I know how you love Kiki’s health updates, so today you get one from me. EXCITEMENT. A mental health one at least. In the lead up to this game I had a dull feeling of resignation that this was the last stop on the line for my chookies, and I was starting to freak out, because – since I have no mid-term memory cells left – I literally couldn’t remember what I filled my spare time with when it wasn’t football season. Anyone?
I do love me some cricket, but more in a falling asleep on the couch in the afternoon in my swimmers with a beer way than a rabid fan way. HOW WILL I FILL ALL MY TIME WHEN THE GAME IS OVER? I was starting to even consider taking up a hobby, fo realz. This was especially bad because I’m not even really sure what my hobby-choices are. The only ones I know of are Mah Jong and bushwalking and cross-stitch.
Luckily, you can all stop worrying, babies. As I lay on the beach on Saturday I looked up and remembered THIS IS WHAT I DO. BEACH. Sweet sweet beach. Incidentally, Kiki and I also looked up a little bit later and saw Big Dell frolicking on the sand with his bbs wearing fluorescent boardshorts, but that’s a whole other post.
The moral of the story is that I don’t have to take up crochet (thank god, because it probably would have ended in a drunken needle injury) and we can get down to the recap. Also, that I am sunburnt.
If you don’t want to read all the words that are on the way, just look at this picture instead:
pic: Getty Images
So the New Zealand Warriors run onto the field to some AC/DC Back in Black action. Clearly I am not opposed to AC/DC, or to cock rock in general. It makes my heart smile when the Roosters run on to Motley Crue. But Warriors, darlings, I think you need an update. The Storm run onto AC/DC. And I can’t have the Warriors (who I kinda love now) running onto the same band as my footy nemeses The Storm. My little pea-brain couldn’t handle it.
And how has no one suggested Patti Smith ‘I am the Warrior‘? Not just because it’s a fuck-off great song, but because Patti Smith is a fierce bitch. Do you know who else is a fierce bitch? Wiki. IT ALL FITS. Listen to these lyrics and tell me it’s not perfect.
Who’s the hunter … who’s the game?
I feel the beat … call your name
I hold you close … in victory
I don’t wanna tame your animal style …
You won’t be caged … in the call of the wild
Clearly I am just going to play this in my own home before the Warriors play next week and start calling Ruben Wiki ‘jungle child’.
pic: Kenny Rodger
The Kiwis haven’t skimped on the dramz tonight. The Warriors are in their all blacks and the Roosters have turned up in their pretty all-white uniforms to a stadium of screaming black-clad Kiwi fans. It’s all very dramatical and allegorical and other words ending in ‘-ical’.
It’s like Daniel in the lion’s den. Except that maybe in the bible they didn’t have fireworks or Maori drummers or traditional dancers in coconut bras. Whatever. I like to think they did. You just know Mary Magdalene was a bandit for a coconut bra and grass skirt.
It is approximately one second before the Warriors send in Lance Hohaia for a try and Michael Witt’s ginger mo steps up to the tee and converts. 6-0. Oh, Roosters.
About two seconds later the referee needs a new whistle. I shit you not.
The Roosters make a beautiful break until Amos Roberts loses the ball and has his head broken. Tragedy! I love Amos! Although I was really disappointed when I found out he calls his newborn baby son ‘Mossy’ as in ‘Amos’ not as in ‘Named after Ian ‘Mossy’ Moss of Cold Chisel’.
Mitchell Pearce magics a 40-20 kick and takes a pass from Braith Anasta to dive into goal. TRY! GO BABIES GO! Except … why is nobody hugging Mitchell Pearce? David Shillington is hugging Mitchell Aubusson. Everyone else is hugging each other. Mitchell Pearce just wanders around a bit until finally Lunchlady Doris – I mean a Roosters trainer – brings him a Powerade and claps him on the back.
He is seriously a man-island. And not the good party-island kind. Is he in the bad books for stealing someone’s lucky socks? Did he dob on the guys for something? Fart in the plane on the way down? Does he play Nickelback in the team bus?
Poor Mitchell Man-Island Pearce.
Frill-neck Fitzgibbon converts.
pic: Getty Images
I accidentally mush my nail polish all over my hand when Minichiello explodes from nowhere to come face to face with a Soliola kick, kicks again, chases and dives into goal neck-and-neck with Hohaia for a SO-CLOSE-BUT-SO-FAR-NO-TRY. Yes, I do paint my nails while I watch the footy. I like to multitask.
Except apparently the Universe enjoys toying with my emotions. Because, inexplicably, Tony Archer sends it to the video referee and a penalty try is awarded. Penalty try? First penalty try of the year?
Are you kidding me faceless video ref?
Let me explain. I am incredibly biased towards my team. Everything they do is fine by me. Teams that beat them do not deserve to live. Brad ‘Freddy’ Fittler’s chuckle is music to my ears.
But this is completely ridiculous. I do not approve of the penalty try rule.
Benefit of the doubt makes sense to me – where something is so very very close and video footage is inconclusive we’ll give the attacking team a little leeway. It makes the fans happy, it makes the game exciting.
