The Sabre Tooth Tigers returned from the Bali 9s tournament with an honourable record of 1-3, with the win especially impressive against host Bali Geckos at 7.30amon Saturday morning!
The team went into the tour with some veteran Tigers and some new (but old) blood. Newcomers Shane Campbell (Arnie) and Paul McCormick (Swanny) proved to be exceptional tourists and great additions to the Tiger Lair.
Game 1 – SabreTooth vs Maddington
With an average age of 49 competing in the 35s division, the Sabres looked up against the odds, and that was confirmed in our first game against Maddington who, with an average age 35.1, looked like an U18 team against their more senior opponents. Cutting to the chase, we got thumped by a score we’d rather forget, but a great way to warm up the legs with The Blade, Swanny and Drew bouncing around the back line they were in a pinball machine, off the more agile Maddington forwards.
Game 2 – SabreTooth vs Borneo Bears
Our second match provided a closer and more enjoyable contest against the Bears. It also allowed us to kick the first ever Sabre goal through Dog, and further majors from Hendo and Stephen Rapp (now known as Snoop Dog). Snoop got the crowd going with his over the top goal celebrations, and Hendo got them going even further when he burst out from a centre bounce in the wrong direction and had a shot at the opponents goals. We eventually went down to Borneo, but didn’t mind losing to a team with a strong contingent of local players and good blokes all round.
Game 3 – SabreTooth vs Bali Geckos
With a 7.30am start, a curfew was put in place and, as expected, ignored by most Sabres, so it was a sorry looking sight on Saturday morning as we lined up against the host Bali. But once the ball was bounced, the Sabres rose to the occasion and a tough contest ensued. While inaccuracy (9 points) from Bali kept us in it, strong performances from Rainsy, Kitchin, Yoda, Snoop & Drew, also kept us in striking distance. When Kenny Sheldon’s shot from 25 meters out fell agonizingly short, the Sabres needed a hero to step up. And step up did Gator, with a mark and goal right on the siren to cement his and the SabreTooth place in history as the first win!
Game 4 – SabreTooth vs Warnbro
The final game saw us go down to WA side Warnbro Swans. Les Kitchin, after being mistaken for Hendo for 2 days, also had his turn at running the wrong way (later to kick a goal to make up for it). Snoop did another big goal celebration, Chatters led hard all day, Arnie was always in the contest; but it wasn’t enough against a stronger WA outfit.
Off the field, it was great to see Tigers, ‘Windy’ Dan Astbury, Paul ‘Archer’ Bawden, and Greg Shand drop in to say g’day. As well as friends and family of Dog, Arnie, Swanny, Kenny, and Snoop.
Overall it was a great tour on & off the field, and a definite on the Tiger calendar for 2017. We’ll be looking for younger Sabres to join next year and possibly enter two teams (over 35s & 47s).
Thanks to Flash (Coxey) for organizing the tour even though he couldn’t make it, Yoda for taking care of duties while on tour, Dog for coaching, and Hendo as the captain who’ll need to practice his ‘rock, scissors, paper’ skills if he expects to win a toss next year.
And finally a big thanks to the Bali Geckos for putting on such a great show! Really well organized and managed.