Monday, October 04, 2010


Well, my football team, the St George Illawarra Dragons won the NRL Premiership!

Today, in steamy Dubai, I took the day off work to ensure that at 10am I was on the lounge ready to watch the game.

After grand final losses in 1985, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1999 and then 10 years of promising so much and delivering so little, the Dragons have led the 2010 premiership from start to finish and today eclipsed the Roosters 32-8.

I have to say today was an emotional day as I sat so far away watching through the Middle East sports network OSN.  Niki sat with me after we dropped the kids to school, had a coffee and then walked the dog.  We were so far away from the hype and the press and of course my mates giving me a hard time but the tension in my lounge room was huge as we waited for kick off.  With the weather in Sydney clearly cold and rainy, we watched some really crap (and I mean really crap) pre-game entertainment before a really crap rendition of the National Anthem.  A note to Australian event organisers:- Do not f#ck around with the Anthem.  Do not jazz it up, put a didgeridoo under it or muck about in any way shape or form.  Get a solid singer with no pretensions to belt it out so that the fans and the players can sing along.  Jessica Mauboy is not such a person... she remixed it to sound like a B-Side of her "upcoming album" which I will not be in a hurry to buy.

Anyway, the game was on and with Niki enthusiastically cheering as well we watched the first half whilst we both kept connected to people back home via Facebook.  The first half didnt go so well and the Roosters led at half time 8-6 but on the plus side it should have been worse.

Second half however was a brilliant effort as the Dragons in driving rain smashed the Roosters to win the game 32-8.  A nearly faultless display of ball handling in tough conditions and some unforgiving defense saw the game in the bag with 15 minutes to play and we were celebrating.  I couldn't believe it... the team that I have been following for as long as I could remember and yet had lost 5 grand finals in my younger years had finally done it.  The last premiership that we won was in 1979 (when I was 7, yet I can't remember it) and now I found myself 13,000km away watching from afar as the trophy was lifted by a St George team for the first time in 31 years.

It's days like today that you wish you were back at home, but that's OK... I had my St George jersey on today and had a couple of celebratory beers after the game :-)

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