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12s Navy

22nd August 2010     Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy vs West Coast White

And so it comes to an end. The “journey” that was 2010 with the Navy Tigers is over.(the Tiger loves that sickening phrase used by every reality show/contest invented over the last few years).

Last Friday saw the team take on the Gold in a derby, the result of which only cemented the team’s status as the premier junior side at Allen Park. Same team, same result as Etihad Stadium. While the footy itself was fantastic, the less said about the umpiring the better……but it was godawful. We’d have been better off holding a raffle to decide each free kick such was the certainty and consistency of the decisions.

The Tiger very much enjoyed the presentations held after the game as did apparently the coaches, the players and their parents.

That then left the final match of the season against West Coast White at (of course) City Beach. Fans might recall that we were given a bit of a walloping by this team earlier in the season. The numbers were looking pretty ordinary. On top of the usual apologies we also had Richo out with an achilles and Hamish A out with a finger. Coach Lyons consulted the White Board Magician and they produced an intriguing line- up. The public demanded it and Henry wanted it ,so in a continuation of a season–long saga, he was to continue his quest for a six-pointer in the goal mouth. How would it play out this week, the last opportunity to jag one?
The captain for the day, Quinn, mustered his 13 troops and Coach Lyons got ’em fired up. Two goals a piece during the first quarter suggested that the Saints were in for a contest today.  The second quarter delivered the same level of intensity and excitement as the first and as the goal umpire, Sir Bobby Anderson, whispered to the Coach,(as if it were some State secret known only to the former Scottish secret service agent himself), only a point separated the teams at half-time. Logan “speak to the hand” McAlpine was bursting his way off the half backline and Declan was causing much angst to the Saints coach, seemingly scoring at will. That was until he had to leave the field with a tweaked knee ,not to return. The Gloved One had done a terrific job in the centre against a much taller opponent. (Will he be sponsored by the David Jones haberdashery department next season?) The Vendetta was back to his best getting plenty of the ball while looking for that part of his nose he left behind last time we played here. Henry continued to titillate the crowd.
The team was pumped for the second half. Quinn had been leading the way with his ground play and was quite chatty in the huddle. The valencias were hoovered up. Refreshed and with new positions, out they went. Ollie was at full back and was doing a brilliant job with his man and the ball. In a match made in heaven, the Princess ended up on the Saints girl.(That would be the one that stitched-up Hamish L last time). No doubt who had the better of that contest. Speaking of Hamish, he was everywhere tackling, bumping, kicking , marking and adjusting his hair. Benny Moran, back in his favourite half of the ground just couldn’t put one away despite herculean efforts. We managed only 2 behinds against a very stiff sea breeze but the difference at 3 quarter time was still only a goal.
The Coach, somewhat emotional about McAdam’s attire, reminded the team this may be the last time many would play together and that the last quarter should be memorable. Fraser promised he would stop looking for that 10 cent piece and give his all. And he did. His opponent will be wearing the “Fraser was here” imprint on his chest for a while to come. George C, the last of the trio of Georges standing, was in the forward line. The G Unit at full tilt is an intimidating sight, one the Saints backline saw many times in the last quarter. Unfortunately the gap was looking too big to bridge.
But just when we thought the season would end on a bit of a low point (although no real reason to think that) Henry decide to complete the fairy tale. The opposition must have thought we were all  a little odd throughout the game as whenever H got near the ball we were all out of our seats cheering like mad persons. With just minutes of the season to go, H bursts on the lead from full forward . The Tiger believes it was the G Unit (but it could have been any number of players) who speared the ball to that massive chest where it stuck. A hush fell over the ground. He was on an angle that favoured his left foot and about 20 metres out.. It would test him no doubt. There were 7 Saints on the mark but from the boundary line you could sense the focus. We all ran in with him, we all lined it up and we all kicked it. It started out left. The sea breeze gathered it and nursed it through the middle ,clearing Sir Bobby’s head by metres. In scenes reminiscent of Brandt and Todd emerging from the minehead at Beaconsfield, H was swamped by his teammates and the crowd erupted. We kicked 1 goal 3 in the last to go down by a few points only but what a great way to celebrate the end of what has been a fantastic season of junior footy.
The Tiger for one hopes to see the entire list back next year strapping on the boots for the Tigers. (minus the G Unit who as we all know goes to Adelaide to ply his trade).

