The final game of the season and although neither team could make the playoffs, both coaches wanted to show that their style of play was the best. Bash or Agility? Who would win? The elves were coming into the came with 11 players, with their thrower missing this game through injury. The orcs came in with 12 players and induced the chainsaw to make up for the gap in TV.
With the elf coach, and players, nervously pacing the sidelines before the game, the chainsaw revved up putting the crowd into a frenzy…
The orc crowd was in a frenzy, but it was the elf supporters who threw a rock as the match kicked off; knocking out a black orc lined up on the line of scrimmage. The elves won the toss and elected to kick, hoping to steal the ball early. The chainsaw took up his position on the line and started hitting the stead fast elves on the line. The orc thrower, deep in the backfield, attempted the pickup but failed and the elf coach signalled the charge. elves flooded forward, exploiting gaps in the orc defence and stunned an orc blitzer on the side of the pitch with the ball. The orcs countered when the chainsaw KO’d a line elf and the rest of the team rallied around him using him as the point of their spear attach. The thrower managed to pickup the ball this time and passed it to the waiting goblin who ran behind the chainsaw for protection.The ball was in the centre of the pitch and the elves ran back to defend and blitzed the goblin carrying the ball who proved too nimble and managed to stay on his feet.
It was time for more saw action and the chainsaw again managed to KO an elf as the spear slowly advanced through the middle of the pitch. The second goblin player wanted something to do but only succeeded in stunning himself with a both down result. The Elves took over and this time did manage to knock the ball free and did their best to clear some space ahead of them. They were a little too keen through as one them tripped up whilst trying to dodge out of the grabbing arms of his opponent. The ball was now midway inside the elf half to the left of centre line. The ball was on the floor with elves and orcs vying for possession. The chainsaw was pushed aside as one of the black orcs rumbled forward to knock over the Elf blitzer. The blitzer was smashed to the ground put not before he fell onto the ball sending it bouncing around only for it to come to a stand still at the feet of four of his teammates. The orcs couldn’t get to the ball so proceeded to foul a prone elf killing him. The apothecary patched him up but he was still out for the rest of the game. The referee couldn’t miss this one and promptly sent off the offending player. The elves sensed the opportunity to score and end the chainsaw mayhem and swiftly picked up the ball and ran down the left wing, handing it off to the waiting catcher who ran in for the touchdown. 1-0 to the Elves on T4. 1 orc sent off and the chainsaw to follow. For the elves one player was seriously injured and one remained KO’d.
The elves kicked off again and this time the orcs came back with a renewed menace, seriously injuring another line elf and knocking down the rest of the elf defensive line. The ball was passed down the elf left flank and a half cage formed around the ball carrier. The elves pushed on surrounding the cage hoping to prevent players from joining the cage. The orcs countered by KOing an elf blitzer and stunning a catcher. The ball carrying goblin got excited and dodged away along the sideline. His excitement got the better of him though and he fell over spilling the ball. The elf players blocked away a couple of orc player before picking up the ball and running it up the sideline themselves. In an attempt to put more distance between him and the furious orcs, the coach signalled for two GFIs which were promptly failed, the ball again bouncing onto the ground; this time in open space. One of the goblins ran back to pickup the ball and threw it back upfield to the other goblin who ran down the sideline and waited nervously as the crowd urged ‘push, push’. The elves heard the cries and pushed him into the crowd who returned the favour by the chucking the ball into the orc half as far as they could. There were two elves who could get close to the ball and be in scoring range; a catcher and a blitzer. There wasn’t an orc player near the ball and all they could do was make it difficult for the elves. One black orc went for it to mark the blitzer who was closest to the ball while a lineorc blitzed the catcher but couldn’t knock him over. On the last turn of the half the elf blitzer dodged out, picked up the ball and made the GFI to end the half with the elves 2-0 up.
First Half Analysis
Overall the half went well. Too many players were leaving the pitch hurt but I had done what I wanted and got the chainsaw off the pitch and managed to score twice in the process. I probably shouldn’t have elected to kick but wanted to force the orcs to move the ball and at least think about scoring. A tackle piece would have been nice as trying to knock over a ball carrier with dodge is very annoying! The second touchdown was a little fortunate with the sideline throw in being perfect for me to make the most of.
The orcs kicked off the second half with the elves down 4 players with only 2 blitzers, 3 catchers and 2 line elves taking to the field. The elf team only know one way to play though and immediately split to wide on each side of the pitch with one of the blitzers taking up the roll of ball carrier in the backfield. The orc team covered the attacking players and retreated to cover their endzone. The elves responded by waiting..and waiting..and waiting. Toying with the orc players by staying out of reach and dodging away from enemy players at every opportunity. This continued for three turns until the elf sandwich near the orc endzone became too dangerous for the sandwich filling and the orcs finally attempted to pressure the ball carrier. The elf coach didn’t want any more damage to be done and on T5 the blitzer ran forward and handed off to the waiting catcher to walk into the end zone unopposed for the 3rd elf touchdown.
The two teams setup again and again the orcs blocked down what was left of the elf line and the thrower passing the ball to a goblin on the right hand side of the pitch. Again the remaining elves managed to knock over the ball carrier and the ball landed at the at the feet of three players. the standing goblin ran towards the endzone ready to receive any pass that may come his way. The orcs attacked the elves near the ball but the agile blitzer managed to fall onto the ball which bounced into the open arms of the star elf catcher. The orcs, feeling the injustice of the bounce, fouled at face down elf who was unharmed. The referee though spotted the foul and sent the offender to the stands. The elves picked up the ball and ran forward with it, orcs and goblins chasing them to try to prevent the score. The last gasp blitz wasn’t enough though and the rookie catcher stayed on his feet before dodging away to make the score 4-0 on T8. With one turn left the orcs lined up and the fans took out their anger on the team’s performance by badly hurting a black orc with a rock.
The referee called time and the match ended 4-0 to the elves.
Second Half Analysis
I would have stalled for the whole half if I thought my players would survive. I would have run them out and back into my half but I’m not a big fan of stalling anyway and in the end the chance of serious injury was mounting and running in for the touchdown was the safest thing to do. I was a bit fortunate with the final score as I really didn’t expect the ball carrier to be so exposed again. I don’t block much in a game but running in to blitz a goblin just felt right 😉
The game was much more open that I expected. I was imagining a bashing, caging orc team but it was more of a screening, passing, bashing team. Once the chainsaw was off the pitch this gave me the upper hand as I was able to exploit the space and attack from all directions. Side step was very effective this game causing all sorts of problems with blocks and moving the ball around. In the end I think the movement was telling and I was never having to desperately chase anyone or feel stretched. Having only 7 players in the second half wasn’t as bad as it had been in the previous game as all of my skilled positional players were on the pitch and 4 dodge players against no tackle is very effective. I was very happy with the result. It feel good to get the first season under my belt, but I do feel that I am just getting started with this team.
So my season finished P9 W4 D1 L4.
I will be doing a season review in a future post and will put down my thoughts, highs and lows of playing a season with rookie elves.