Asian Champs Match Report: Game No. 3. Swannies Vs Philippine Eagles
Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 22, 2012
Damo Judd reviews the Swannies third match at the 2012 Asian Champs which was against the debutants, the Philippine Eagles.
Could we bounce back after a loss to Thailand in the second?
After a big win against Singapore and an unexpected loss to Thailand, this game was critical to stay in the run for the finals.
The Swans had to regroup in formation and stick to what we do best. We were facing an unknown opponent as we had never played the Philippine Eagles at a Champs.
The sea breeze was picking up and, with their wingspans, we all know eagles can soar, so, the instructions were to keep kicks low and short.
Our man mountain, Edo, had decided to nurse his cheek at the hospital (fractured cheek bone) so it was all up to Jason MacDonald and Billy Crang to fly in the ruck. Another notable inclusion into the team was Rowan Luke, our Treasurer, who was diving in for his first international with the Swannies.
Swans might not be the toughest sounding bird on paper but if you have ever seen a flock of tightly packed angry swans in action after the same piece of bread, well, that’s exactly what our midfield looked like from the boundary line as the ball came down. They devoured the ball and all you could see was a mass of red, black and white pushing forward. In the break, the massage girls must have realigned the laser sights of the forwards as goals rained from the whole team which was in stark contrast to the previous match.
Just as the backs started admiring the impeccable grass of the Polo Club and began discussing plans for an on-ground picnic, some elliptical bombs came in their direction. The Eagles had found a hole and were using it well.
Unlike the midfield pack, the backline was more individual “Swan Vs Eagle” contests and, generally, we were at a distinct height/size disadvantage. Players like Kiwi Kurt were staring at the bellies of their Eagle counterparts. Our tight defenses lived up to our reputation; let nothing through and clean up quickly and, in the process, clipping the wings of the Eagles and grabbing some impressive marks right from their talons.
The Final Score was a convincing 2. 2. (45) to the Swans against the Philippines’ 0. 2. (2) which put us back up the ladder.
Three games down, tanks getting low and our toughest matches yet to come. Stay tuned to the Swannies’ website for our last match review: the semi final against the Hong Kong Dragons.