Keep snarling!
Panthera tigris swanbourne

5th August 2010     Cottesloe Magpies vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

The Tiger loves this team. They never fail to deliver a heart- thumping, adrenaline pumping, high octane performance. And even when the numbers are decimated by inappropriately–long holidays (Reid), surgery (Chris),pneumonia (Jack H), super bugs (Callum) and having been mysteriously taken by aliens (Fraser where are you?), the team absorbs variously talented players from the opposition and weaves them seamlessly into their slick outfit .
As usual the Cottesloe Magpies had a squad of 62 and were good enough to lend us a couple to make up the 15. Coach Lyons, abandoned by McAdam who was off preparing for his role as a wardrobe attendant in Australia’s Next Top Model, had free reign of the whiteboard. Chris threw on the Runners singlet and the Coach had the benefit of being able to have messages delivered on time and accurately. Callum  turned up to watch his team play and his brother umpire, untroubled by the intravenous drip. The Coach sought input from the players as to how many effective tackles was a reasonable number per quarter. Giant George Boulden somewhat optimistically thought 25. We agreed on 12.
The game got underway with the captain, Richo, running the show. We probably didn’t need the borrowed Magpies in the back pockets as the ball hardly went down there. Against a flukey breeze, the Tigers controlled the play and with 12 tackles the target, the players weren’t letting the Magpies get away with the ball. And so it was that at quarter time we had a handy lead and yes… exactly 12 tackles recorded.
The second quarter showed that what could be done against the wind could also be done with it as the Tigers kicked away with some long bombs from the centre line and the half back line. Hamish A had 4 fingers amputated by a stray boot but just shrugged his ample shoulders and got back into it. Jack S was doing some damage out wide, making excellent use of his glove and Declan was intent on proving a couple of things to the opposition ,one of whom included his best mate. Matt showed that not only was he the longest kick in the District, but he could mark overhead as well. Henry was dancing around in the forward pocket, threatening to end his goal drought as well. Half time approached and the team were looking forward to resting in the 5 star luxury that is the Cottesloe visitors changerooms.
There was palpable excitement among the players and supporters. A win against this mob at home is a rare as a white Tasmanian Tiger and we could sense one lurking in the not too distant future.

Mindful that the young Tigers have a tendency to take their instructions literally, the Coach reminded the players that the purpose of the game was to actually get the ball and not stand back ,wait for the opposition to get the ball and then tackle. 147 tackles was a bit above the projected number so they were urged to re-focus.
George C , playing a very good game, was rushed into the spine and as the Princess has kicked her second goal for the season ,obviously she had to go to full forward. The manager was beside herself with excitement. Second-longest kick in the District Logan delivered a fantastic hip and shoulder to one of the female opposition which proved a couple of things. One was that it must be tough being a female in the McAlpine family and the second is that the Princess is still the best female in the competition. The tackling was more calculated and the passing was exceptional. Hamish L was clearing a path for others to get to the ball , bright pink cheeks showing his efforts. Declan was doing his best to drill poor one handed Hamish A into the turf with torps from the centre.
The last quarter was a beauty. Spurred on by Richo’s succinct captain’s address (take note Coach McAdam) which consisted of an emotional… ”Win!!”, the Tigers resumed hostilities with gusto. George B came off briefly with a tweaked knee but went straight back on after a bit of ice. Henry kept pressing for the elusive 6 pointer. Ollie took up where he had left off a couple of weeks ago and was attacking the ball and the opposition with fantastic vigour. Ben had the best of each of his opponents throughout the day and the last quarter was no exception.
The Tiger doesn’t know how it happened, perhaps it was goal umpire Morrie Todd’s arithmetical deficiencies but hard as it is to believe (and swallow) we actually went down by one miserable solitary point. But that didn’t matter really because the fans loved it. George C and Richo took out the player awards for the day and well deserved they were too.

With only two games to go the Tiger is not looking forward to the off-season. Fortunately he does have some DVD footage from Melbourne to keep him happy and he does have the National Geographic channel on Foxtel.
Panthera tigris swanbourne

25th July 2010     Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy vs Scarborough Gold

Having lost a couple of hard men during the season for various reasons (Reid to a sarong in Bali, Capretta to cosmetic surgery) the last minute loss of Declan for the game was just one of those challenges that the Blues coaching panel are paid to deal with. Those losses were more than offset by the return to the playing arena of Hamish Anderson. Coach Lyons was delighted and Hamish was given the captaincy against the Scarborough Gold team. The white board magician, McAdam, went to work devising cunning plans and strategies, assessing his options and plotting moves two quarters ahead. However his assistant, Chris, simply allocated the players into what he thought was a pretty pattern. For the 25th week in a row that involved putting Fraser into the forward line in search of that elusive 6 pointer. Possibly the most nervous of all was Enzo who was filling in for our manageress, Libby.
Thus it was with not much thought having gone into placements, the captain won the toss and dutifully elected to kick with the wind. That resulted in a 3.0 goal to 0.3 quarter. It was looking OK. The Toddmeister was meisterful at full back. Coach Lyons, drawing on his years of experience, warned the team not to be complacent, don’t be like those jelly-backed Eagles who got charged down the night before by his beloved Carlton, as the opposition would come hard at them in the second with the wind at their backs...And come hard they did. The Tigers had trouble coping with the stiff breeze resulting in a 5 goal to one quarter in favour of the Sea Eagles, despite a brilliant display of ruck work by Ollie. To the credit of the Tigers backline of Lyons, Anderson, McAlpine, Todd and others , the Sea Eagles must have wondered about their accuracy as they also kicked 8 behinds. Paul Hardisty , with the flags at one end, was calling on all his professorial skills keeping tally.

