Sunday, 6 September 2015

A return to traditional values

On a run on Friday I noticed that the gates to Sieffert Oval in Queanbeyan were open.  I knew this is where the Raiders started off, and had heard people talk about how good the games were there, before Ros Kelly shifted them to Bruce.

The games at Bruce were still pretty good when I used to go in the 1980s.  This was not just because the Raiders were about the best team in the country (supplying several players to the Australian team) but because they used to get huge crowds (25,000+ for big games such as against Brisbane or Mal Meninga's last game) and there were open areas where one could sit on grass.

Unfortunately the Superleague fiasco killed the team and the corporate idiots have killed the feel of the Park - made it "nicer for families" but no grass.

So finding Sieffert was open, I waddled in.  I spoke to a couple of guys and they said there was a big Queanbeyan vs Goulburn game on the following Sunday.  When I said that sounded like fun one of them opined "It'll be fun if you're watching, but not if you're playing."  This sounded like the sort of event to be seen.  At a slightly later stage I found it to be the Grand Final of the local competition, so there could be a bit of emotion in the game.

So I rolled along, wearing protective coloration (faded jeans and a flannelette shirt).  It was a tad difficult to find a park, which was a good sign in terms of crowd.  I coughed up $10 for entry (the Raiders are about $25 and after being chatted by a security person about the bulge under my jacket (my camera, not the pig that has attached itself to the inside of my belt buckle) in I went.

Yes!!! Back to the good stuff.  Grass to sit on!

Kids allowed to go and kick a footie before the game.  The guys on the RHS of the image are the Goulburn blokes warming up - won't catch the serious athletes of the Raiders or the Gumbies doing that with kiddies on the park.
The stands were much more occupied than those of Olympic Park on a Friday night!
I titled this photo 'Lens envy".  When she stood up the photographer wasn't much taller than her lens, but she ran pretty swiftly from end to end to catch the action.  She also didn't have a tripod so I have no idea how she kept it steady: much have very strong arms.
There was a lot of XXXX being consumed.
I suspect the bar ran out by half time!  If I was a cop keen to get a few PCA (Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol) convictions I'd have put a breathalyser station up Sutton Rd.  On the other hand they are probably all harassing people about visas .

The next few images are all variations on the theme of 'spot the ball".  Queanbeyan are wearing the white shorts.

 A tackle!
Some running repairs. I don't know what was happening, but the player ended with a lot of tape on his pinkies and some of it went a bit red, so rather unpleasant.  But he stayed on and tackled a few folk.
The game was pretty even but rather defensive.  Also I found that everywhere I went was full of Goulburn supporters.  Having things to do at home I left at half time:  from reading a match report that was a bad move as it livened up thereafter.  Queanbeyan won, 24-14 in extra time!