July 16 at Norwood Oval marked the third ever Adelaide Reclink Community Cup, where local musicians and media go head-to-head for a great cause (and footballing supremacy).
The Community Cup started in Melbourne in the 1990s and has grown into a national tour with games in almost every capital city.
The Rockatoos won the first two Adelaide Cups, but their inaugural captain Koral Chandler was unable to represent them for the three-peat as she was too busy procreating the next generation of Rockatoos.
This year the Rockatoos were represented by Dan Adey (Teenage Crime) as captain, with Myf Davis as manager and Peter Goers (ABC) returning as head coach.
It was huge set of shoes to fill for Adey, as Chandler not only won back-to-back for the ‘Toos, but played a crucial role in bringing the game to Adelaide.
“I dealt with expectations of being captain by increasing my blood alcohol levels, talking to my amazing team manager and vice captain, and watching old videos of Garry McIntosh,” Dan says.
“Before the game I told my team Norwood Oval was Rockatoo territory, and there was no way the Anchors were coming into our house and beating us.”
The Anchors were represented by captain Jessica Braithwaite (Channel 9), team manager Libby Parker (The Upside News) and head coach Tammy Franks MLC (SA Greens).
Molly Nichols-Pavy, one of the best on grounds for the Anchors last year, was sidelined due to a rib injury and took on the role of co-coach.
Representing The Upside News on the Anchors side were Libby Parker, Matthew Trainor, Jonathan Mann, Tania Nicholas, Nutman and Thomas Jackson.
The stage was set for the Anchors to finally claim their first win; the ‘Toos had some crucial outs including Chandler, former best on ground Trent Worley and Marcel Cuthbertson.
Lauren McAleer, exceptional in the ruck last year for the Rockatoos, was coming off surgery on her finger and was not expected to play.
(Photo: John Goodridge.)
The Anchors came out onto the field with the more glamourous of introductions as ‘Horses’ from Daryl Braithwaite filled the stadium as J.Braithwaite was carried out on a boat.
“I don’t want to sound too much like a nerd, but it was honestly one of the best things I can remember in my life, it was so much fun to be part of a team in that way,” Jessica says.
“All of the credit needs to go to Molly for building that boat out of bed posts in her back yard. It was all her idea and she is just a legend!”
The theatrics of the game have developed from the passion the players have: Nutman from the Anchors surprised his team mates with their logo shaved on his head.
(Photo: Dave Court.)
And Captain Dan drew on his knuckles, which is kind of cute, we suppose.
(Photo: Bernard Humphreys.)
The match got underway with a lot of pushing, shoving and even hugging; after a tough feeling-out process, the Rockatoos opened the scoring with a goal from Dan “Eyes” Gaskin (Dilettantes).
“My memory is hazy, but I may have summoned the spirit of Eddie Betts as I swooped onto the ball, with Anchor, Chris “Komorekt” Komorek hot on my heels,” Dan G says.
“I got boot to ball to drill the first sausage roll of the game, and although I had only been in for 30 seconds, I felt my work was done and headed back to the bench.”
(Gaskin was all smiles after adding six. Photo: John Goodridge.)
Captain J.Braithwaite received a free kick in the forward 50, but out of her range, she handballed off to Nutman (The Upside News/Fresh 92.7) who hit the post for the sole Anchors score in the first half.
The Anchors managed to get service into the forward half, but Matt “Footy” Horvarth was immense defensively for the ‘Toos and continuously rebounded the ball back from defense.
Rockatoo Matt Giola (Colibrium) scored at the end of the of the first quarter, and with no goals in the second quarter the half time score was Rockatoos 2.1.13; Anchors 0.1.1
The Anchors returned to the field while The Toss were still playing, with some of the players watching the performance.
For reasons unknown, the ‘Toos failed to take the field at the start of the second half, allowing Braithwaite to score the Anchors first goal of the game.