Half-time required some re-jigging of the positions. Stanton to full back, McAlpine to the centre. Mckenzie to the forward line along with Anderson to keep Fraser company. Richo lurking around the half forward line and the two Georges around the centre. Another reminder about the spinally-challenged Eagles. Each side only managed one goal in the third, but the opposition also kicked 8 behinds!
The last quarter was a cracker from both sides. The tackling was ferocious. The endeavour was furious. The coffee McAdam bought for Coach Lyons was hideous. The absolute highlight however (and about this there can be no doubt) was the end of a long drought for Fraser. It was no free kick in front of goal that did it. It was no easy mark 10 metres out either. It was a snatch of the ball from the centre, a run that tested the umpire’s ability to judge distance and with opposition players hanging off him like damp tea towels on the clothes line, he unloaded from centre half forward and the ball sailed through against the wind for a famous goal. Who was the most excited? Well not Fraser. Perhaps his Mum, although her excitement might have been dampened somewhat by the Runner pouring water over her head.

Oh… and then he kicked another one!
A real contrast in the teams, despite the result, was the accuracy in front of goal. Despite being irrelevant, a scoreline of 7.3 to 9.26 (was it really that many?)in windy conditions is testimony to coolness under pressure at both ends of the ground.
In recognition of his heroic return to footy, Hamish A carried of the Kirkwood Deli prize while Callum can share his milkshake from the Bluewater Café with his 8 siblings.
It’s a great game isn’t it?
Panthera tigris swanbourne
(Keeper’s note: Navy 12s have a bye this weekend. The Tiger will take the opportunity to visit friends at the circus)

18th July 2010     Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy vs North Beach

The Tiger has returned. After an absence of a couple of weeks, he can report on Sunday's game with relish.


Its been a couple of seasons since we played the North Beach outfit. The Tiger couldn't remember what they were like...Coach McAdam couldn't even remember what they looked like. During the warm up he was asking the Marist 10s how many players they had. Fortunately Coach Lyons was there to prevent any real embarrassment.


Speaking of embarrassment, what about the allstar list of players available? It was a veritable embarrassment of riches that presented itself  when the names were all laid out on the whiteboard. In an attempt to cover the loss of the "Vendetta" for the rest of the season, we recruited Ollie Eastland, Jake "Hollywood" Johns , Spencer Pawle and Connor Wallwork from the Gold team. WOW what a line up! Where to put them all?


Fraser had earned the captaincy for the day and boy didn't he make the most of it. Winning the toss was just the start for him. Connor used to play for the Navy and he slotted back in like he'd never left us. The first quarter had the Tiger salivating. Richo opened the account with a bustling goal against the run of play and Logan was controlling things out of the centre. The opposition weren't giving up and by the second quarter even Declan knew he had a game on his hands. His opposite number was tackling and hitting just as hard. Callum continues to defy the laws of physics. How can somebody his size do what he does? Hamish L, sporting a new Pentridge-style haircut, dobbed a beauty after being slung while missing his first shot. Jack Harrington kept his goal tally ticking over as well.


The Tiger always looks forward to the half time break not only because it gives him the chance to have a snack ( small furry animal of some sort) but it's a good challenge to see how much of the Coach McAdam's address he can absorb before the eyes glaze over. The record so far is 2 min 45 secs....and that was when he was wearing the apricot denims.


Fraser insisted on staying in the forward pocket for the second half so that's where he was left. After all he was the captain and he was averaging 17 shots for goal each quarter. Surely one of them would stick? The Runner had pleaded with the team to give the supporters some diving, tumbling marks and in the third, Connor and Ben didn't disappoint. Henry had moved out onto the forward flank and was providing a great target and Declan had resumed his tussle with number 5. Hollywood was turning it on for the Blues out of the centre and the Princess, celebrating the news that her footy career can continue for a number of seasons yet, was weaving her magic in the forward line. Jack Stanton was doing a fine job in defence with one and a bit hands. Spencer Pawle as it turns out is a left foot snap over the right shoulder specialist. He apparently only has that in his arsenal.


We looked like running away with it a bit in the last quarter but to their credit ,the North Beach team were not done with. It took some great tackling from Matt Todd to keep them at bay. Ollie Eastland was an imposing target at centre half forward kicking a bomb. ....And then there was Quinn's goal. Was it his first for the season? Who knows but playing in the centre and with his father's words of "kick it long" ringing in his ears, he did kick it long. It cleared the pack, bounced to the left, avoided a desperate opposition and an even more desperate Fraser (trying to add to his14 behinds)and it dribbled through for a goal that brought the house down. When the Runner went out to rehydrate him , Quinn couldn't swallow because he was giggling like a 5yo.


