Burgmann Fields, IL- On a night when Warrick Burgmann ‘guaranteed’ he would be in attendance, the person that would have been his direct opponent cut loose, getting his Rhinos over the line in a great game on Chicagos’ lakeshore. Gerard Forte, brother of Bears running back Matt, was able to patrol the Wrigleyville backline so successfully that the Rhino backline has been renamed Fort(e) Gerard.
Both teams turned up with excellent numbers again, displaying the advances the competition has made since its inception 4 seasons ago. A few random Piranhas popped up and were absorbed to have a 16 a side game with 2 on the bench for each team, remarkable numbers considering the big guns missing from both teams (Burgmann for the Tigers and Wolfe, OBK and Miller for the Rhinos…. rumors of the Miller/ Burgmann duo performing at the Man Hole again on Halsted were trying to be validated but as of this going to press, neither party were returning phone calls).
From the bounce, the Rhinos looked the most dangerous as a proppy Poncho took the field alongside Tiger legend Mustard De Jong whose successful return was a welcome sight for all involved with Chicago football. In an unremarkable first quarter, Jeff Borchardt, playing on the ball for the Rhinos, was able to press forward and took a nice grab 30m out and duly stepped up and went BANG to kick the only goal of the quarter. As was expected, this was a low scoring game as both teams feature strong backlines but not a lot of power up front.
The second quarter brought more of the same with both defenses on top. Mustard, along with James, Poncho, Glenn, Art and Tezza were causing headaches for the Rhinos while Forte was doing the same at the other end, ably aided by Deeham, Scher, Panek and Morgan. Crackers Brennan, nursing a neck injury from his heroics in the Nashville game, started to see a bit more of the ball as the Tiger centers started to get on top. Big Joe was sensational in the ruck and his work with Rory and Crabs was the stuff of legends as the three young Americans controlled the bounces and stoppages. The Rhinos, with no one within 6 inches of the big fella threw Aussie Mike at him who battled hard (did a much better job than his coach it must be said!) and won numerous kicks around the ground to be an effective player for the Rhinos. Disco Panek was playing well down back and Jeremy Morgan was much better also and the two of them, together with big games from John Scher, Kansas Hattery and Glenn Clarke in defence went along way to the Rhinos continuing to keep the Tigers at bay until Crackers got a jump on Disco. His mark and goal put the Tigers up before Forte produced play of the game. Marking across half back he went in board to Aussie Mike who played on and hit Borchardt with a lovely pass. Forte continued running down the wing and was rewarded with the handball from Borchardt and from 30 odd out banged home number 2 for the Rhinos and send them into the main break 2.2: 14 to 1.6: 12.
The third quarter was all Rhinos as they looked to put the game away as the Tiger defense became stretched to the point of breaking. A busy Todd McClamroch was able to kick his first and then seconds later Drake was able snap truly in traffic bringing up the Rhinos fourth. Ambrosino found himself unmarked and after taking the mark went bang and kicked the Rhino out to its biggest lead of the game as they threatened to break the game open. But to the Tigers credit, they refused to give up as their centermen continued to win the ball with Oscar, Joe and Roroy particularly busy. Frenchie started getting some of it and more importantly for the Tigers, big guns Hoyt and Uhlmann started to get a few kicks. When Brian Hoyt was awarded a free kick late in the third, he kicked a ripper of a goal to give the Tigers a look in at the orange break, trailing the Rhinos 5.5: 35 to 2.6: 18.
The Rhinos started strongly again but weren’t able to put the game away despite kicking the first through Drew Ehlers who caught an embarassed BJ Gambaro red handed in the goal square.Ehlers goaled and Gambaro won the golden goose for his efforts that saw Mustard in the awkward position of not knowing whether to point and laugh or kick him. Another free kick to the Tigerman in Fish Dhoory brought up the Tigers third as the game finally got interesting. Hoyt ran into an open goal to bring the Tigers even closer as the Rhinos started to show cracks as they tired. Joe, Crabs and Rory continued to dominate through the center and if not for some classic defending by the likes of Forte, Disco, Dorsett, Deeham (another sensational game by the way and impressive bruise to go with it) and the birthday boy in Scher, this could have been a different result. As it was, the tigers kept attacking with Hoyt continuing to look dangerous as well as Grisoni, the brothers Dhoory and Oscar who were all getting plenty of it. When Rory goaled to get the Tigers within a kick the Rhinos finally started to win possession again and were able to run the game out, finally winning by a solitary kick.
|Goals||Rhinos: McClamroch, Forte, Ehlers, Drake, Borchardt, Ambrosino
Tigers: Hoyt B (2), Brennan, Rory, Doorhy J
|Best||Rhinos: McClamroch, Forte, Clarke, Deehan, Scher
Tigers: Hoyt B, Rory, Trimberger, Doorhy V, De Jong
BJ Gambaro for playing on while on the goal line and being caught by the devastating speed that is Drew Ehlers. Runner up was Warrick Burgmann for his inglorious effort of guaranteeing attendance but golden goose rules insist one must be in attendance at the globe to receive the award and despite him saying he’d be there (“there’s beer there mate”) we knew better.