(noch keine deutsche Übersetzung)
It was fitting that the reigning premier’s gruelling pre-season should greet round one with a 15-hour round-trip to Stuttgart, to take on the Giants and Berlin in an season-opener guaranteed to set the tone for 2019.
Debutant Manny took control of Car 1 at 5am and 7 hours later he narrowly avoided a T-Boning while swerving across a lane of Stuttgart traffic to refuel. ‘The Mountain’ was consuming enough RedBull™ to send a large horse into cardiac arrest, sparking a certain amount of concern within Car 1…so it was ironic that his highly caffeinated and taurine-soaked reflexes were all that prevented a pre-game catastrophe.
Surrounded by woodlands at one end and a semi-abandoned plantation at the other, the Dockers charged out of the blocks in game 1 against the Giants thanks to some elite work by coach P Richter, H Clarkson and F Naumann. The result of the first match was sealed within 10 minutes and when H Thring unselfishly handballed to an unguarded Noel, gifting the 1st-gamer his debut Dockers major, it was party time.
H Whyatt was managing to push up the ground out of defence, C Woodward was in the thick of the action…it was a demolition job.
But the toughest challenge in AFLG was yet to come – the Berlin Crocodiles.
Despite fielding an understrength side the Crocs are still one of the best-drilled teams in Germany and with Dreadlocks Josh in obvious form (he kicked 6 or 7 against the Giants earlier in the day), Hamburg needed another fast start.
Instead though it was Berlin who forced early scoreboard pressure, racing out to a 4-goals-to-one lead. Given the 4.30am wake-up and the subsequent 7-hour drive south, the Dockers might have been excused for rolling over…but after wrestling back momentum they evened the score by half-time, with clutch goals coming through Clarkson, Woody and Thring. G-Train lead well and created contests, Flo was strong across the ground as was Richter and Whyatt scoffed at Berlin’s attempt to tag him out of influence by rebounding the ball at will.
Half Time H Clarkson celebrated a set shot from the boundary by shushing a few naysayers on the boundary and by the time Thring soccered his 9th for the day out of a pack it looked as if Berlin was cooked. But when that same Thring directly assisted 2 Crocodile goals the momentum swung again. Fortunately though the Crocs missed several opportunities to capitalise and when the siren sounded the only thing left to do was to fill aching muscles with lactic acid by drinking to access in the back of a mini-van #RÜCKFAHRT