After another centre clearance, the ball was bombed into the 50 to Nutman, who chipped it to Braithwaite for another goal.
“All I know is that everyone on my team was being very kind to me and feeding me the ball when they could’ve kicked the goals themselves,” Braithwaite says.
It may have been a ploy by the ‘Toos, however, as their cheersquad brought the Anchors boat back onto the field, with some unfortunate modifications.
(Photo: John Goodridge.)
“The boat was taken at half time by the Rockatoos cheer squad and drawn all over, then brought out onto the field and then left in the rain,” Molly says.
“I’m all for a good laugh, but I guess I just felt a bit bummed that it was drawn over; all in good spirits though!”
Troy Benson received a free kick right in the centre of the defensive 50 and drama ensued after Nutman threw the ball back hard at Benson.
Darren “Dazza” Leech (themusic.com.au) bowled Benson over, resulting a 7-on-1 fight at half-back, with ‘Toos captain Dan Adey getting stuck into Nutman and dual 50m penalties awarded to the Rockatoos.
Ross Elliott commandeered his guernsey, but suffered a dislocated shoulder after coming off second best against Alex McKenzie, the 2016 Anchors captain.
“In the lead up to the game, I sadly incurred a low-grade hamstring tear. It healed enough to get through the Saturday session and on the park for the game,” Dylby says.
“In cooking terms, the ham was in the oven pre-game, by halftime it was well and truly cooked!”
“When I threw it [Dylby’s guernsey], it may have headed towards his [Elliott’s] general direction, to the point where if he didn’t catch it, then it would’ve hit him in the face…”
(Ross Elliott gets his shoulder looked at. Photo: Bernard Humphreys.)
There was curiosity over whether streakers would be a factor in the Adelaide game, after controversy with police in Victoria, but Adelaide did not disappoint.
(Photo: Dave Court.)
Alex Cameron scored his first goal for the game and Matt “Footy” Horvarth (Stolen Youth/Crisis Alert/Clarity Records) kicked the ‘Toos fourth goal, giving them a huge edge going into the final quarter.
Sean Kemp (Surviving Sharks), who coached both teams in the lead-up to the game almost got on the board, but instead the ball was held up in the goal-square.
In the final quarter, Alex Cameron (Bad//Dreems) scored his second goal, from a free kick on a tough angle.
Sean Kemp put the final nail in the coffin with a goal in the last five minutes, a fitting score from someone who understands what the game is about.
“Dan Adey delivered the ball, I gave Alex [McKenzie] a massive shove out of the way and my ‘Tony Modra instincts’ kicked in,” Sean says.
“Being a part of Reclink is about the bigger picture and it all goes towards the greater cause, raising funds that assist the most vulnerable.”
As usual, the final few minutes of the game were chaotic. Not only were all 80 players were on the field, but even Anchors waterboy Caleb Sweeting (YEWTH) and assistant coach Molly Nichols-Pavy were joining in.
(Sweeting (blue shirt) trades bottles for balls. Photo: Dave Court.)
None of that was enough as the Rockatoos relished in the sweet sound of the final siren, the final score Rockatoos: 6.4.40; Anchors: 2.1.13.
Rockatoos: 2 – Alex Cameron, 1 – Dan Gaskin, Matt Giola, Matt “Footy” Horvarth and Sean Kemp.
Anchors: 2 – Jessica Braithwaite.
Reclink Best on Ground: Morgan Sette (YEWTH/AAP)
Rockatoos: Matt “Footy” Horvarth (Clarity), Lowana Schmuker (Loana), Alex Cameron (Bad//Dreems).
Anchors: Alex McKenzie (Fresh 92.7), David Jean (The Advertiser), Lilla Berry (Carclew).
Adelaide Community Cup Medals:
Emily Trott medal (most courageous Anchor): Jimmy Gratton (The Messenger)
Kat Waterman Best Off Ground Medal: Kat Waterman
Cover photo by Dave Court.