Second Gameday 2022 - Janine Benecke Round
Saturday May 21st saw an important date in the AFLG calendar, Janine Benecke Round. This round in particular holds significant meaning to the Rheinland Lions, as it’s a time to pay tribute to their former Vice-President and German Eagles player, who unfortunately passed away in tragic drink-drive incident. The day began with a visit from the mayor of Cologne-Ehrenfeld, who presented the Rheinland Lionesses — last year’s AFLG women premiers, with medals and certificates in honor of their achievement. This was followed by a presentation from Janine’s mother, who updated us on her campaign and charity against drink-driving. The day saw the Rheinland Lions men hosting the Frankfurt Redbacks and the Hamburg Dockers, with a woman’s side from both the Lions and Dockers competing.
The first game of the day saw the Lions men take on the Frankfurt Redbacks, in what was an important contest for two sides expected to compete for a spot in the finals. Both teams had an inaccurate start, but it was the home side that took a 17 point lead into the main break. In the second half, Scotsman Eissa Alfadil, in only his second game, put in a performance to remember. Though somewhat undersized, he gave rugby-convert Robert Anmelung a chop-out in the ruck, before going forward to become only one of two multiple goal-kickers. In the end it was the home side coming away with a 54-31 point win.
Next up the Rheinland Lionesses and Hamburg Dockers women took to the field, in a rematch of the 2021 AFLG Grand Final. Being Janine Round, the Lionesses were inspired by the height of the occasion and delivered a 57-1 point drubbing. Anna McGlade, fresh off her Best-Afield performance in the Australia vs France ANZAC Day clash, was dominant through the midfield, and Judith Schmidt returned to the side, showing off her trademark one-handed run with the ball, sprinting down the field Jared Brennan-style.
The third match saw the Rheinland Lions men return to the field to take on premiership fancies Hamburg. The home side started off strong, and were it not for inaccuracy could well have been in front at the halftime break. In the end these costly errors, compounded by injuries to key personnel, allowed Hamburg to take the momentum and run out 69-35 point winners. Philip Evermann was as always a contested beast at the coalface, and player-coach Matt Varvounis was in great form before succumbing to a shoulder injury.
The final match of the day pitted the Frankfurt Redbacks against Hamburg. In what was an interesting display, the Redbacks competed well, but as in their game against the Lions, were let down by an inaccurate first half, allowing the Dockers to set up a 54-37 point win.
A bruising day of Aussie Rules concluded in typical German fashion — in a Biergarten. A special mention must be made to the Hamburg player, who — I can only assume — couldn’t decide whether he wanted to take a running bounce or touch the ball to the ground, and ended up doing a bit of both, by placing the ball on the ground and running off without it touchdown-style.
If you’d like to learn more about Janine Round and her accompanying campaign, please visit @go_pink_for_life on Instagram, or alternatively https://m.facebook.com/Dont-Drink-Drive-Go-Pink-for-Life-108923210731547/
GAME 2 (women)