Review AFLG Round 4: Berlin Crocs start of the season
The Berlin Crocodiles kicked off their 2015 AFLG season in Hamburg on Saturday. It was matchday number five for the AFLG and saw the Berlin Crocs come up against 3 of the top 5 teams in Rheinland Früh Sport, St. Pauli Pirates and also the Hamburg Alster Swans. The boys rose up early to catch the train and there was a feeling of excitement as new coach Conny went through the roles for each player. The weather was patchy but the Crocs were ready to stamp there mark on the competition with 5 players making their competitive debuts (Antti, James, Jan, Will and Ezra).
The Berlin Crocs had the early 1pm kickoff against the Hamburg Alster Swans who came into the match with a 5-1 record. The Crocs who were led out by club captain for 2015 Bart jumped the swans in the first 5 minutes and kicked away to an early lead. The mids of Woodsy, Pete, Jan (Trev) and Will were well on top and through the first use from new ruckman James had the ball coming in quick and fast which delighted Rowan as in the blink of an eye he had the first 3 goals on the board. The rest of the first half saw a mini fightback from the Swans but the defence held strong with Bart getting the best of his opponent spoiling everything that came to him meaning the crocs took a 2 goal lead into the break.
The second half started a lot like the first with the Berlin Crocs playing some of the best football they have for years. One supporter described it as the best tackling display he has seen and this was led by two first gamers in Ezra and Will whose tackling and pressure led to the crocs first 2 goals of the second half. However again the Swans staged a small fightback getting the scorline back to within 2 goals before the Crocs mids once again got on top led by Woodsy with Gerrit and JP both getting on the end of his good work to add the sealers and a first up win for the Berlin Crocs in season 2015. The win was however soured by a shoulder injury to first gamer Ezra who we wish a speedy recovery too.
Goals: Rowan 5, JP 1, Gerrit 1
Best: Woods, Will, Bart
After a 2 game break the Crocs next came up against the St. Pauli Pirates who like the other Hamburg team had only suffered one defeat for the season. Haroon, Nick, Johnny and Flo came into the starting 12 with Will, Ezra and Antti sitting out. Right from the get go it was clear that it was going to be a ding dong battle with centre clearances being the key. JP was literally everywhere in his role as lose man and once again the opposition team had no answer to Rowans height as he continually beat 2 opponents marking everything that came in his vicinity. The highlight of the first half was definitely a huge tackle by JP as one of the Pirates players charged at him at full pace, JP stood his ground and with a big belly to belly suplex stalled his opponent winning a free kick and a subsequent 25m penalty to kick the last goal of the half to keep the crocs to within 1 goal.
The second half was again tight with the teams going goal for goal. Trev was running the game from his quarterback role with his pin point long range kicking time and time again opening up avenues to score for the Crocs. He also showed his skill by lacing out Rowan on the lead with a pass that barely got half a metre off the ground and covered a good 25 metres. The crocs were leading the game with 3 minutes left after Rowan kicked his 5th for the game but old Croc Alessandro came back to bite his old team having a hand in each of the pirates last 2 goals to inflict the first loss on the Crocs for season 2015. The match also saw the second Croc off to the emergency room with Johnny dislocating his finger. He was well on top of his opponent at the time and we also wish him a speedy recovery.
Goals: Rowan 5, JP 1
Best: Rowan, JP, Jan.M
The final game of the day saw the Berlin Crocs take on Rheinland Sport who before the day were undefeated. The Crocs started the game really slowly taking almost the whole half to get into gear. If it wasn’t for the defence the crocs could have easily gone into half time behind. Antti (arguably one of the greatest current sportsman from Finland) and James having a well-earned rest at fullback repelled every attack and didn’t take a sideways step. Haroon was also proving a handful up forward taking a courageous mark on the wing before moments later kicking the Crocs only goal of the quarter.
The second half was more of an open affair with the Crocs taking the advantage. Trev was at it again in the middle of the ground setting up everything as well as managing to snag his first of hopefully many goals in the Green and Gold. Rowan found himself in the right position again to get on the end of some great work from JP and when Nick dribbled through a goal the Crocs were home and pumped to be taking 2 wins with them back to Berlin.
Goals: Rowan 3, Jan.M 1, Nick 1, Haroon 1
Best: Haroon, Antti, James
A huge shoutout must go to the Hamburg Football Club for running the day as well as providing us with beds for the night. Also thanks to Benno Bock who travelled with the team and ran the water for us. Also huge congratulations to coach Conny on his first games in the hot seat. The Crocs would also once again like to thank JP for his time at the club and wish him all the best until his next last game for the Crocs in a couple weeks time.