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ROUGE ET NOIR–LES NOIRS FORMIDABLES

21-Jun-2021

After two years’ enforced confinement, Guy Gorilla emerged from his pen at the Melbourne Zoo in search of a new life. He headed east on Saturday, towards North Carlton, to catch up with some associates at the Kent. He wandered through his old stomping ground, Melbourne Uni, reliving glory days. Past the oval, and there they were, his beloved Roys, in battle against the Blacks. Playing before no one except a game of hockey, a few tennis players, and the odd, odd person. He wondered where everyone was. Nevertheless, he sent me his account of the game.

'We matched up well against the Blacks, tall, and on the back of a come-from-behind victory against Mentone a few weeks back. We had some good 'ins'. Captain Jack Hart won the toss, we kicked to the Swanston Street end.

We were immediately under siege despite Darcy Bennett winning every tap. It took until the 8-minute mark for the Blacks to kick their first despite the ball being a constant in their front half. Their method was much better than ours, spanning out and clearing the ball from our forward line effortlessly. And they had a physical want, 'grunt' it's called. Our only goal for the first was from Jack McKay in the goal square. 34–7 at the break, and it could have been worse. Our backs were under constant bombardment.

The trend continued in the second. Harrison Grace was putting in earnestly, as was his partner-in-study Donovan Toohey. Bill Clayton went forward and kicked one after good work by youngster Ben Levens. Darcy Lowrie and Nathan Ligris were defending stoutly but we were overwhelmed. The bells tolled '3' from The Ormond College tower, ominously just before half time, and 60–13 was not good. I can't tell you what the coach did or said at half time in the sheds.

We competed vigorously at the start of the third. After 8 minutes of to and fro, Big Bill kicked the first of the quarter after a chain of handballs. Some method at last. Good work by the acting skipper got it to Big Bill for his third, a move that had worked. Jock Green was giving his all in defence, getting those long arms in the way. The Clayton twins combined for Bill's fourth, and he had become a great focal point. However, it was still 72–32 at the final break, and the Blacks had been inaccurate, thankfully.

Less said about the last, the better. They seemed keen to atone for a lazy third, and ran all over the Royboys. Goals came regularly, some earnt, some not. Some uni groundsman had opened the floodgates on Royal Parade. Bill kicked his fifth, and brother Ted a late one. Stark contrast for Donovan Toohey and his teammates ten minutes before the siren. Three weeks ago it was unbridled joy after the siren, this week he took a ten count after a big, but fair, hit.

Footy will do that to you, you've got to roll with the punches, and get off the canvas for the next round. Haileybury at home next Saturday. A better effort required.

Guy Gorilla.


 

Photo: Phyllis Quealy

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