Matt snagged the Kirkwood Deli award for his disciplined display and Logan got the Blue Water café award for his efforts nursing a dodgy ankle. The real winners were however the Gold boys who got the chance to play with the premier 12s side at Allen Park.


Could you think of a more enjoyable way to start the school term than with a great display of footy from the cubs?

Panthera Tigris Swanbourne

27th June 2010     Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy vs Scarborough Green

The Tiger apologises for the delay in providing this report. Being top of the food chain sometimes has it’s demands which prevent a timely attendance to things that really matter.


With the exception of Hamish A who still owns a broken leg, the Navy Tigers had a full complement available to take on Scarborough Green last Sunday. This is an outfit we’ve not seen for a couple of seasons and Coach McAdam must have been wondering what was in store for his charges this week. After last week’s brilliant display under the guidance of the master tactician, Coach Lyons' hopes were high for more of the same. And more of the same there was including a 3 or 4 goal deficit by the end of the first quarter. The team was subjected to some marvellous pre-match pep-talk from the Coach, some of which the Tiger is reasonably sure was absorbed. Nonetheless having had their attention spans stretched to the limit, they entered the fray with gusto. Richo was an inspired selection at full back, kicking long & hard out of the goal square. The tide had turned in the second with Hamish L scrambling a goal , his first of 3 for the game, and the usual culprits asserting themselves. The captain, Rocket Bevan, was putting a beauty and Fraser was doing his adoring mum proud. There was an incredibly small opposition player who was incredibly good and at one point he ended up disappearing  in George Boulden’s arm pit only to emerge with the Burley. (Lucky that’s all he found in G’s armpit!)

There were changes of position of course after half time and the team really stepped it up a gear. Because he likes talking to his dad who was goal umpiring, Richo slotted straight back in at full forward and was kicking goals. Callum was enjoying a run in the centre gathering kicks with monotony. Logan pinged a couple as did Declan who’s ruck work was fantastic to watch.

The highlight for the last quarter must have been Hamish L.  He went back to take a shot for goal but not far enough. Occasionally a player will kick into the man on the mark’s fingers or hand or sometimes arms. Hamish managed to drill the ball right into his bread basket, bringing him to his knees. The free kick awarded….to Hamish had us all in stitches.

Declan took out the Kirkwood Deli Award and Rocket, in his last game before emigrating to Bali took out the Blue water café Award, which in hindsight won’t do him much good in Bali.

Oh and yes if you check the Tigers district website you’ll see we had a pretty good win.

Panthera Tigris Swanbourne

20th June 2010     West Coast Reds vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

The young Navy Tiger cubs fronted at their second home ground on Sunday at the now unfamiliar time of 8.45am (thought we’d left those days behind). To their credit, despite their collective antics at the Beer & Pizza Night, the parents of said Tiger cubs struggled along groaning & growling, comforted only by the knowledge that at least they have a proper coffee van at City Beach Oval (So do we now! Ed.).

Coach McAdam, absent due to his inability to decide what to wear, had left it all up to Coach Lyons both at training and on game day. That’s right, all the gear, all the ideas and ,as it turned out, all the credit. Kevin McAlpine was keen to get the runners singlet on.  Unlike others who regularly wear it, he actually looks like a runner in it.

We had 15 but WC Reds only had 14 so we ran a bench and after a slow start we were looking down the barrel a bit. With Henry calling in sick and Hamish A still on crutches we might have been a bit low in the hard nut department. The Coach however, with a football brain developed over many beers years in a secret football laboratory in Tasmania, knew that a 4 goal deficit kicking against a 5 goal wind meant we were actually in front ! And so it was in the second. A blitz that Socceroo fans can only dream about had commenced. By half time we had already kicked more goals that the Gold team had when they played this mob previously. And to make it all the more fun , Spindles had turned up to watch!
The Coach felt obliged to give Chris a rest ,if only because he’d already taken a couple of hits to the head in the first half. The half back line featuring Declan, Richo and Reid were like the Great Wall of Swanbourne. But they were only needed if the ball got past the centre line starring Boulden ,Cleary and Callum, which happened rarely.

There were some absolutely brilliant passages of play with Tigers apparently actually “anticipating” a couple of moves ahead!  Despite kicking with a strong breeze in the third the highly skilled WCReds were unable to score the necessary goals to give them any sort of buffer on the scoreboard going into the last.

Chris was brought back on only to receive the inevitable boot to the snozz. Luckily not broken but a bit nasty. The Tigers rallied and pulled back the lead. In a move not seen previously, Ben Moran actually handballed off to somebody only in a slightly worse position than himself who then kicked a goal. Order was restored shortly thereafter when he kicked his own. Logan and Jack S were regularly blasting away at goals but it was the Princess Pia who really brought the crowd to their feet. Plucking a ball from an opposition player’s pocket, she executed a blind turn and with the infuriated WC Red player on her hammer she snapped a famous goal, cementing her reputation as the best female in the competition.

