72. Eastern Regional ChampionshipsDate: 15/03/2008 - 16/03/2008
Location: Orange, Australia
Team name: Umlaut
Finishing postion: 9/11
This was the tournament that Umlaut had been training for. We never expected to qualify for Nationals, but it was always an outside possibility. And, being seeded tenth, there was much honour on the line with three teams seeded above us that we could possibly beat, so there was definitely something to play for. Millerine and I travelled to Orange with Christian after work and arrived in time for beers at our hotel, where we were staying with the Southside girls.
Our first game was against Bozza's team, Westies, who were the only team seeded below us. They weren't very experienced, but they played with more intensity than us and took the lead early. We worked hard to bring it back and eventually won by a point. The other competitive game in our pool was against Manly. We'd been able to pull ourselves together by then and brought our best to the game. Although we were definitely the underdogs but the scores were fairly level throughout the game. It was very enjoyable giving them a fright and watching their internal team relations get a little fiery, but we weren't good enough to pull out a win, going down by about two points. The other result I recall was against Barefoot, where we got pantsed about 15-0. It was easily our worst offensive game. Had were certainly a good enough team to score points against them, but we were completely lacklustre, only putting together a few points of reasonable offense.
The party was a little drunken due to all the pre-drinking at the dodgy Chinese restaurant, but it was a great vibe and very sociable. Bozza seems to know how to throw a party.
After the pools had been rearranged on the second day we played against Fakulbee, but we couldn't match their intensity and didn't score a point in the second half, losing something like 12-5. Our "final" was a 9/10 playoff against Westies again (who had defeated Hills and had a close game against Manly), which was again fairly close but we won by a few points.
The fields were as hard as cement, which with my normal cleats made it very difficult on my ankles. Running was very hard work. On the second day during a break Marty and Christian and I went to the public pool to loosen up, and that helped immensely for our last game. With muscles that worked again it was my best running and playing of the tournament.
Umlaut is the first team that I had not only captained but run the training sessions for and organised. It was also one of my more rewarding ultimate experiences. A lot of what I was hoping to do with the team from the training sessions was achieved. I was fairly happy with the plays and how we played them, even though there were some obvious weaknesses and some improvements to be made to deal with the opponents who exploited them. Everyone had a positive attitude, so it was always fun on and off the field. We also looked damn fine in our livery.
Trastalk article - Eastern Regionals Rock!