Last Friday the Rhinos squared off against the Piranhas on an overcast and chilly Chicago spring day. The 45 degree temperature and wind blowing off the lake kept away some numbers at first but by game time both teams were stacked and ready to roll. From the initial bounce the Piranhas struck early and often with great work from the ruckman Tommy “freight train” Shearman and their on ballers Stu ”Make the Swans Great Again” Nicol and Trent “Agent” Smith. Smith and Nicol were pumping the ball into the forward line to Tommy “Catch Me if You Can” Crameri who slotted his first of many goals on the day. The Rhinos struck back late in the quarter when Levi “I need to get a mouthguard” Arnett was given a free kick after getting his lip spilt open. With a mouthful of blood Arnett got a goal to give the Rhinos some hope moving forward. At the end of quarter 1 the score was 5.2.32 to 2.1.13 in favor of the Piranhas.
The second quarter was evenly matched as both teams started to move the ball well up and down the field. The Rhinos were getting more run out of their midfield and Pedro “I brought Budweiser” Jimenez and Jayson “Come on Hoyt you missed that call” Schmelzer were getting tons of the ball. Both teams slotted 3 goals to keep the Piranhas with a comfortable lead going into the second half. At halftime the scoreboard read 8.5.53 to 5.2.32
The third quarter saw a major momentum shift as the Rhinos backline led by Tim “Prodigal Son” Herrmann put the Piranhas under constant pressure causing their kicks to go askew. While at the same time Vivek “Shaking off the cobwebs” Ramjee and Matt “Chicago weather sucks compared to Nashville” Filchak were moving the ball into the Rhinos forward line at a steady clip. The only thing that kept the hemorrhaging from getting out of hand was the fantastic backline play of the Piranhas Steve “I didn’t tell my girlfriend I’m in town” Stavropoulos. At the end of quarter 3 the score was 9.10.64 to 8.4.52
To start the fourth quarter the Rhinos used a desperate move and moved Nathan “Birdy” Bird into the ruck. The move seemed to pay off as the Rhinos were getting a lot of the ball in the middle but unable to convert that success into goals. The Piranhas were able to get the ball moving forward midway through the quarter with Ty “I haven’t told anyone my last name” Lavery and Amy “I can’t believe Stu is my roommate” McGuiness slotted a couple more goals to give the Piranhas what looked like a comfortable win. But in the waning moments the Rhinos mounted one last attack with Arnett getting another goal and Birdy adding one of his own after some stellar work from Clement “Is he French or Irish” Chiesa. But in the end the Rhinos ran out of time as the Piranhas took this game from wire to wire with the finally tally being 12.12.84 to 12.5.77 in favor of the Piranhas.
Best: Crameri, Schmelzer, Filchak, Arnett, Shearman