And wasn’t she happy about it?

And all the while they were being watched by Spindles and the gathering Gold parents all going green with envy.

Naturally the Blue Waters Café player of the day was the Princess and who could argue that Ben Moran played his best game earning the Kirkwood Deli Award.

Congratulations to Logan who stoically fronted for the Gold team afterwards and who contributed to their very fine showing in the game that followed.

Onwards and upwards to Scarborough this week!

Panthera Tigris Swanbourne

The Best Weekend of Their Lives

The Tiger's advice to all parents is if you don't have a kid who will one day play for Swanny Tigers 12's then you better get one. Have one, adopt one or pinch one. However you do it just get one. Why? Because when they do they will take at least one of you to Melbourne for one of the most fantastic weekends of footy stuff you could ever dream up.
Surely only an idiot would look forward to a 4.00am start last Friday. But there were 33 small players leaping out of the cot urging fathers and mothers to get going. The team looked a treat queuing up to check in. In a futile attempt to ensure a quiet trip, Qantas had decided to shuffle the boarding passes and distribute fathers and sons evenly all around the plane. That didn't stop the team seeking each other out and it was a bit like watching an nest of ants at work. Time (like the plane) flew. Before we knew it we had landed. Of course the head hostie was compelled to announce the arrival of the Swanny Tigers to rapturous applause from the other passengers. (First opportunity for proud parents to choke up).
Like a well-oiled military operation 65 of us were inserted into 62 seats on two buses. Paul Hardisty flew in from Brazil just in time to catch a ride. Hamish Lyons' grandad from Tasmania missed the boat so to speak and was delayed. We were deposited in our digs for the weekend, all pleasantly surprised by the quality and location. The foyer sign again announced the arrival of the Tigers.(second chance for a little choke). After lunch the coaches suggested a nap for all. The team without exception however thought the afternoon jumping in and out of the pool, spa and sauna was the ideal was to prepare for the big game. Judging by the number who were asleep on the bus when we arrived at the Aberfeldie ground, the nap might have been a better option.
Somewhat ironically because it is in deepest darkest west Essendon, the ground looks like an English county cricket ground with trees and white picket fence. The welcome was warm which was just as well because nothing else was. Playing for the first time half asleep, under lights and on a full- sized ground, the starting 18 looked mighty good.....for the first 3 or 4 minutes. The less said about the game the better really. In fact it is hard to say anything because it was hard to see anything. It was a big ground and they could do with a few brighter lights. We had planned on playing 6 x 15 minute quarters. After the first 2, Coaches Lyons and McAdam had happily deferred to the vastly more cerebral Spindles. Lyons and McAdam knew that was a wise move when Spindles was able to detect a stiff breeze as being responsible for the Gorillas' first 10 goals. Unfortunately it must have died when we changed ends. And wouldn't you believe it, apparently it picked up again and helped the Gorillas to kick yet another 10! To be fair, the opposition were extremely talented. They could mark kick and tackle at a level to which the Tigers must aspire. And they were all awake.
With 33 players getting a run it is impossible to mention them all individually but as a team the game was played in fine spirit even if many were looking for somewhere to lie down. Speaking of going down, late in the game Jack Stanton was on the receiving end of a big tackle which gave him an intimate experience with the centre wicket fairly abruptly. Fortunately despite early concern about something serious, he recovered in time for the Sunday game.

It wasn't actually an invocation of the mercy rule (Spindles reckoned the 5th and 6th quarters would have seen a turn in the Tigers' fortunes) but our hosts decided the sausages could wait no longer and we bailed out after 4 quarters. Hamish's grandad, when told of the actual score , was heard to say 'It seemed to be a bit closer than that". But then he is 83yo, a bit deaf, a bit blind and really nice.
We enjoyed some fantastic hospitality. President Paul was effusive in his praise of the Gorillas (who by the way don't like being called the Gorillas). There was an exchange of caps and medals and some more hospitality. The Tiger can report that the woman behind the bar made a point of saying that yet again the Swanny Tigers had produced a group of the nicest, most well-mannered and polite kids. (Third choke).

