On a glorious Spring morning that felt more like the middle of July the Tigers played host to the boys from Dallas and Atlanta. While still smarting from the Austin weekend (Rob’s nose certainly looked pretty ordinary) the BR-Houston team was looking for a little bit of redemption. While the challenge of Dallas loomed large, especially given their tremendous form all year (especially on the road which is a real credit to the Magpies), the BR boys highlighted the Atlanta game to lay it all on the line.
As game time rolled around the Baton Rouge lineup were severely depleted by all manner of forces. Peloton Peeps had crashed his bike out on the second to last corner, Mop was restricted to the role of field umpire, Fit Mick disappearing into the wild and Conan LaRose was crippled by his summer soccer exploits. All whining aside, we were still able to manage a solid side, especially given the contribution from the Houston boys.
Game one pitted the Tiger combo against the Kookas with the Atlanta squad immediately piled on the pressure. With their seasoned legs fresh, and a very impressive and experienced midfield led by the skillful Danny Searle the Kookas dominated the first half with 7 unanswered goals. It was certainly a disappointing start for the home side, but to the credit of the home team they played their guts out in the second half and co-ordinated to put together some really good footy and hold their own against the visitors. The game was played in the BR end of the field for much of the second half with Atlanta’s experience letting them get the ball out of the center easier and quicker. Our defense however managed to stand strong and stifle their advancing midfield. In the end the scores would show that the Tigers matched the Kookaburras in the second half, a fitting return for some great effort showing the potential of this team even when under manned. Credit to the Kookas though, who showed too much class in the first half for the Tigers and improved their BR record to 4 wins, 1 loss.
As for game 2 against Dallas, it was a struggle from the beginning as the rampant Magpies jumped to a fast start and never let the foot off the gas. Led by the stellar combo of Relf and Stores in the middle the ball endlessly seemed bottled in the Dallas half with BR’s efforts to score frequently stalling short of the goal posts. As the mercury continued to rise, and some tired legs on the BR side of the ball began to struggle, the constant pressure of Dallas was quickly reflected in the lopsided scoreboard. Importantly we did score against Dallas this time, and managed to hold them to 14 goals. A positive note with this being a huge improvement over the Austin weekend.. By my calculations that means we are moving in the right direction!
As always lessons were learnt for the younger players like Daniel and Jason, and Irish James showed why Irishmen will always have a place in Australian Football Teams across the world. A special mention also to Minnesota who I think played his best games for the club this past weekend, and Military Mike who punished people all day long!
Once the games were done the legendary Baton Rouge hospitality kicked into high gear. A good showing from all teams braved the heat and made it down to the LSU parade grounds at the ‘all you can eat and drink Jambalaya fiesta tailgate’ for the LSU Vs Mississippi State game.
Three tents, 2 kegs, 30 gallons of Jambalaya, beer pong, and some very strange looks from everyone around us as we kicked the footy on the Parade Grounds made for a great way to relax after the combat of the morning’s games. It was a great way to spend the arvo, tailgating for the first LSU game of the season and hanging with the visiting teams. As the day progressed visitors and locals drifted off to watch the game in Death Valley before stepping out into BR for the night.