Yesterday was a grey, wet and windy day for the most part. Perfect one could say to play a game of rugby league. And for me? Perfect to referee said match. For the first time in two months I got onto the field to do what I love doing and have been doing since May 1994.
Gear bag in hand I jumped a bus to Carina where an under 18’s match between Carina and Inala would be taking place. It was 2nd against 3rd on the table which normally assures you of a tough, tight and solid contest. This game would be no exception.
Out in the middle at 3 pm and it’s to time to blow the whistle and get the game underway. From the outset the tackles are fierce and opposing players are doing their best to verbal and intimidate at every chance they get. I love games like this. You know it will be a hard day at the office but it is what you live for. Best of all the players just want to get stuck in and graft out some good footy.
The match itself saw both sides trading tries and blows. At halftime it was 16-10 in favour of the away side. Carina came out with more vigor at the beginning of the second stanza and as the clock ticked down to the final 10 minutes they were leading 26-24.
From there Inala kicked into gear and got back to what their teams do best. Throwing the ball around and forcing mistakes against their opposition with solid tackles. It was if they had spent the best part of the second half in first gear. Though when they turned it on Inala turned it on in style and went on to notch up two late tries for a 36-26 victory.
The feeling of being back out there in the mix was sublime. Much needed match fitness under the belt and the best seat in the house to enjoy a fantastic game of rugby league. Being involved sport as much as I am is another reminder of why my life is so damn good!