Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

Match Report: Cambodia Vs Vietnam, 3 March 2012

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 6, 2012

Nat Payne tells us what happened on the weekend. Photo Joe Garrison.

Not only  is Nat Payne one of the Swannies most decorated players with gongs such as “All Asia” and “Shionboner of the Century”, he’s also widely regarded as one of the most astute obeservers of the game in Asia.

Below Nat reports on the weekend’s match between Cambodia and Vietnam.

After a year and a half in the making, the Vietnam Swans finally made their way back across the border to face the Cambodian Eagles in a battle to retain the Mekong Cup. Saturday saw the long awaited rematch of two of Indochina’s biggest rivals and like many of their past encounters, the game was to end in controversy and intrigue with many of the players left wondering ‘if only’.

The Saigon traffic on Friday evening was kind to the Swans’ team bus which made its way smoothly to the border and it appeared likely that the team would arrive safely in Phnom Penh well before midnight. It was such an easy trip that Vietnam President, Phil Johns was even overheard saying that he was going to text his mate Hirdy and tell him that he should ditch the plane, to ‘Wang’ and load the Bombers onto a bus. Unfortunately for Hirdy, Phil’s phone ran out of credit and the Bombers missed their chance to travel like the Swannies do.

Speaking of missed chances, and we will get to our goal kicking later, it appeared that Heath Ellis (Heater) had missed his, arriving at border control minus his residence card. So concerned were Shannon Leahy and Ryan ‘Revo’ Evans that they ran off to the nearest casino to try to win some cash and pay Heater’s way through.  It was all too late and the Swans were a man down before even leaving the country.  Luckily they had Gus (McEwin) up their sleeve as a replacement.

Saturday: Heater, determined not to be beaten, reappeared at the team’s hotel after catching the 6am bus from ‘The Pham’ (Backpackerville in Saigon).  His return and the inclusion of Greg “Stanno” Stanton and the eventual return of Billy Cranger (back from his humanitarian tour, providing new helmets for Cambodian tuc tuc drivers) meant the Swans were set with a full squad.  Not content with a full squad, the Swans still managed to leave Kurt behind on the way to the ground…

The first quarter of the game was tight. The Swans gained the upper hand through the midfield work of Luke ‘Rainbow Shorts’ Creamer, Revo, Dave ‘Binh Doung President’ O’Shea (“Whatcha bin duong, Dave?”) and New Josh. Hanoi’s rep, Dave Divniy and new recruit, Craig “Hewy” Hewson, were also getting their hands on the pill.  The Swans were getting numbers around the ball (no wonder) and getting the ball forward and giving New Timmay Clements, MJ, Fabbo and Nick Moger opportunities.

By half time, Vietnam led Cambodia comfortably and appeared to be on their way to retaining their perfect record against their rivals. However that was where the game was to take a change in direction.  After playing for two and a half quarters with uneven numbers, a head count was called where it was determined that Vietnam had a couple of extra players on the field (Ed’s Note: due to an internal miscommunication issue within the Swannies camp, the coaching panel believed it was 18 players per team when in fact the Eagles had communicated a week earlier to the Swannies’ National President that it would be 16 per side).

And so the gong show continued.  Expertly handled by coach Scott Turner, Umpire Shagger, and both national presidents, it was decided that the scores would be wiped and the game would start again; 2x 15min halves.

Cambodia jumped Vietnam early, making the most of the slight breeze and the most of their chances. The Swans battled hard, but it now seemed that the Eagles were playing with extra men, eventually prevailing by 18 points.

More confusion at the medal presentation when Cambodia mistakenly gave best on ground to Dukesy (Rainbow Pants) instead of Fabbo. Stiffed again. No confusion with the presentation of the “Butter up Bloods” Rick Trewavas Medal to MJ who was voted by Vietnam as the Swans’ player who just kept getting up all day to have another crack at the footy.

A wake up call for the Vietnam Swans which was best summed up by club stalwart Gus when he reflected on the days play and summarised it with this… “We played good and then we played bad.”

Final Score: Cambodian Eagles 4. 6. 30 def Vietnam Swans 1. 6. 12

Special thanks

Special thanks to Joe Garrison for the photographs reproduced here. The rest of his photos of this match can be seen by .

2 Responses to “Match Report: Cambodia Vs Vietnam, 3 March 2012”

  1. mj said

    and special thanks (choke choke) to the umpires. Shags and the other guy did a great job preventing anyone from wanting to hit them for the full 5 quarters.

  2. Willy said

    let’s see.. major stuff up with numbers of blokes on the field.. Gusometer has obviously put himself on the field when the coach has called him off, Shags is umpir’n and spending more time look’n at the hot Cambodge girls & to top it off MJ is play’n nine different positions simultaneously and add’n more confusion then the number of sim cards he has when in Thailand. yep, no wonder Swannies played with 27 guys & Cambodge had 8..

    Go you Swannies!!

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