26th Column


Well, let me first start off with the major story that came out of Mareeba on the weekend, when the Tully Tigers travelled to take on the Gladiators at Davies Park, in their round of matches in the CDRL. It had been a long day, as this was Tully’s Super Saturday away, with all the juniors playing, followed by the seniors later that evening. The Under 18s game was about to finish when a tussle of sorts broke out amongst the players with disagreement over a tackle that the ref let go. Then, when the game was over, a Tully family of one of the Tully players tried to walk out of the grounds to avoid any more confrontations, only to be set upon by a group of people, who violently attacked them. Both myself and a few senior staff members of our club, including a brave Mareeba First Aid Officer stood in front of the fight and tried to break it up by preventing more people getting involve. This worked okay, but let me say, when I saw a parent of one of the 18s players getting punched by three people, for the first time at a Cairns District Rugby League match in 20 years, I was scared to do anything. The police were called, and order was restored, but the damage to a once proud footy club had already been done. As the day went on, we were told by a few spectators that a group of people were waiting at the front for another confrontation. Many of us were a little scared, but we managed to leave in one piece. It was a nerve-racking evening, and one I hope I never get to experience again in this lifetime. The days of going to the footy and enjoying the game looks like a distant past, because no one wants to put our families amongst such rubbish behaviour. If the Cairns District Rugby League does not at least cite or hand out some sort of punishment, then the League can put the DC comics’ mask back on, because if nothing comes of it, then they are the Joker! In amongst all of that were three good games of Rugby League, to say the least, and it was left to once again the Under 18s Tigers to carry the flag high once again. The back three of Micky, Bryson, and Zackary proved to be the game changer, but I don’t want to leave out the Thanos of our team, Jerome Ketchell. He was strong and smashed everything in his path. Braithan Ketchell and Darian Burton were once again at their best, along with competitor, Morgan Black, who just gets better every week. I want to reserve a special mention for Samat Gutchen, who was feeling and looking like he had been running for two days. But when the team needed him, he stood up and made sure we got over the winning line. The Reserve Grade game was closer than many people thought I could be, with Louis Carlaw instrumental in getting the boys closer to the w. Part time comedian and self-proclaimed fisherman, Pauly Ketchell, was one of the game’s best, and it is hard to argue with that. The A grade game should have been closer, but with all things in season 2021, most of it should be left unsaid. Phil Nona was clearly the standout player, with Toa the front a closely guarded second. Jonty Ivey was again his usual barnstorming self, and my mate, Jonnie Hughes, had another great game in the backs. Jesse Barra and Cameron Vecchio should receive a medal for every game they play based purely on their courage, because they had more heart than Leo the Lion, or the lion of the Wizard of Oz. Coach, Digger Ketchy, will look for a strong finish to the season this weekend when we travel back up the range again to take on the Roosters on Atherton. 

If anyone out there in NRL or just footy land missed it, let me be the first one to remind you all – the Brisbane Broncos defeated the North Qld Cowboys last Friday night at Suncorp, and man was this guy a happy chap. Truth is, I switched it off when Feldt scored that, which later was taken off them by the NRL Bunker. According to Steven Barrett and all of his cry baby Cowboys supporters, Feldt did not knock it on. To be honest, it looked like he held the ball to score, but in this new age day of iPhone, Digital TVs, and flying cars, the technology suggested he did indeed fumble it. So, the chapter must go on like Luke Skywalker did in Return of the Jedi, the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings, and Stiffler in American Pie, the world stops for nobody. In other NRL news, Melbourne have set a new record for wins in the modern game, Manly still look likely, the Warriors are still Once were Warriors, and Cronulla should never be allowed to play again. Parramatta made me glad I don’t back them, and the Roosters, well, they also made me glad I don’t back them, purely based on me just hating them. Just like Ferris Bueller did all of those years ago when he skipped school to go on an adventure, I think some of these teams should have skipped the last few games because the West Tigers game against the Warriors was almost State League, such was its level of interest. I’ve seen the great pyramids of Egypt, I’ve climbed the great Wall of China, I have even seen a dog swim underwater for 5 minutes lifting rocks in its mouth but watching the NRL last weekend was even more disappointing than the last episode of Rosanne. That Cowboys Bronx game literally carried the whole round. Hopefully, we can get to see some great footy happening across the board. 

Heartfelt congratulations go out to the mighty Murray Upper State School for winning the shield at the Cassowary Coast Southern Zone District Athletic Carnival, which was made even more groovy with my good mate, Andrew Cripps, presenting the winning trophies. The day was filled with joy, laugher, running, and eternal heavenly weather. The parents really got into the spirit of the day, with many screaming and supporting their schools and kids in many of the events throughout the day.

A special mention has to go out to my St Johns legends who I got to meet last week at the Cassowary Coast Southern Zone District Athletic Carnival at Lower Tully. To Peta and Ruth, it was awesome meeting you guys and I hope to see you again. The loveliest St Johns staff I have ever met, thank you for making it a great day.

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