Mind you given this is the 6th year in a row we've travelled all that way to get a flogging, it's hard to justify being cocky! The Tiger on the other hand spent some time out the back looking for the Gorilla to effect the evener-up, but it appears Lowland Gorillas are even rarer than Panthera Tigris Swanbourne.
Fuelled by the compulsory buffet eggs and bacon and those little sausages that keep coming back at you all day, next morning the Tigers entourage took various routes to the G to undertake the tour of the ground and the museum. In what seemed to be a developing theme for the weekend, the organisers opted to split up the group. Those lucky enough to go with Di Boulden were treated to a series of quite ridiculous questions which even tested the patience of the very experienced tour guide, Barry. The team very much enjoyed the Museum of Sport and its activities introduced by another Barry.
The Tigers then spread in all directions, some shopping, some pursuing more cultural events and others just getting lost. The aim was to get back to the hotel in time for most to head off to the Adelaide/Saints game at Etihad. Many opted for dinner elsewhere. The Caprettas and the Durks and the Coulsons opted for the spa. The traditional evening get together in the hotel foyer was well under way with BYO the order of the day. Kevin Kelly appears to be all talk, making noises about going out but bolting for bed as soon as it was mentioned. McAdam was the same as was the President... all puff and wind.
An early start was on the agenda on Sunday. Barely had we finished breakfast when it was time for lunch. You just can't have too much meat on these occasions in the Tiger's view. A convoy of cabs had been arranged to transport us to the Stadium. The thing about Melbourne cab drivers is of course that none of them are from Melbourne and its pot luck as to whether you get one whose knowledge of English is limited having a cousin who had a girlfriend who saw a television programme about somebody who could speak English. As it happened some of us were out of that luck and got the scenic route to the Stadium. But no amount of lateness or that feeling of being ripped off could dampen the building excitement as thousands descended upon the Stadium to watch the Tigers Derby with the Blues and Eagles playing either side of the main game. After being taken to our seats we pretended to be interested in what the Blues and Eagles were doing when all we wanted was for quarter time to come so that the teams could be lead down to the rooms. It is at this point this report becomes a little Blues focussed.
The Gold team went off to do their thing in the Eagles rooms while we went into the inner sanctum of the Blues changerooms. For let us not forget after a weekend of club cameraderie and bonding it was the Derby. The old rivalry which had been put aside for a time now surfaced. Strained smiles gave way to curled lips. The Blue Tigers looked right at home. Those lucky parent officials, Anderson, Bevan, Rowbottam, Durk, Lyons and McAdam were just as excited as the team. The Princess Pia was taken off to her own galaxy far far away to don the Carlton strip. The rest kitted up and began the warm up. It was just like you see on the TV.... except they were completely knackered after the warm up. Out they went past the Carlton players, high 5s and mutual admiration a plenty. (Choke opportunities 4 and 5 ). Thunderous applause from the crowd . Basic instructions were to the effect that although you've got a position, for God sake just go and get a kick. It was a 14 minute frenzy. Despite all that had happened and not happened in the last 48 hours there was some champagne footy being played. On the far side of the ground was Spindles, the forlorn Spindles, abandoned by Nick Buckland, a coach completely devoid of ideas. He couldn't blame the wind this time ‘cos the roof was shut. By the time the hooter went, it was the magnificent Navy Tigers who ran off the victors, the authors of another famous chapter in their footy album.

Back in the rooms the Carlton assistant who has been looking after the half time teams for 22 years told us we played as good a standard of footy as he had seen and we were the best behaved team he has had. (Final huge choke-up!)

Could the weekend get any better? On arrival at the airport word had gotten around about a couple of gun footy teams being in the terminal. People gathered around the check in straining to see. While some might think it was the Swans and Eagles, who arrived at the same time, I'm not so sure. Certainly the Swans and Eagles were keen to be seen with the Swanny Tigers with autographs and numbers being swapped.
The Tiger suspects that there were some pretty tired Tigers on Monday morning. A well earned rest approaches this weekend although there will be training this Friday. And then there is the Beer & Pizza Night the following Friday. It just doesn't end does it!
Panthera Tigris Swanbourne.

23rd May 2010     Dalkeith/Nedlands vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

The day dawned last Sunday , seemingly like any other. The Swanny Tigers were bundled out of their beds,fed,watered and ferried to Melvista Oval where no doubt, the Dalkeith/Nedlands team had experienced a similarly ordinary start to the day.

Of course what they couldn't have known was that waiting for them was a Tigers outfit ready for what would be the biggest week of their footballing careers. What was waiting for them was a team ready to build on the foundations of the last three games and launch themselves into a week that will see them take on the cream of Melbourne junior footballers and then resume the rivalry against the Gold team in the Etihad cauldron.

And what a start to that week it was. It was Coach Lyons' turn to take charge. The white board magician, McAdam, on running duties, opted for camouflage print shorts and cravat. This was an interesting combination but as it happened ,reflected what we saw on display from the Tigers, a mixture of grunt and flair.  Captain George Boulden, having turned 12, appropriately won the toss and elected to kick with a stiff breeze. It didn't take long before the Tigers were on the board, and like last week we had a bagful by quarter time with the opposition barely troubling the scorers. Back from an injury lay off Hamish Lyons wasted no time in getting back into the groove ad slotted a couple from half forward. Jack H continued on from last week giving his father something to smile about as goal umpire.

