Another beautiful Danish summer day at the Cudas' pond; birds chirping in the trees and the waft of newly cut, albeit dry grass faint on the breeze. It was a jolly Cudas outfit - sporting fresh tans and the tell-tale signs of a few too many beers and lazy days in the sun - that turned up to show the Cats why they were sitting pretty on top of the DAFL ladder. This was to be the first game back after a 3-month break and it soon became evident from the warmup that some of the boys had not been sticking to the strict ‘Cudas Strength Training for High-Performance-Sport Program’ over the summer.
The Cats came out of the bag firing, scoring the first goal in about 15 seconds; proving that the Cudas were up against it if they were to continue their winning streak from before the summer. The Cudas midfield had their work cut out as the lack of a ruck really showed with Farum and Danish Vikings ruckman Jacob ‘OG’ feeding the kitties tap after tap. Kane ‘DILF’ Perkins showed the Cats players why people call him Daddy with the ferocity in the centre that the competition has now come to expect from him. Emil ‘Sober when it suits’ Thanning also put forward one of his best performances and was seemingly everywhere around the ground. But the cats were able to get the ball out of the centre too often, create space around the ground and come away with a healthy lead at the first break.
Coach Day gathered the lads at quarter time and showed the boys how he earned the nickname ‘the bbq’ as he began to grill the fish. Putting his money where his mouth is and taking the game into his own hands in the second quarter, he proceeded to take at least 68 marks around the ground and kick goals to help save the Cudas from utter embarrassment.
Motivated by the grilling, the fish started to show some fight. Rasmus ‘coffee bean’ Ditlev did his best to prove he is more than just hot bean-water and tackled the same way he likes his coffee, strong. Mark ‘The human meat tenderizer’ Bormanis threw his body everywhere and played hard as nails until his body remembered it wasn’t 15 anymore and his knee busted. This is where the summer conditioning started to take its toll and the boys really began to unravel. Jack ‘I can’t breathe' Siebert got hit so hard in the ribs he couldn’t go more than one sprint without going to all fours and gasping for air. He valiantly refused to let it stop him and continued to somehow power through the pain/lack of oxygen. Jason ‘the Messiah’ Nunn, was similarly taken out of action with a corked thigh early in the quarter and proceeded to hobble through the remainder of the game. Despite a hard effort by the fish, the cats ran into the main break with a sizeable 6-goal lead.
Farum showed no sign of slowing, booting 6 goals to 1 in the proverbial ‘premiership quarter'. The walking wounded Cudas could just not keep up with the pace.
With the boys dropping like flies around the ground it was time for one man to rise and rise he did. Christian ‘The chosen one’ Poulsen, playing only his third match, gave the Cats something to fear for the future. Poulsen played a brilliant hard brand of footy, especially in the final term and did not stop running until the last blow of the whistle. Inspired by this, Tom ‘I’m on holiday’ Wilkinson stepped up and started delivering the ball with elite precision to the forwards, who by this stage of the game, were chomping at the bit to get some clean ball. Wasting no time Fraser ‘it’s been a while' Lane and Coach Day started firing the ball through big sticks to ease the pain and reduce the losing margin to a somewhat less embarrassing 10 goals.
As always, a big shout out to Eddie and Aaron for umpiring with swift and careful justice, to Beardy for somehow managing to both run water and take some quality snaps, and to Sinead and James for keeping the troops fed with their skillz on the grillz.
The Cats managed to come away with the berries this week but, with the Cudas regrouping and with a game under the belt, the rematch for a Home Grand Fianl this coming week will be bigger than the Superbowl.
Barracudas 12 . 6 - 78
Cats 22 . 2 - 134
Cudas Best: Brett, Christian, Tom W, Emil