This week saw the first official games of Buce to be played in three years, as well as an explosive return of the iconic Buce News. Read about the week’s happenings below.
Game 1: Wu-Tang Clan vs Hawks
The battle between WTC and the Hawks proved to be a thrilling and fitting opener to the first Buce League in 4 years, with some spectacular points being scored and exciting debuts from some newcomers to the sport.
Both teams throughout the game were evenly matched, with sparing moments of control being passed between both teams intermittently. The Wu-Tang Clan boasted a more heavy attacking presence in the first half, as the Hawks struggled to get back into the groove after what has been a 3 year off season. The veterans of each team were first to step up, with Andrew Shakespeare scoring a mid-air point under pressure, which was countered by an unguarded point by Theo Rogers, before Nick Allan scraped through with a point after an effective counter attack.
Newcomers had their day too, with rookie Nathan Griffin scoring a point with a textbook header just before half time, but it was Matthew Lee, former football star, that had heads turning. Taking the first half to get into gear, once Lee adjusted his game, he let fly with an array of impressive moves, dominating midfield and almost winning the match for the Hawks.
Flynn, who took charge without WTC veterans Noah Church and Jackson Cowan, kept the team working like a well-oiled machine and managing to notch two single points himself. Theo Rogers also pushed WTC forward, using his powerful playing style to dominate the attacking half of the field, but an impressive defensive effort from Nick, Michael, Tim Allan and Matt Lee ensured a safe bin for the Hawks. An incredibly executed but unfortunately disallowed point by Lee at the very end of the match forced the two teams into a draw.
After the match, both teams expressed disappointment for a match that could have easily gone either way, but felt a draw was a fair outcome for both teams. Wu-Tang said Matt Lee’s sleeper performance “carved us to pieces [in the second half]”, and has warned other teams of his future presence.
Man of the Match
While all players did an exception job all over the field, Matthew Lee’s game-defining performance in the late quarter of the game has earned him this week’s Man of the Match. His impressive actions during the match left Wu-Tang scratching their heads in confusion at the previously unknown rookie, and even BNN officials admitted they think there’s a special future hidden in the feet of this Hawkling powerhouse.
Game 2: Team Venture vs Team Blek
The formidable Team Venture clashed with league heavyweights Team Blek for the first round. In a round neither team will want to repeat, Team Venture scrambled a 3-0 win against Blek, in what ended up being a physical and tight match.
Despite being quite evenly matched during the game, Blek dominated in attack for longer periods of time, and forced Team Venture into long defensive ruts for much of the match.
The first half was a rather scruffy affair by both teams struggling to get back into their top form. Despite having a lot more control over the game, Blek seemed to miss the last touch and were unlucky not to complete any opportunities. Thanks to a tight defensive effort from both teams, the only point in the first half was by Ashley Everson, who, with the help of a long string of passes from Chris Beavon and Charlie Rogers, was able to notch a point for Venture.
As fatigue set in after the half-time whistle, the game became a bit more loose and both teams got more chances in attack. Midfield was hotly contested, particularly against Charlie Rogers and Hamish Rogers, who scuffled heavily throughout the game for dominance in midfield. While both teams had their moments in midfield, Venture eventually managed to secure a tight margin in attack, with two fortuitous points by Charlie Rogers, who was also unlucky not to have been awarded an impressive buce towards the dying moments of the game due to an OOB violation.
Both Venture and Blek had pleasing performances in the match, particularly from Hamish Rogers, who stepped up to the challenge of neutralising Charlie Rogers, and Tre Clifford, who posed a direct threat to Venture’s bin throughout the match. Callan Wrightson and Ashley Everson retained their old form quickly, with Everson playing a heavy role in Venture’s attack, while Wrightson enforced the midfield with exceptional desperation.
Blek veteran Nick Scott also completed the squad’s presence on the field with some impressive fieldwork, and Buce newcomers Chris Beavon and Alex Conway achieved the mammoth effort of keeping the Blek machine from earning the week’s win.
Despite the loss, Hamish Rogers seemed optimistic for his team, saying they played well and he still believes his team has the metal to proceed to the finals, while Charlie Rogers felt the toughness of the match was something he hopes Venture won’t have to deal with again.
Man of the Match
Hamish Rogers stepped up to take on older brother Charlie Rogers, who threatened the livelihood of Blek and seriously tested their mettle as grand final contenders. Despite the loss, Hamish led by example, controlling Venture for much of the match and inspiring fellow Blekkers Wrightson, Clifford and Scott to play at two hundred percent throughout the game.