Redbacks bite, Wallabies melt at 107 degrees
The record-setting heatwave had some people asking questions about whether Metro Game 4 should proceed, but both teams had good reasons to show in numbers. The Wallabies were getting sassy with two wins in a row; this was an opportunity to prove it was a new trend and not an anomaly. In contrast, the reigning Nashville Metro champion Redbacks were studiously searching for answers; they needed this win to get their season back on track and silence the boastful Wallabies.
The temperature was around 106 degrees at 2 PM, but a gentle breeze favoring the West End Avenue goals provided some relief. Despite several notable absences, the two teams appeared well matched.
For the Wallabies, new recruit Shane Branscum provided some much-needed height in the middle, while Dee “Weeman” Vsetecka provided extra speed. Rising star Derek Blank ably tagged Redback veteran Evan “Colonel” Ling on the wing. David “Frosty” Harris was a bulldozer in back line, and Ross “Rosco” Flemming was as dangerous as ever in the forward line.
However, it was the Redbacks who had the early difference-maker in rookie Nate “Nate” Caldwell, who dominated from center half back. As “Nate” ran across the center square evading half the Wallaby team, then booted a massive goal, his fellow Redbacks simply stood back muttering, ‘man, that Nate “Nate” Caldwell can really play!’ At the end of the first quarter, the “Nate” goal truly was the difference between the two teams, with the Redbacks leading by seven points.
The lead was slight, but the Redbacks had the scoring end in the second quarter. Wallaby “Sugar” Kane Harrison had a couple of booming kicks and was always an influence. The ageless Jeff “Peeps” Persson and youthful Eliot “Feliot” Kerner seemed to run tirelessly, unaffected by the heat. But again it was Nate “Nate” Caldwell who lifted his fellow Redbacks with another spectacular play, sprinting and dodging opponents to kick another glorious goal.
Inspired by Nate “Nate” Caldwell’s second goal, Redbacks attacked the ball and maintained pressure on their opponents. Redback defenders Duane “Model” Mathes, Mischa Nemeth and Mike “Goon” Guinsburg limited the Wallabies to a single goal to finish the first half with a 20 point Redback lead.
Inaccurate kicking robbed the Wallabies of an opportunity to reduce their deficit in the third quarter. Kicking downhill and with the breeze, the Wallabies wobbled six behinds. With only the final quarter remaining, the Redbacks held a three goal lead. Team captain Luke “Captain Caveman” Nemeth urged his teammates to keep running and not assume the three goals would be enough to ensure victory.
Redback speedsters such as Chris Neilson, Cliff “Nugget” Cosnahan, Travis “Quigs” Quigley and Jake Ridings seemed just as fast in the fourth quarter as they were in the first. Similar to the second quarter, the Wallabies were held to a single goal, while the Redbacks made a statement with another four goals.
The Nashville Kangaroos will combine for an away match at the North Carolina Tigers on July 14. The next Metro game will be the following Thursday July 19, when the Wallabies will attempt to bounce back while the Redbacks look to even the 2012 series.Scores By Quarter
1st - Redbacks 4.3 (27), Wallabies 3.2 (20)
2nd - Redbacks 7.6 (48), Wallabies 4.4 (28)
3rd - Redbacks 9.10 (64), Wallabies 6.10 (46)
4th - Redbacks 13.13 (91), Wallabies 7.11 (53)