PREVIEW: RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds.
AAMI Park, Melbourne. Friday 3rd April 2015. Kick-off at 7:40pm (local).
*Satire alert. But you knew that already, right?
One has felt for some time that it is improper for others to write on one’s behalf, especially for something as vulgar as entertainment for the masses.
Rugby is not for enjoyment, and anyone who disagrees should feel the long end of my cane. However, one accepts that there is some degree of interest amongst the common folk for the outcome of our weekly competition.
To that end, as the receiving host, I sent a telegram to my colleague in the state of Queensland, and invited him to a brief soiree in a mutually agreeable location. When that offer was refused (to my mind, quite rudely), I implored the ruling junta in Sydney to entreat on my behalf, which was made successfully.
The following is the outcome of our discussion, recorded to the best of my ability, and as my memory would permit.
PS: One feels that the Rebels shall prevail by 3 points, if one had to hazard a guess, which is my preferred method of putting a game-plan together. Science is such a vulgar activity.
Mr. T. McGahan (esq.)
Face-Off Location: Café du Soleil – Place du Petit-Saconnex 6, 1209 Genève, Switzerland
Tony McGahan (TM): Thanks awfully for agreeing to converse with one, old bean.
Richard Graham (RG): I’m not in Brissy anymore mate, that’s fer sure. Look at the clown over there!
TM: It’s a waiter, Richard.
RG: Really? What’s that fancy thing he’s wearing? Don’t see that get-up in my patch o’dirt.
TM: It’s a dress shirt, Richard. Look old boy, I asked you to this delightfully neutral abode to debate the merits, or lack thereof, of our two groups of indentured servants, prior to us sallying forth to the field of battle, where for the Grace of God, perchance one of us shall be victorious.
RG: You are a fancy talker, mate, I’ll give yer the tip. Dunno if yer tryin’ to talk rugby or ask me to marry yer! Just so yer know, yer not me type, just in case youse was wonderin’. Not real sure what you are sayin’!
Waitress: Bonjour, voulez-vous un verre?
TM: Ah! Bonjour. A virgin cosmopolitan for me, thank you my dear. Extra cranberry, if you please. Richard?
RG: Umm, a XXXX ta luv.
TM: Now, to business. We are…
RG: To business! (skolls drink)
TM: That wasn’t a toast, Richard. As I was saying….
RG: *BURP* (Summons waitress) Another one just like that, thanks luv. Man’s not a bloody camel, am I right, Tone? Oh, and do yer have any banjo tunes on yer jukebox?
TM: There is a classical quartet playing Vivaldi in the corner, Richard. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? (PAUSE) Terribly sorry old boy, my rudeness is unforgivable. One is under considerable pressure to win a game, especially at home. I think the last time we have rewarded the Rebels faithful at home was in the late 1800’s. I exaggerate, of course. One does consider one grateful that the media in Melbourne don’t write about us, otherwise one’s board may find out what is really happening.
RG: Crikey, yeah, you’re bloody screwed then, aren’t ya? Still, my lot have the same problem. The bloody Reds coach couldn’t organize a chook raffle in a pub.
TM: But you are the Reds coach, Richard.
RG: I am? What happened to Link? I thought he was the fall guy; that’s why I left WA, people kept blaming me. No bloody protection.
TM: Well, shall we discuss the game? How does one feel about the key match-ups for this most anticipated battle?
RG: No probs, mate. We’ll have plenty of lads ready to have a crack atcha.
TM: Yes, one assumed as much, old boy, but what cunning plan does one have to negate my most fearsome center combination? I do foresee Tamati and Mitch giving the gain line a most agreeable reflex angle, ah ha ha.
RG: Dunno yet. Pretty sure someone will step up to knock your boys over. I got some big buggers, mate. Dunno about you, but they scare the crap outta me. You should see our weekly Nando’s bill, just to keep those bastards fed.
TM: Hmm. Well, speaking of large gentlemen, what of your forwards? One must admit to being particularly enthusiastic towards the form of Toby and Laurie (one is distressed to lose him to injury), and one has wonderful back-up in the form of Cruze and Paul, although my naughty Mr. Leafa does need to expel the ball from the sideline rather more consistently straight, as well as needing a bit of remedial catching practice. Do you not agree?
RG: Yeah, our guys are bloody rippers too. All of ‘em, whoever they are. Youse blokes are gonna be rooted, mate.
TM: Richard, just a thought, you know, just rolling it around and throwing it out there, but do you know the names of your most esteemed playing group?
RG: Nah, we don’t go fer names when coaching in Queensland. They come and go all the bloody time. Pointing is fine mate. Just point, y’know? Oi you, get off. Oi you, get on. Yer a bloody complicated lot, you Victorians. And bloody smarmy with yer bloody high and mighty ideas. Take that big building just near that bloody muddy creek you call a river, where yer all go dressed as bloody penguins.
TM: That is the Arts Centre, Richard.
RG: Ponces, the lot of yer. Why can’t yer go pig shooting like the rest of us?
TM: Never mind. Shall we continue with the debate? One was rather pleased to see Mr. Placid account for himself so well on debut. One seems to have found a pleasing option for fullback should one need Mr. Harris elsewhere, although his current kicking percentage is perplexing, I must say. Rather worrisome, to be completely honest. He may need a damn good thrashing to overcome his inherent inaccuracy.
RG: Harris? Geez, that name rings a bell. Ha! Mate, y’can’t catch me out like that. Harris plays with us, ya plonker.
TM: No, I’m afraid you have forgotten that he relocated to play with us this year.
RG: He did? Hell’s Bell’s. I wondered why he wasn’t at training. Who the bloody hell have I got playing at fullback then? Can I borrow him for this game?
TM: No. Mr. Harris is required to play against your team.
RG: Come on mate, we’ll arm-wrestle for him. Winner gets a full-back, what do yer reckon?
TM: No. Well, moving on, what are your thoughts on the locks? I must admit that Mr. Timani will be a regrettable loss for us if he can’t shake his most vexing injury. Mr. Cummins seems to lack a spot of pace, if I can be permitted to be slightly indelicate. However, Mr. Jones is “on fire” to use the vernacular.
RG: My arse is on fire, I’ll tell yer that! Bloody curry on the plane is playing merry hell with me bum.
TM: One sympathizes with your predicament, but speaking of the curse of the invalid, how is your team rehab? So many quality players have been missing from your starting team. That must put you under enormous pressure and be so frustrating.
RG: Me guts are under pressure. (FARTS LOUDLY). Ah, better out than in. Geez, cop that! Yesterday’s beef and reef from our C&W flannel-shirt appreciation BBQ! Yee-Ha!
TM: Very well, one is of the opinion that our discourse has come to fruitless completion. One looks forward to seeing you on Friday night.
RG: Bloody ponces. Oi, luv, another XXXX, and do you know anyone who can play fullback? Ta.