Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The first (and so far only) footy team in Holland, the Flying Dutchmen played their first match in almost two years on May 19th, teaming up with the Strasbourg Kangaroos for a friendly against German club the Rheinland Lions in Cologne. Seven players from the Netherlands and eight from Strasbourg made the trip across, going down to the Lions 52-34 in a curtain-raiser to the AFLG match between Rheinland and Hamburg.
The following is the colorful match report supplied by the Flying Dutchmen.
You'd think a country boasting Schumacher's enormous chin, Jan Ullrich's massive thighs, open adulation of the Hoff's six pack and a fine crop of mullets couldn't really get any more impressive. Not satisfied, however, Germany set out to play the roughest, toughest and purest sport in the world. And be good at it.
So it happened that 'de Vliegende Hollanders' travelled to Cologne on the 19th of May to take on the Rheinland Lions. The seven brave Dutchmen that stood against the Hun were: Ben, both Jasons, Arnout, Guy, Gideon and Jurgen. We hadn't played a game in two years, and some of us never before. We would form one combined team with 8 guys from Strasbourg. The Lions trained 3 times a week and had hundreds of players to choose from. It promised to be a bloodbath. The victory bratwurst was ready before the opening bounce.
As the first quarter got under way their scheme seemed to work to perfection. They operated like a well oiled Beamer, piling on the pressure and locking the ball in their forward half by kicking point after point. The combined French and Dutch team, quickly labelled 'United', played with a confusion not seen since one of the construction workers in Babel decided to start talking in a funny accent. Our game plan was a mystery the size of the Loch Ness monster and we were being massacred. When the quarter ended we found ourselves 6 goals down.
Contrary to belief, 'to give up' does appear in our dictionaries. It mentions cardinal sin along with it, though. We went back into the fray, and with bravery not unlike the charge of the light brigade Guy threw himself in front of a German dinosaur of a forward. After the dust of the collision had settled he picked himself up, aching bone by aching bone, having prevented a certain goal. Something shifted in the United team.
Kicks suddenly found their targets and tackles stuck like flypaper. Dutch Jason was all over the German midfield as Aussie Jason seemed to fill holes both up forward as down back quicker than you could say "Beam me up, Scotty." Arnout kicked a goal from what surveyors now estimate to be 1235 meters out. Jurgen dominated at Full Forward steamrolling anyone who dared to say otherwise. Only the unlucky bounce of the ball prevented Gideon from being a force to be reckoned with. Not wanting to be outdone by his team mates or anyone else, Ben took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half and shook it into submission. Taking marks in the stratosphere, while swatting planes away like they were toys on a wire, he was a cape and a lycra suit away from super heroism. United took the third quarter with ease.
The French were also magnificent. Frederick tapped the ball down out of the ruck with laser-like precision. Guillermo had mastered the art of multilocation, bending the rules of space and time to appear wherever the ball was, and by the end of the day Marc must have run more miles than an old Holden Ute. It was a pleasure playing with them and the other great French team mates!
All of a sudden we played like a unit and it showed on the scoreboard. United was clawing its way back into the game. But in a clever ploy to hide our true strength before the EU Cup, we took pity on the Rheinland Lions and let them run out winners by 18 points (34 to 52). Afterwards there was a celebratory barbeque and a beer for everyone.
In the second game that day the Rheinland Lions beat a valiant Hamburg Dockers side.
Our thanks go out to the fabulous guys of the Rheinland Lions! Good luck in the AFLG and we hope to have another kick with you soon!
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