During the second quarter we managed to hold the opposition with Logan taking some screamers, Fraser getting to more balls than a Grade 12 student in a rented suit and Reid Bevan proving to be more slippery than a used car salesman.

At half time the Coach was fulsome in his praise for the team, highlighting their endeavour and the efforts of the full back line.

During the third quarter, the birthday boy Boulden, proved that size is no impediment to slashing runs into the forward line and kicked a beauty. Declan was responsible for setting up a number of scoring opportunities and Chris Capretta still thinks his head is a useful battering ram! Benny Moran was doing a fantastic job showing a clean pair of heals and a burning desire to kick goals. There were plenty of them again in the third quarter as we took full advantage of the wind.

The last quarter provided no refuge for the Dalkeith/Neddys boys. The Tigers were relentless with the only disappointment being an injury to Hamish Anderson resulting in him being carried off. The combined talents of our on call paediatrician, physio and sports scientist diagnosed a bad ankle sprain.

Subsequent investigations led to a diagnosis of a broken tibia. The Tiger is delighted to say that despite this crippling injury the Anderson boys will be making the trip this weekend.

The Tiger is equally delighted to say that the team had a resounding victory playing fantastic footy. The Kirkwood Deli Award went to Quinn McAdam who put a gem across the centre. The Bluewater Café Award had to go to Henry Rowbottam who was responsible for a completely legal pole-axing of an opposition player and followed up by what Coach Lyons described as “a sublime handball he would be going to bed dreaming about” from a pack to a running player resulting in a goal downfield.

The Tiger is of course going to Melbourne, probably staying with family at Melbourne Zoo. He will report as fully and as faithfully as footy trip rules allow (ie what happens on tour stays on tour). Make sure you are in front of the telly on Sunday arvo to catch a glimpse of the teams.
Panthera Tigris Swanbourne.

16th May 2010     Marist vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

Tigers sometimes get a bad wrap which is not always justified. Just think of my cousin, Shere Khan. He was much maligned just because he liked the look of that annoying little Indian boy. He was just trying to discipline him…honestly. Probably would have done us all a favour if he’d been allowed to do his thing. We are often misunderstood…..
Nonetheless watching the game on Sunday against Marist I was minded of the Kipling classic as Jack Harrington ran rings around the Marist backline during the first quarter. It was a bit like watching Mowgli playing with my cousin. He teased, he darted, he danced and…he scored 4 goals. Had he even had 4 kicks in the previous 2 games? Coach Lyons, on the running/water duties this week got sick of running out and had to suck on the bottle himself. The Marist coach’s humour deserted him by the third unanswered goal and was frothing at the mouth trying to get his backline to do something…..anything to stem the tide. 4 goals to nothing…zip….zero….a blob….didn’t trouble the scorers.
The second quarter unfortunately saw a bit of a reversal and scores were level at half time. There were some brilliant passages of play from the Tigers which regrettably couldn’t produce many goals but all the ingredients were there for a big second half.
Word had filtered through of a massacre of the Gold team up at City Beach. Club pride was on the line and Coach McAdam, dressed uncharacteristically demurely in knee-length denim shorts and white polo t-shirt, was expansive in his praise throughout the third quarter. Pia Durk looked like being our first serious casualty of the season ,copping a high one on the cheek. But it will take more than a cheap elbow to keep her out of the game. Similarly George B got a nasty kick in the shin but his Mum wouldn’t let him off for long don’t worry. You don’t survive in that family by being a shirker!
The third quarter address by Coach McAdam was vintage nonsense but the reference to Jessica Watson’s recent achievement must have really struck a chord because the team raced out with the spinnaker up and and came home with a wet sail. The lead changed a couple of times. Captain for the day Declan, was inspirational on the half forward line, bagging a couple of beauties. Big “H” Rowbottam, after casting a large shadow over his smaller opponent, moved onto the resting ruckman and put paid to his game. New boy Jack Stanton with allegedly dislocated thumb, was everywhere . George C, holding down centre half forward , was in rare form. Like a recurring nightmare , Harrington bobbed up to kick his fifth.
The performances of Harrington and Cleary demanded that they receive the Kirkwood Deli and Bluewaters Café awards….and they did.
When the siren went we were down by a goal but as the coach said , the improvement each week is on an upward curve and by the time we hit Etihad Stadium (OMG!!!!!! is it really only a week away?) we will be at the height of our powers
Panthera Tigris Swanbourne

9th May 2010     City Beach vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

