NAB Cup, AFL at the Etihad Stadium – Come on Tigers!!

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February 17th 2012
Published: February 28th 2012
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With the tour of the MCG over we caught the free tourist bus back to the CBD and made our way to the Docklands ahead of our introduction to Australian Rules Football at the Etihad Stadium.We collected our tickets, and walked down to the quay side for our pre game dinner of fish n chips with a fussy seagull (apparently they don’t like banana) and some less fussy sparrows (they do like banana)!

We made our way back to the stadium and settled in with a meat pie and a pint to ensure we took in the full AFL experience! As tonight’s games are for the NAB Cup, which is a warm up to the actual season, the format differs slightly to that of league where they adopt something similar to the NFL and play quarters. Tonight the three teams playing each other would play two twenty minute half’s against each other. The teams playing tonight were Richmond Tigers, North Melbourne Kanaroos and the Hawthorn Hawks; as we are living in Richmond we decided to cheer on the Tigers.

With a retractable roof, the 53’000 seater stadium would be impressive under normal circumstances, although given our earlier tour of the MCG it was a clear second best.

As the first game of the evening between the Tigers and Kangaroos kicked off the crowd was still growing, and we without a clue as to what was unfolding in front of us! The Tigers soon took the lead and we begun to pick up the basic rules and unusual scoring system. At half time a couple of more senior lady Tigers fans pointed out a few of the more finer details of the game for us before the second half got underway. Gradually the Kangaroo’s clawed back into the game before stealing the victory close to the end much to ours and the ladies behind us disappointment!

The next game was between the Hawks and Kangaroos. The Hawks took the lead early on and dominated the game with an easy win, although Kangaroo’s did score the only nine point super goal of the evening.

The final game of the evening was between the Hawks and the Tigers. Given the prior two games our expectations were set for the Tigers to get an absolute pasting! As expected the Hawks took the lead and dominated play, although Richmond were hanging in there with the encouragement coming from over our shoulder! In the closing minutes of the second half Tigers actually clawed back to take the lead and surprise the 28’000 crowd, and despite some heavy pressure they held out to win the game.

With the games finished, and many miles walked, we caught the number 48 tram from just outside the stadium and headed home to get some rest before we embarked our tour of the Yarra Valley.

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