic Metro football games, the Wrigleyville Rhinos were able to hold out a fast finishing Tiger outfit Friday night in Round 8 of Metro Footy at Burgmann Fields.
Under a beautiful Chicago sky and in perfect conditions, Wrigleyville jumped out to an early lead which after just 5 minutes had turned into a 3 goal lead as the Tigers struggled against the Rhinos only import in big Roofy who’s back to some of his best form after the busted ribs. While Wrigleyville had impressive numbers again, the Tigers couldn’t say the same with a very poor turn up resulting in them getting the best of the Piranhas including the much anticipated return of ex Revo player and famed Shark killer Pete Ternes.
Big Roofy slipped 3 through in the first and the vastly improved Mike Panek got himself one on the run before the Tigers had even threatened the Rhino backs. After a nice ball in from Mustard, Oscar Meyer marked and kicked truly for his first but when another vastly improved player in Dave Worniak ran into an open goal, the Rhinos started to exert some authority. The Outback Kid got amongst the goals and sent the Rhinos into the break 6.2: 38 to 1.2: 8 and looking to put the game away by half time.
The Tigers pulled a swifty at the break and introduced first gamer Brian (Roofys bro in law) who, despite never seeing the game, managed to get the ball immediately and bring up a point for the Tiges. By the end of the quarter, he’d managed another 3 minors in a very impressive debut. Oscar Meyer was being a thorn in the Rhinos hide and he snuck in another before the Rhinos steadied through the irrepressible Gordo and his two goals righted the ship before Hazie finally found some space and got one back after a good run just before the half. At the main break, the Rhinos still had the game by the short and curlies 8.4: 52 to 3. 8: 26.
Mustard tried the changes and Drake kept them to a mininum as the Tigers looked for a spark and they found it in Hayzie who put his hand up for his MAAFL debut with a near best on ground performance. In combination with Betty Palmer, the two Piranhas ran the Rhino midfield ragged but the Tigers found it hard to break the Fenton, Miller, Drake and Morgan juggernaut down back and only managed 2 for the quarter with one going to debutant Brian and the other coming straight out of Oscars arse with a handy snap that had a Shane Warne leg break attached to it.
For the Rhinos, Roofy was unstoppable and in the end, was the difference between the two teams. His three for the quarter sent the Rhinos further ahead and looking impossible to stop. At the orange break, the Rhinos led 11.4: 70 to 5.10: 40
Under the darkening skies of Burgmann Fields, the Rhinos looked to have the game in hand but that can be a killer in football and the Tigers hit them with everything they had in a magnificent final term. Hayes and Palmer ran riot and with Mustard giving them first use, the Rhino backs were under massive pressure. Oscar ran into an open goal to make it 4 for the afternoon, and the Tigers continued to out run and out play the fading Rhinos. McClamroch gave his all on the wing for the reigning premiers but when Uhlmann started to get more of it, the game swung to become completely controlled by the Tigers. Another piranha in Beau Rogers kicked a handy goal to make it closer and when Roofy’s bro in law Brian kicked his second, the Tigers had pulled back to within a kick and were finishing all over the top of the spent Rhinos who were literally saved by the bell as they ran out 6 point winners in what was a classic game and one that will be talked about for a long time, especially the impressive form of the Piranha fill ins with Hayze, Rogers, Palmer, Kastilahn, Ternes, and Cisco literally on fire for the Tigers and Roofy dominating for the Rhinos.
In the end, winners are grinners and after the game, Rhino coach Drake was rapt with the first three quarters but had nothing to say to describe the worrying trend of Rhino fade outs. Mustard left impressed with the effort but disappointed with his teams poor numbers. Perhaps the only happy bloke from the whole night was DK who watched as Ternes returned to form and his Piranhas combined for their best showing of the season. Asked about it later, DK replied “Bit bloody ironic isn’t it? I mean, there was more Piranhas than Tigers on the Tiger team and my blokes were their best. We wouldn’t be bottom if the bastards played like that each week and when I start getting a few blokes turning up, I think you can say that the Piranha bite will be back”.
|Goals||Rhinos: Ward (6), Ambrosino (2), Worniak, Panek, OBK
Tigers: Meyer (4), Brian Monico (2), Beau, Hayes
|Best||Rhinos: Ward, Ambrosino, Panek, Morgan J, McClamroch
Tigers: Meyer, Hayes, Ternes, Uhlmann, Palmer
PLAY OF THE DAY (Globe award):
Gordo running into an open goal and missing……. from three yards out.