Captain Monkey at his last match for the Swannies (as a resident)
Captain Monkey provides his Match Report for last weekend’s match against Hong Kong. The match was also his last as, together with JD and Jerry, he will leave Vietnam in the next couple of weeks.
Playing the Mighty Dragons in their own lair was always going to be a challenge but the Swans touring party was pumped full of enthusiasm and confident we would farewell the 3 leaving Swans in style.
Coach Josh had the team in order and it was a fine blend of experienced campaigners and youthful first gamers all committed to the cause. Angry was the only injury concern with his broken hand but in true Swan Spirit he said…”It’s ok coach, I’ve got another one”.
Warm up – its always a fine line for the finely tuned Swans between warming up and overheating but today the boys were on and after some spine tingling, tear jerking inspirational speeches the Game was underway.
JD in the ruck got his first of 204 Tap outs for the day and the Swans swung their game plan into action… Kick it to Mark! Unfortunately there was a 8 goal breeze in the first quarter and the Honkers boys were making the most of it. The Swans defence was under siege but Matt the Glove, Sam at CHB and Nicko continually swept the ball out of trouble. MJ slips that helmet on and automatically becomes some sort of battering ram and he wasn’t alone with Stewie and co tackling like demons possessed.
I’m not Blowin’ his Horn but Big Kev was sensational, busting packs, directing traffic, picking up kicks at will and all under serious duress from over indulgence the night before! While the quarter was a dogged one of defence the photographers had one reason to go snap happy and that was the gravity defying leap of the Birdman! His leap started at half back, took him to the head of a Honker on the wing – before crashing back to earth to the gasps of the crowd and whistle of the ump as he unfortunately didn’t touch the ball. Nonetheless, the Birdman had taken flight and the wind was ours in the next quarter.
Coach Pud had even managed it onto the field and was happy with what he was seeing, there were even 1%’s on display. Keep the rotations happening and keep our legs fresh, we were going to need it against the 35 man strong bench of the Dragons in the second half.
JD warms up prior to the game with the Hong Kong skyline making a spectacular backdrop
The second quarter started like the first…JD winning the Tap and from there he won everything else. Spectacular grabs, kicks, goals you name it, he was in it and if he wasn’t in it it was his twin, Mark!
The Vung Tau contingent led by Sam started to impose themselves. Sam was getting leather poisoning and also Dragon poisoning as he valiantly tried to shut down their engine room. Timmmmmmy was also making his presence felt. Actually I don’t think there’s been a bigger debutante with such a presence since ‘Colin’and his infamous Cambodian x-ray machine crossing. Timmmmmmy was in everything!
The backline were working like clockwork and enjoyed having the wind at their backs. One-handed Hadley was roosting the ball the length of the ground while President Dez was like a Filipina, literally everywhere. He was Mr Fixit, Mr Plugit, Mr Natural doing anything to help the Swans as usual.
I can’t remember who kicked our goals but we got a few. It was most likely Mark and most likely from about 50m but the team as a whole contributed and this game was on.
The second half seemed pretty much the same as the first…. Mark and Jarrod dominated again but there were some great cameo performances by Lethal Lee the Rugby man with some great runs and Gus deftly picking out players at will on his trusty left foot. Sam ‘Forrest’ Conroy was given the tagging role on one of the Honkers Guns and he did so well he was purchased a beer later that evening. Hang on, there might have been more to that story but I guess the moral of it is – you don’t want to be tagged by Forest!
Jerry Jerry Jerry had the Honkers boys and sometimes himself baffled with his American Goose Step and ability to slip through packs unnoticed, kind of like a spy. Stewie and the Vung Tau boys got better and better as the game went on and have a big future with the Swans.
As the fog started to lift from Kev’s head he also lifted off the ground and took a screamer right in front of the Coaching committee. Unfortunately, it wasn’t paid but in Swannie terms it was close enough!
The final quarter was a battle. JD slammed through a beauty and celebrated accordingly with a double fist pump and salute and Mark-Goal continued on his way but, as our legs ran out, it became a battle for a spot on the bench!
Fabulous Phil had been making his searching leads from the goal square all day snaring a couple I think and for the sake of this quality journalism they were Bruce McAvaney Specials! In a last minute attempt, he was thrown into the middle but by the time he got there, and boy was he elusive in getting there, the siren sounded and the Swans had gone down in a very competitive close fought match… according to our scoreboard anyway!
Big Mark and JD simply dominated the day and with some awesome support from absolutely everyone who took the field the Hong Kong Dragons knew they’d played a match.
Congratulations to all that organised and toured and I know Jerry, JD and myself had a ball and have enjoyed the Vietnam Swans experience in general for the last couple of years so we thank all who we’ve crossed paths with.
Keep up the great work from Fabbo down, get everyone involved, have fun and I’m already looking forward to a Gus Comeback as soon as possible.
Ex Captain Monkey