Osaka Dingoes v Tokyo Goannas, April 23, 2011

By Paul Wenske

Osaka Dingoes11.14:80 - Tokyo Goannas 7.5:47
Goals: G.Tanaka 3, P.Wenske 3, T.Yuta 2, R.Aoyama 2, J.Cooper 1
BOG: S.Schwarz

On Saturday, the Dingoes kicked off their season under lights with a resounding 33 point win against the Tokyo Goannas. The game was played in winter like conditions, but luckily the rain held off and a fast flowing game prevailed. The game was played with an excellent intensity and the Dingoes boys kept their heads up all throughout the game.

The first quarter saw the Dingoes kick three goals to the Goannas one. At this point we could see some of the run that we had lacked in our preseason game. In the challenge match, we had size and not a lot of speed, but in this game the opposite was the case and would aid us on the artificial turf. One of the goals in the quarter saw the ball come to Wenske from the center and using a volleyball like set, the ball fell into the path of the running Aoyama who finished truly from 20 meters out. Solid work out of the center and from the back line limited the chances for the Goannas, as well as having the wind aided our cause.

The second quarter saw the Goannas make use of their experience and size to score 3 goals to our one. If it wasn’t for some of their misses we would have been behind at the half instead we held on to a 3-point lead. At this point we were still looking fresh and confident, though we knew we had a game on our hands.

At the half time huddle some spirited words from various members rekindled the first quarter attitude and our on ball dominance started to show. Tsusumi was brilliant out of the square on several occasions, tackling and chasing all loose balls to give us a lot of drive out of the middle. With a best on ground performance Sam was in everything, taking mark upon mark and blocking up the midfield so as to ease the threats coming from the Goannas. With increasing amounts of balls coming into the forward lines, the Dingoes were able to pile on several goals and could have easily had many more. Heavy tackling from Yuki, Jonathan and Tsusumi saw a few of the Goannas worse for wear but that didn’t stop them from scoring against the wind to keep it close going into the final quarter.

At the final huddle we knew the game was there to be won and a great attitude and plenty of talk saw the boys continue where they left off. Great speed on the wings and solid marking and hard attack on every ball in defense made it hard for the Goannas to make any dent into the 4 goal lead at the start of the quarter. The lead stretched out to 33 points in the end, giving the Dingoes a solid start to season 2011.

Genki, was the major goal scorer kicking 4, Wenske kicked 3, Aoyama and Tsusumi had 2, and the big man Johno got 1. Sam Schwarz managed 0.5

Overall the whole team really showed the progress that has been made over the past year with the newer players really adding more run and agility to our side. Plenty of talk and encouragement also seemed present, lets hope this is the theme for the rest of the season.

After the game a great attitude was present. With Easter weekend and Anzac day going on back in Australia it was great to share a beer with everyone. The Goanna boys are never far from a beer and are always up for a yarn. Hats off to them for coming down to Kansai to kick off the season as we all know the eastern part of Japan has had it tough. No doubt they enjoyed the break with festivities post match at Balabushka, where ample beers consumed as well as some meat pies to boot. I managed to get the Osaka Dingoes song into the heads of a few key players so with our next victory I’m sure it will be sung louder than ever before. Thanks must got to Adam, David, Shaune and Yusuke who umpired for us, see you boys down at training or at the next game.