Every week, FOGS director and Australian Rugby League team manager Gavin “Jed” Allen will be filing his account of life inside the Kangaroos camp. Here is his third installment, after Australia’s win over New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland. Stay tuned to fogs.com.au for Jed’s Kangaroo Diary during the course of this year’s Four Nations tournament.
Well, I think there is no doubt we saw the Kangaroos play their best match of the tournament against the Kiwis on Saturday night, and while it sounds simple, I reckon the novelty of a dry track had a lot to do with it.
For the first two games, the boys had to play in driving rain and greasy conditions, and when you are trying to shake a bit of rust out and build a few new combinations, that makes things a little tough.
So we were all very happy to see blue skies in Auckland on Saturday. We were getting a bit worried when things were looking a bit grey on the Friday, and being the Land of the Long White Cloud, you know a downpour is never far away.
But thankfully it stayed dry, and the Roos really produced some good footy in a tough old game.
This game was a big occasion, because I think the Kiwis and the New Zealand fans really thought they were in with a good show of dishing out a lesson to the Aussies. But the boys really stepped up and showed what they have got.
It was a pretty hostile old home crowd, too. They were getting right into it. You probably heard there were a few “ugly incidents”, but really, it wasn’t anything too serious.
I think the fans all came fired up expecting a win, and when it didn’t come out as they had planned on the field, they had to find some other way to make their own fun.
They got the old Mexican wave going, and a few things were being thrown about, and there were a few blokes in the crowd punching on to, but nothing to get too worked up about.
Was it worrying? Not at all. Being honest, it reminded me a bit of the old Lang Park back in the old days, when things were known to get a little feral if the home team wasn’t getting looked after.
I must admit, when I saw one of those bottles come flying over the fence, I thought to myself: “Gees, these blokes are really getting serious”.
But that was only because they were throwing these brown plastic bottles. When I got my first glimpse at them, I thought they were the old-school XXXX stubbies. That would have caused a bit of damage I reckon.
But it turns out they were only plastic. And while it is never a good look when stuff like that happens, at the end of the day it wasn’t really a big deal, and being honest, it’s kind of good every once in a while to see fans being so passionate in their support of their team, particularly in a Test match.
If they’re throwing away full beers, they’re not terribly bright anyway, are they? They were just having a bit of fun. No real harm done.
It’s going to be an interesting week ahead in the lead-up to the Four Nations final at Suncorp Stadium. I’d hate to be Tim Sheens this week trying to pick a team of 17.
We’ve got a fully fit squad of 24 blokes who all want to be a part of it, and we saw on the weekend how a number of blokes took their opportunity with both hands when they were given a chance in the green and gold.
The boys are all keyed up. Their workload has wound right back now as they start tapering off for the game, and it’s great to be back in Brissie.
Hopefully we will get a big crowd of Queenslanders out for the game and another dry track so the Kangaroos can show us again what they can do.