Thursday, 24 April 2008

day 1 practice

after some awful navigation by Matt, we got to clifton pool an hour after we were due there. the hour delay was my fault - i thought we were due there at 11, we were due at 10. Darren should have know better, he jacked it up with the locals.
we managed to get 15mins of game time against the local colts type team, the 'mad cows'. no idea why they are called that and not the masters women's team. hey, it's a different culture here and i'm just a go with the flow kind of guy.

pool temp was arctic. after 28+ degrees in singapore it was hard yakka and many of the guys were reporting racing heartrates every time they subbed into the game. at least they had done a proper warm-up. i jumped in from standing and spent 30 mins in the water spectating.

so after we thrashed the mad cows for 15 mins [cos they play as individuals, not as a team] we had a 15 min run against the colombians - the big improvers in 2002 & 2006 when they moved into the A division at the expense of GB [2002] and USA [2006]. luckily for GB in 2004 and USA this time, there is no B division due to low attendance numbers. but colombia re probably pretty keen to cement themselves in the top 8, this year, in case there are enought teams in subsequent years for 2 divisions or if entry to tournaments becomes ranking based.

for the first 5 minutes of the colombian game all the action was in our defensive zone and the colombians were unlucky not to score. a good breakout from a sub got us down to their end of the pool and we got thhe scoring started. then we got another very quickly and the colombian's heads dropped a wee bit. after that we had pretty much full control.

both games were good results. Liam, our goalie, is a bit crook and he stayed out of the pool, so we played both games with a makeshift goalie. Benson sat out against the mad cows and Ben had a rest when we played colombia. We also experimented with Andre at centre against colombia so rob could have a run on the wing. so both games played without our strongest line-ups and both were fairly convincing results. no goals in our bin at all.

off to kings park pool afterwards for registration, then lunch at the big mall up the road from our accomodation. guys went wandering about the mall after lunch. it was pretty dull without a wallet. John had a go at the standing wave flume, with mixed results.

naturally Matt's navigation skills had us completely stuffed and 2 mins from home he got all 4 cars back onto the motorway heading back to durban. another 15 mins added to a 15 minute journey.

scheduled practices tomorrow at kings park [competition] pool.

the entire programme for the comp has been bollixed by the very late withdrawal [thursday last week] of the zimbabwean masters team - who you may recall had already been moved into masters from the elite division. programme booklets had already been printed, so the poor organisers have a lovely colour booklet with a worthless draw in it. i can only assume that they are mightily pissed off at the zims.

by-the-by a local here told me that popular opinion holds that Mr Mugabe knows something about Mr Mbeke that Mr Mbeke would like kept secret. Thabo spent many years of anc exile in zimababwe and is a very good mate of Rob's. maybe their eyes met one evening, a high-five was mandatory, and mutually assured destruction will occur if either one breaks the code of silence. all pure speculation on my part.

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