But penalty try is a contradiction in terms. It says if there is no try, because of a penalty – then instead of giving you a penalty we will give you a penalty try. BUT THERE WAS NO TRY. If there was no try, there is no way that anyone can say whether there would have been, but for the penalty.
Sure you can say there would probably have been a try, but how likely does it have to be? More than 50%? More than 75%? Highly probable? Slightly probable? Can you tell yet that I studied law?
Would you be happy to see your team lose a grand final with a penalty try?
I think it says it all that it was a penalty try that gave the Storm their first premiership. That Rule and That Club are united in propagating the forces of darkness.
It is a flimsy and ill-defined rule and I resent it’s usage. I say send the offender off for ten or something and let the situation sort itself out. And yes, it is possible I am just saying that because I like seeing people get sent off. I like watching the little sooky cartoon bull huff across the screen. WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT?
Anyway, the Roosters are awarded a try and Komodo Fitzgibbon converts so feel free to ignore that whole series of ranty paragraphs. HURRAH FOR PENALTY TRIES! I LOVE YOU PENNY!
Anasta field-goals and we all go for a half-time cup of tea and lie-down.
Shall we discuss facial hair again while the boys are napping? I say yes. It’s not an Errol post without a mention of arses or beards.
My fiercest beard award tonight goes to Simon Mannering. He actually won player of the year in the Warriors club this year, but I’m sure this award means so much more. That is a cracker of a beard:
I assume you’re thinking one of two things right now: either ‘WHY ARE YOU ILLUSTRATING THIS GAME WITH PICTURES OF MEN IN A POOL?’ or ‘WHEEE! I ACTUALLY ONLY COME TO ERROL FOR THE GRATUITOUS SEMI-NUDITY!’
Sadly, both these responses are wrong. The right one is HEEE! Is there anything funnier than the Warriors wearing swimming goggles? I say no.
And just for the hell of it:
Steve Price, why you so tanned? I sense some solarium action, because god knows he can’t have been natural tanning in New Zealand. That makes me love you a little bit Pricey.
The boys all run back out and the Roosters defence is a big ole pile of Marshmallow as Hohaia rolls in a try. Mmmmmm … marshmallow. Witty’s mo converts again.
In more plasma news, someone in the distance who may be Lopini Paea (I’m a little bit drunk so I can’t be sure) has a huge circle of blood on the bottom of his jersey and the front of his shorts. He is sent off field to change his jersey, and – I assume – so that one of the Roosters trainers can sit him down in the locker room and give him the talk about What Happens When You Become a Woman. If they’re really touchy-feely they might even give him a glass of red wine with his box of tampons.
The Warrior whose name I always forget who looks like a B-grade 90s movie actor* is held up in goal for no try. Let’s just call him Jeremy Sisto. Bad luck, Jezza.
Angryman Ian (not Brian) Henderson gets a Benny try. Oh, Roosters, I knew this would happen: 18-13. Another try to Manu Vatuvei’s gold teeth. I wanna feel sad but that bitch is just too fabulous. I want to see Manu and Dell have a weigh-in to determine biggest winger in league.
Knock on, double knock on, and a SECOND TRY FOR JEREMY SISTO. Way to excel in your day job, mister. The Roosters do dumb things and dig their own grave for 30-13. The crowd goes wild. Even I feel happy. IT’S JUST SO MAGICAL.
Lopini Paea is – seriously people, this is not me exaggerating – sitting on the sidelines with two tampons in his nostrils. Have you been watching She’s the Man? THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU DO WITH THEM LOPINI.
Perhaps most incredibly of all, Ivan Cleary smiles.
pic: Kenny Rodger
I comfort myself that at least this will feed the Roosters underdog complex for 2009. Next year, my darlings, next year.
Meanwhile I have saved this for last because this shit deserves to be the finale. In the second half of the game, and in what must be the greatest hit I have seen this year, Ruben Wiki takes the ball, bares his teeth, ROARS and charges head on at the man-mountain that is Sia Soliola.
Kiki and I scream and wave our legs like we are riding imaginary bicycles because we are losers. Then we mime punches for no apparent reason. We discuss what is the furthest possible Disneyland from Auckland and decide on Paris.
Soliola reaches Euro-Disney before he even hits the ground, and like the complete and utter gentleman he is, Ruben comes back to help him up and check that he can still focus his eyes. Goddamnit Ruben. Could you be any more amazing? No, no you couldn’t. Especially not since that fierce bitch also turned to the camera and screamed WOOOOO when his side locked up the game. I want to hug him like woah.
pic: Getty Images
So it’s safe to say I’ve buried all my hopes for 08 and jumped straight on the bearded Warriors bandwagon. If Ruben doesn’t get a premiership this year, there is no justice.
pic: Brett Phibbs
COME ON NEW ZULLAND! As Ruben Wiki’s wrist bandages say: Carpe diem, bitches.**
* Aidan Kirk
** Disclaimer: it might not actually say bitches.