Written by Jack Gilpin:
Thanks largely to Simon B’s selection in the national team for his administrative prowess, managerial skills and proficiency in the centre bench role, an exhibition match was held between the soon-to-be world cup champions (the Docceroos, unfortunately the hatchets are not allowed to enter) and a Hatchets dream team (combination of the Hatchets and the Rusties). This match was selectively arranged deep within the depths of the med students’ exam block so as to conveniently render many Hatchets players unavailable, to compound this, the Docceroos had also arranged for torrential rain to further dampen (pun intended) the hopes of any challenge from the Hatchets boys. Despite all of this, 11 of the most hardcore Hatchets travelled to the Gold Coast in order to turn the Docceroos into the DoccerWHOs (apologies that was terrible).
A controversial decision made by the Hatchets brains trust led to an aggressive Hatchets lineup with a 3-5-2 formation the weapon of choice:
The match started at a frenetic pace, with the Docceroos applying more pressure than 2nd year OSCEs. Unfortunately within the first 5 minutes Georges sustained a game ending knee injury and despite having in excess of 20 doctors or doctors-to-be, not 1 knee examination was performed. Kindly enough, the Docceroos allowed one of their players to enter our ranks so the game could continue on an even field (the actual playing field was anything but).
The first 15-20minutes belonged largely to the Docceroos as the Hatchets adjusted to the new formation, new combinations and the internal struggle “should we really try and beat a team full of senior doctors when job applications are opening again soon?” but after this the Hatchets began to find their feet (see below for all those who have their anatomy exam this week).
For the remainder of the half the Hatchets were outstanding with a combination of creative, fast attacking play and hardworking resolute defence. There were chances at both end, with Logan unlucky not to have the opener after a trademark Rigby Run, but in the end the half finished deservedly 0-0.
The second half continued in a similar fashion to how the first half ended with the Hatchets midfield 3 controlling the majority of the play, however this time the Docceroos had cleverly told their fill-in to sabotage the Hatchets back line by allowing the Docceroos striker some space outside the box. Unfortunately, that was all he needed and the Hatchets found themselves 1-0 down. Not to be outdone though the Hatchets continued to attack and it was only a matter of time before the equaliser arrived. Some excellent lead up play resulted in Jack (who is eligible for selection next year if any Docceroos selectors are reading this) receiving the ball in some space just inside the Docceroos half. Knowing that Nick R is also keen for selection, Jack played a sublime outside of the foot, perfectly weighted, miracle (ok maybe slight exaggeration, but it was a good ball) to Nick R in space on the left hand flank. Nick not satisfied with the acres of space afforded to him by the superb set-up decided to beat his player a couple of times before crossing in to the path of Trey who, after taking the keeper out, smashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1. With renewed energy the Hatchets continued to apply the pressure and after a well taken corner Logan received the ball in the air outside the Docceroos box. Despite his usual reluctance to shoot, Logan struck an unbelievable left foot volley into the bottom corner to send the Hatchets into the lead and made Georges hop with excitement on the sideline.
In the final 20 minutes, the Hatchets players gradually began to fade and the 7 subs of the Docceroos started to expose some cracks within the Hatchets lineup. Despite this it took another wonderstrike from 30m out to level the scores with 10 minutes to go. There were a few chances in the dying stages but in the end the game finished a well fought 2-2. A penalty shoot-out technically resulted in the Docceroos taking home the spoils but in reality it was a 2 all win to the Hatchets. It was impossible to pick a man of the match from the Hatchets because each player put in a brilliant performance.
On a serious note, congratulations to Simon for making the Docceroos it’s a great effort and well deserved. All the best to the Docceroos in the World Cup in Austria and thanks for allowing us to be involved in your preparations, hopefully it will become an annual event. Good luck to the med students for their exams this week, and I hope the knee injury is only minor Georges and that you’ll be back on the park in no time.