Damo files this report on the Bushfire Match between the Vietnam Swans and Bali Geckos held in Saigon on 28 March 2009.
Saturday, 28th March 2:00 pm, marked the much awaited season opener for 2009. RMIT University was proud to have real Aussie Rules goal posts marking the grounds for a change.
The match was between the Vietnam Swans and the Bali Geckos. It formed part of the Black Saturday Bushfire Fundraiser and Tribute to the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football Netball League and fire-affected communities.
The Swans looked great having ditched last year’s tight little “porn star” shorts to the obvious disappointment of some fans. For the first time, the field was missing a few iconic faces of the Swans including the revered “Supercoach Scotty Stacey”. The “Silver Fox”, Phil Johns, brought his spirit and his voice-box but not his boots so, alas, there was no repeat of the famed “soccer goal” from the pocket. We had a new captain, the awesome “Monkeeee” who found space enough to add another BOG award to his trophy cabinet.
The whistle blew, the ball was bounced and Drew and the centres quickly converted. Perhaps we had an advantage due to the reflection in the eyes of the Bali team caused by Drew’s new fluorescent green boots and the blazing, bright sun. This kept up, helped by the unstoppable marking powers of… “Jarrod”… who really deserves a cool nick name.
The initial dominance of the Swans really took the Geckos boys by surprise. They were chasing us until we lapsed just before half time when we allowed the visitors to boot 4 unanswered goals in the last minutes of play.
At half time, the only person who didn’t have his head in the ice bucket, cooling his radiator, was the Veteran, “Gus”. Gus, who has recently completed ½ marathons and jungle endurance races, was complaining that his opponent in defence “hadn’t moved all day”. In response, Gus was taken off the very tall, skinny “white guy” that to the rest of us looked a lot like a goal post and put on the Monster full forward who made him earn his dinner.
The Fashion on the Field award goes, with thanks, to whoever forgot to bring the kit jerseys (Ed’s note: we don’t like to start rumours, but do the initials “Danny Armstrong” mean anything to anyone??). With bench players exchanging sweaty tops with those coming off the field, the one-size-fits-all approach left some of the bigger guys making plays in skin tight “boob tubes” (Ed’s note: all good. Sex sells and with no more “porn star” shorts, something constructive needed to be done…).
We had a shiny new scoreboard built by the hardworking folk at but, unfortunately, at the end of the day, the bigger numbers were on the wrong side of the board. Even with Willy’s dodgy hammy making it through the entire game and the “energizer bunny”, Chris, who just never stopped running all day, it still wasn’t enough.
As a consolation, we seem to have broken the spell of 2008 by having our goals/behinds ratio in the right order. We can now call our forwards, “goal kicking forwards”. With a little more accuracy training, those last couple of close shaves could have passed on the right side of the post. There is, as always, a “next time”.
Make sure you check out some of the awesome pics taken by and Bill Crang. Lots of photos to be seen at the . And don’t just look at the foreground but give attention to our supportive sponsors you can see in the banners.
Special thanks to Field Umpire Greg Armstrong and the boundary and goal umpires – including goal umpire, Fleur, whose Decision is Final!!
Next up, the Anzac Day match against the Thailand Tigers on 25 April in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.