Talk about more moving parts than at a Roman orgy, or if you’re reading this at work, more moving parts than a cheap hooker…sorry, watch. Last Saturday’s carnival had three coaches (A, B and…F) , our pre-named ACT teams, three-quarters of a NSW crew, a full if gradually dwindling defence sett. Countering all this colour and movement, the wan après-cards-night barman slumped behind the jump.
Coach F breezed in, said g’day and left. Coach A made do with hastily scribbled rosters of names and instructions—some players up for anything, others available to play only in that left forward pocket just so long as the grass was mainly couch (no Kikuyu thanks) and only between now and then, this and that, what and whatever…
Still, needs must when the devil drives, and by mostly random processes two teams were cobbled together and they duly won the first two contests. Comfortably against the NSW combine and, with a bit more effort, the marmosets or whatever cute mascot the staff college have appropriated (Honey Badgers?). Best were tireless, leather sick Stainer (ACT’s player of the carny, part 1), the ever-moving Daisy (makes him sound like a weed, but he was not at all noxious), Chief in the ruck or up front with Ox; Adam, Wadey, and Macca in the mids; Bowie, Shorty (yes) and Yappa (yes, yes, maybe, not really sure) down back, and many others that I’ve obviously forgotten. I’ll always remember, for a little while anyways, Dicko’s demonstration of the deep nullity inherent in all human endeavour. Defending a long kick to the goal line, he punched the pill from the claws of a far bigger opponent safely over the line, raced back to kick it out and promptly slotted an open beaver (sfw?) about 20 metres out. A seven point play…in reverse. One of those fussy, pedantic percentage minded players may have just conceded the goal in the first place, but…
Anyways, exit coach A, enter coach B (B++, really) aka Cav with plans, ideas, notions and expectations. (Push up, make and defend space, isolate the deep forward, run till you can’t and then get off: don’t know, sounds a bit newfangled.) But despite some worried, if not entirely blank, glances, rosters 3 and 4 done good too, winning both games in even better style. Best were the forwards and mids (the ball hardly ever got past half-back), with power packed Mick O running/galloping/sprinting amok, although not a few 50-metre bombs for goal needed some recalibration; Tony, Adam and Stik (ACT poc, part 2) reefing it out of the guts to the rampant talls, Cav, Ox, Taimus and Tony drifting down. Sammy got a multitude of kicks, many at goals, but the best was the one that left a trench in the couch around that left forward flank. ACT works are still there filling it in.
Many thanks to the Defence and NSW lads for playing the games in great spirit, umps Crusty, BG and others, water crew Col and Ash, caterers Billy, Deb, Roz and Mick (bevs), debt collector Bish, assembly crew Macca, Blue esp, and everyone else I’ve forgotten.
Lastly, please check that you’ve not got a club jumper, the new blue and gold ones, mouldering away in your kit bag. I did, and by my count we’re missing a couple.
*Merriam-Webster dictionary defines carnival as an instance of riotous excess