The nation's capital was to be the scene of this crunching encounter between The hungry Lions and the snapping Crocodiles and this match was to be a crucial season decider for both teams. Win and continue with momentum towards September. Lose and pack your bags and think about what might have been.
17 Lions had been able to make the trip to Berlin, as well as sideline coach Nolan and official photographer Dienlin, so given that numbers weren't plentiful and there was talk of the out-and-out star Rowan Miegel making his AFLG return, there were some nervous Lions in the group. Discussion had centred around limiting Mr Meigel to 4 goals or less as being a catalyst for victory.
As was feared Rowan Miegel made an immediate impact and the Lions were caught napping early on. Berlin seemed to break clear from tackles, find their forwards and convert with ease. Before long the score board read 3 Berlin Goals to no score from the Lions.
Rowan Miegel had to be stopped! Something had to be done.
A certain unmentioned Lion, aggrieved at not getting a free kick after his head was nearly removed on the half-forward flank and then having his physical toughness questioned the umpire decided to take matters into his own hands and went into the next contest with his elbow raised to ear height. This understandably did not impress the Berlin player whose ear filled this space, nor the other Berlin players, nor the umpire who swiftly removed the player from the field.
This did not bode well with Rheinlands chances of winning.
2nd and 3rd Quarters
After early fears the Lions had lost a player for the match, it became apparent that a 10 minute sin-binning was the only penance required for this random act of violence (good old Aussie rules) and the Lions dug deep.
As rain began to fall, this small group of Lions further depleted through indiscipline, showed the strength, courage and fight that they have become known for. Bravery is simply not the word for people like Ben Jäger whose pre-hand operation plans included a game of AFL and showed everyone how much he has been and will be missed, or Schmitzie, whose almost mummified hands continued to be hit and hurt, but could not be stopped and put his head over the ball time and time again only to emerge with the precious pill and deliver it damagingly to the forwards.... and Josh...what a target!! There is nothing better in the eyes of tough defenders like Steph and Waldi, who have turned domination of forwards into an art form, than to see Josh taking taking brilliant contested marks and converting them into goals.
After an extended half time break due to leaky clouds, the Lions comeback continued after the main break. No single man could contain Rowan Miegel on his own, but Alex Richards efforts were valiant, and with a lot of team help, managed to be creative in his own right and left the wonder-croc wondering if he should be tagging Alex himself! As a result, Lions domination of the middle ensued. Orli was once again untouchable and fed the ball seamlessly down to Captain Collins again and again who racked up clearance after clearance, running circles around all comers.
With the scores becoming close, the siren rang out and the momentum shift had left the Crocodiles wondering how they could stop the onslaught.
The Berlin team were almost spent but had a couple of barrels left to shoot and shoot them they did. With scores almost level they managed to get an early goal and pressured the score board once again, but it was too much for them. The Lions had too much run. Micky E had patrolled his wing all day and finally started to attract the attention of his team mates. Taylor made his presence felt around the ground and special half-back Sven punched above his weight and made life difficult all day for his opponent. With every Lion contributing to the effort they were roaring with pride as the siren went and a 13 point win was recorded.
There are always things to be learned from a match like this. You are always in the game. Never give up. Never be selfish on the field. Your actions effect all of those in your team. Be disciplined. Stick to the task. Beat your opponent and anything is possible. You need to be fit and prepared so come to training. You will get what you deserve in the end.
LEARN THE BLOODY WORDS TO THE BLOODY CLUB SONG!!! (They are on the website) ;)