When a young girl is growing up she will think often of her favourite doll, the number of Brownie badges she'll get and the husband she'll snare. (The Tiger apologises to those with other aspirations, bit they didn’t seem to fit.) She will also dream of producing a kid who'll play with the Swanny Tigers Junior Footy Club. And why wouldn't she?
For those mothers who brushed off the bed crumbs, got out of the flannellette nightie and headed to City Beach on Sunday, they were treated to a Mother's Day pressie only a few can claim - watching their progeny gallop about in the Blue & Gold. And while we may not have had a win, the team really turned it on for the Mums.
The shallow attempt by the Saints to unsettle the team and their supporters by moving us like cattle around the grounds before bouncedown, failed dismally. With the supporters finally encamped and the new sponsors' sign firmly in place, Coach Lyons unleashed the Tigers. The captaincy could only have fallen to Matt Todd who, looking like a Nando's chicken with a wing missing, turned up against doctor's orders. In an effort to let the team settle, the coaching panel decided to let the players stay in one position for at least a half. It appeared to pay dividends as the usually high- scoring Saints were held to only two goals and they were starting to look worried. In fact by half time we were still well and truly in touch.
Coach Lyons suggested at the start that the result was immaterial so long as they gave their best and left nothing on the ground. (..and a couple of other really great cliches). Judging by the pink faces at half time , they were responding. But would we see a 3rd quarter fade out as in the previous week? The answer was a resounding no.
The Saints applied the blow torch and it could have been ugly but by three quarter time, although there was only one goal on the board for us, the Saints didn't have the bagful they would have expected. The backline was so good, I think everybody wants to play there now!
The Coach urged the players to get angry for the last quarter. Could they draw on fast-waning reserves of energy? Was there any grunt left? Well just ask the big Saint who was on the receiving end of a Pia Durk tackle. The Tiger understand he's just started a 3 month intensive counselling course. Just ask the poor kid who got his first corked thigh compliments of Declan. Just ask their gun centre who thought he could outrun George Richmond...he was dreaming! And just ask anybody who got within grasping distance of Ollie Heath. They're all having recurring nightmares this week.
The entertainment indicator was going through the stratosphere. Hamish Lyons's sisters saw him come off second best with the Saints girl (the actual girl).They’ll be re-enacting that for some time to come. Chris and Logan were competing for the " I'm the Biggest Lunatic" Award. The white board magician, McAdam, rushed from the coach's box yelling, yahooing and whooping it up…… to celebrate a behind. Great stuff all round.
The Blues put in a fantastic effort during the last quarter and most of it was right in front of the adoring Mums. Unfortunately with our half fowards working overtime we just couldn't put any majors away which was a tragedy...  The Kirkwood Deli Award went to Ollie Heath, now the stuff of nightmares. The Blue Waters cafe Award went to Jack Stanton, who despite spending 3 quarters in his least favourite position, did it without complaint and then went nuts when let loose in the last quarter.

But a terrific game by all.

Panthera Tigris Swanbourne

2nd May 2010     Subiaco vs Swanbourne Tigers 12s Navy

I think I’m going to move to Subiaco. I want some of whatever is in the water supply there. When the Tiger turned up to watch his beloved Navy team to play on Sunday in the first outing for the season, he was expecting to see a shorter Subi team or at least one that wasn’t quite so tall as all previous seasons. Surely our team had grown during the off season?
Well, just like when the Tiger thought Coach McAdam’s apricot denims were a one-off…. he was woefully mistaken. Fair dinkum, did you see the size of no.28?...and 21?...and 13?

Not daunted by playing in the Land of the Giants, the Lilliputian Tigers, led by the tigress herself,  Pia Durk, set to it and served it up to Subi in the first quarter, so much so that we were in front at quarter time. (Did I tell you that the District wants us to keep score now?)Resplendent in white uniform, Bobby Anderson was getting a real work out under the Moreton Bay fig, pointing and waving the flags enthusiastically if confusingly.
They got away from us a bit in the second quarter but that was OK because there was a bit of breeze and the boys moved around in their positions getting the feel for it.
Half time came and the coach encouraged the boys not to revert to the old Auskick style and to stick to hunting in packs and contesting. Matt Todd, in a fantastic display of team building, was there lending support to  his team mates with his one good arm. Bit of the old citrus down the gullett and back out they went.
They got away from us a lot in the third quarter…against the wind. Despite some good individual efforts the goals racked up and you could sense the frustration in the team.
The final quarter was however a return to more of what we saw in the first. It couldn’t have been what the coach said because as usual the Tiger couldn’t really understand what he said. And the Tiger is quite bright. But the players were prepared to run at it and give each other some support and it paid off with a couple of goals and Subi being restricted to not many.
It is fair to say that despite a big gap in the scoreline, we at least won two quarters and when we maintain the level and consistency we’ll win four quarters.

Two players who did perform for four quarters were Fraser Bulleid, winner of the  Kirkwood Deli Player award and Callum McKenzie ,winner of the Blue Duck Café award. Outstanding efforts from those boys.
We’d better get used to wearing the white shorts because we only have 4 home games this season and next week is not one of them. We take on West Coast White at City Beach.
If you need me and the cubs this week you’ll find me at Lake Jualbup in Shenton Park…… with a straw.
Go Tigers.

Panthera Tigris Swanbourne