Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Le Rouge et noir, how bizarre


The challenge for the Rouge et Noir Cup, a contest against the formidable Uni Blacks, loomed again in Round 5, following the bye. It’s been one-way traffic in recent years, all favouring the Blacks. Truth be known, in this correspondent’s opinion, the Blacks should be up a level. Fitzroy had some significant ‘outs’: Hudson-Bevege, McKay and Toohey all missing through injury or covid fatigue. Butler, Megennis and Wilson coming in. 

The loss of the tall ruckman McKay was especially significant, meaning Bill Clayton had to ruck for most of the game rather than have his imposing presence threatening from the goal square. There was a huge ‘change in the weather’, to quote the great John Fogerty. A balmy 24 on Anzac Day, winter and 15 on Kevin Murray Stand unveiling day.

Our first quarter was unfortunately mistake ridden, handing out goals on a platter. It was 4 goals to zip at the 8-minute mark. Charlie Hogg snapped our first on his left, which meant I won the first goal money from the luncheon, a victory for the poor and underprivileged. 

I digress. Poor disposal was the Roy’s biggest problem, frequently the error coming at the end of a good passage of play. Kyroussis and Ligris were prominent in the first session. Ramshaw was again a shining light. 25–7 at the first break.

Coach Mahoney implored improvement in execution and asked for our taller forwards to bring the ball to the ground if they couldn’t mark. Early in the second one of those things occurred that even the best of us can’t explain. Bizarre, it led to their fifth. Enough said. A smart kick by Ted Clayton, combining with Minahan, got it to the goal square for Hart to goal. The Roys were competing beyond expectation, but not getting just reward. 5–2 to 2–5 summed it up.

Professor Borland got on the lead and kicked truly, and at the long break it was 32–23. We could have led. At the start of the second half, you could sense new purpose from the Blacks. They kicked the first because there was no one on the goal line, but then a Maradona-like pass from George Pyers got it to Tom Wilson who flicked it in the back of the net.

Relentless only goes part way to describe Chris Doherty’s attack on the ball and pursuit of the opposition. So good in the back pocket, maybe worth a try elsewhere.

He takes down ruckman like they’re Tom Thumb. They kicked another, and it was 54–28 their way at the final change.

The coach resorted to that soft, soft voice that only players can hear. I edged in closer, and wished I was stripped and ready to go. He was positive to the core, and called for low, direct kicks rather than high bombs. The Roys’ biggest obstacle was the opposition’s tall timber. A luxury the boys from BSO didn’t have. Inspired by the Jackjumpers’ coach, Mahoney proclaimed: “Defend the Kevin Murray Stand.” I left the huddle to climb to the second row. Defending.

Sexy Ridge Lowrie was inspirational again, winning a 1 against 4, defending the Alamo, then carrying it 60 yards like one of 300 Spartans. Ted Clayton was toiling assiduously, Hogg up and down like a punch drunk prize fighter, taking the points however.

In the end, it was the effort that killed us, we couldn’t score, and they snuck away in junk time. A shame, no shame on the home side, but a shame nonetheless. 75–30,

Blacks lowest score for the year, probably ours as well. A big game at Mentone next week against St Bedes. They all are when you’re 1 and 4.

Guy Gorilla

Get our Newsletter

Are you a Member?