By Ron Lane
Despite the annual Australian Legends of League vs Legends of Noosa Pirates game being played on Saturday evening in torrential rain, the evening must be rated a great success. Why? Because for a large crowd to turn up despite the weather it tells us that the support for the game of rugby league is indeed alive and well in the Noosa Shire.
If the support shown on Saturday evening is an indication of community backing for the season ahead, then the Pirate Family is in for a good year.
So heavy was the down pour that on taking the field, a field that was covered with many pools of water, players from both sides immediately did a duck dive into the pools and proceeded to slide some twenty meters across the field. This crazy little act helped prepare their bodies for what lay ahead; and what lay ahead was an entertaining game that despite the conditions saw great ball control with very few dropped passes.
For the lovers of the game the Australian team contained legends such as Petero Civoniceva, Robbie ODavis, Scott Prince, Ben Hannant and our local former Pirates Coach and NSW State of Origin player Noel Goldthorpe. All members of this team were escorted on by members of Sunshine Butterflies with a disability. On the paddock for Pirate Legends were such players as Trent Heathwood, Anthony Zipf, Michael Fisher, Sam McGregor and Brendan Williams.
Highlight of the game which was won by the Australian Legends 28-18 came in the second half when our local ball boy who had possession was scooped up by a charging Pirates player carried some 20mts then hit the grass running to finally score in the corner for Pirates. This move involving the young lad highlighted the happy atmosphere in which this this event to promote the game was played; a try which was loudly applauded by both spectators and players.
Another highlight was the attendance of Pirate legend Brendan Williams. Brendan now a serving police officer in the Victorian Police Force K9 Squad, travelled from Melbourne for the game. Speaking in the clubhouse and surrounded by family members who still live locally, he summed it up well when he said, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, my old club mates my family and a great game. Despite the weather our Pirates people did a great job.”
At the completion of the game the Aussie Legends donated signed jerseys which were auctioned and the response was good. All for a good cause.