We've been putting off writing about last Thursday's game against the all-new UQ Lovers team for a few days now, partly due to other pressing matters but primarily out of denial.
You see, just how Dojo lost to this all-star UQ team isn't exactly clear upon first examination. The score was pretty close throughout, the teams pretty much evenly matched on a pound-for-pound talent basis, but somehow the formely-maroon-clad, temporarily-in-light-blue and soon-to-be-in-who-knows-what UQ lads simply managed to quietly and inexorably pull away from a mildly implosive Dojo team.
Perhaps the scars on every bony surface of this writer (no doubt Dan Walls is still festooned with bruises as well) are a clue to how things seemed to fade away toward the end of the game. Whereas the Lovers played a smooth, full-field game all night, it seemed that the Dojo players were constantly forcing themselves to do something special to score goals or even just retain possession. As the game wore on, coming up with something brilliant every point proved more and more difficult and eventually the inevitable just sort of happened...
But let's not sell the game short - there was some absolutely first-rate play from both sides throughout the night. From UQ it was mostly sweet, sweet long throws from Buzz and Al into the wide-open hands of Big Julz or Gref, and from Dojo it was mostly Dan Walls putting his body in danger catching heavily contested discs and going horizontal to save an overly-ambitious Dan B throw for goal.
Given that the kenshi spent most of last season learning to overcome this self-defeating style, it's a little disappointing to see it re-emerge so soon. But no matter - it will only be a matter of time before the Dojo style adapts to the return of old guns Ryan Black and Andy McLean and the rhythm returns. For now, let's just say that next week's opponents UQ Passion can expect to have their deep defences severely tested...
We're also pleased to advise that Big Julian Sacre is out strolling the Dojo bamboo grove at the moment, and today he appears to have some colleagues with him. We'd better rush out to catch them by the Eastern Gate for a quick chat about last week's game and the season ahead.
In the meantime, our usual MVP poll is to the right, and the MVP standings have been updated below. Vote for as many players as you think deserve it!
Match Reports Round 14
3 hours ago