DAFL Round 4: PMFC Maulers Vs Copenhagen Giants
Starting line up
A rough nights sleep was had Friday, knowing we were going up against last years premiers, without our most underrated player Stretch, our reliable ruckman. Either way it was exciting knowing it was going to give other blokes a chance to step up. Not only was that on our mind but with some suggesting that the DAFL has reported our co-vice captain to the Swedish government, and he needs to pack his bags in July making this his likely last game for the Maulers this year. There was certainly motivation flowing from all pours of the players (not just Ross‘).
A huge shout out to ultimate team man Freddie for having a run with the Giants, as well as the risky decision to put our most aggressive tackler, Simon, on the Giants team risking potential injury for all Mauler players.
The first quarter at Mauler Park was the dream start for what has been a slow starting team with the clearance to space and Big Bad Ben taking the mark out in front and slotting a goal to give the Maulers a six point lead from the start. I think there was a collective moment of realisation that we have missed Bens leading and conversion ability the last few matches. The quarter continued with goals to our other injured forward Brodie who put his kicking boots on and was slotting them from everywhere. It was great to see the Maulers take advantage of a slight breeze with the team kicking ahead early. That being said the wind had nothing to do with the way the midfielders attacked the ball and the body with last years Best and Fairest winner Paul Barron laying tackle after tackle and Chris and Coops following suit. Tim was his usual clean and classy self and Justin (who despite being smaller in stature has a gait equal to that of Stretch) and Nauris did an excellent job in the ruck filling in for our absent big man.
We knew the second quarter was going to be much different from the first with the premiers responding and making sure that they used the breeze. A quick goal for the Maulers made sure they didn’t get a run on or build any confidence and the hard running from the boys paid off. Kicking two goals against the wind and keeping the Giants to two goals showed the effort of the team. While it wasn’t the greatest quarter from the boys however and a huge reason more goals weren’t kicked was due to tremendous defence from el capitan Ross, with Donny and the hardest man to score on in DAFL, the French Resistance Gates! The three of these blokes played the entire game and worked like a three headed monster. All knowing what the other was doing, and picking their spots of when to run forward. I have no doubt it’s easier for Ben to score at Fagans than it is for opposing teams to score on these guys! The highlight of the quarter had to be Tim’s run down tackle from 20m behind right in front of the bench. It was a perfect exclamation point to a resounding half of football.
The third quarter is called the premiership quarter for a reason. Boy oh boy if there was ever a quarter for the boys to look back on than this is the one! An all round team effort particularly from the bench players coming on and stepping up, meant there was never a weak link on the field and the pressure was consistent. Freddie showed that he loves goals no matter what team he is on, picking up half of the goals for the quarter for the Giants sneaking out the back of the pack to score against his real team. A fine will surely follow. The highlight of the quarter and for the match was Latvia’s favourite son Chuck Nauris who kicked his first goal of the year. It’s hard to describe the goal with Chuck gathering on the 50, finding space, taking a bounce, and under pressure, kicking truely! The jump and elation showed just how much this means to him and it was an absolute delight to see. Footy is about these moments. Chuck is one of the hardest trainers on the team and is a sponge of taking in information for anyone willing to share. No one deserved this moment more than the big fella! Apart from Nauris’s goal the running from the back half and Ben and Brodie keeping as consistent targets up forward were the highlights of a dominant quarter. The Maulers piled on 7 goals in this game breaking quarter.
The final quarter was about complacency, continuing to do the small things, and making sure we sent Coops off in the right fashion. Everyone got this memo except the umpire who had different ideas. In an exact replica of Tim in the 2nd quarter Coops ran down the same player in the same spot in front of the bench, for the exact same result… at first. In an unprecedented move the umpire changed his decision from holding the ball to a ball up. One that resulted in our co-vice captain nearly throwing the toys out the pram! He was able to regain composure eventually and the game continued in much the same fashion. Måns kicked a beauty over his shoulder and the Maulers kept the foot down on the pedal. There was lighting starting in the distance making few metal headed blokes nervous but the real storm was the raining of goals being put on by the Maulers. The boys didn’t lay off and showed that they are the thunder of the league.
While the Giants weren’t at full strength there was still a lot to be taken from the game. Justin proved himself to be a quality ruckman for the Maulers, the Killer B’s up forwards showed that you are going to need quality defenders to stop them making honey, with the pair booting 13 goals between them.
Coops had a cracker in his last game and was well supported by the Bermuda triangle of a defence where opposition forwards disappear like ships.
It was a great win and an excellent feeling to go into the break. Now to keep/get fit over the next few months so the boys hit the second half of the year better than the first!
Port Malmö Maulers: 119
Copenhagen Giants: 54
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