Redfern Oval Part III: Souths Juniors in Action

"Now THAT'S a rabbit, mate!"

“Now THAT’S a rabbit, mate!”

After splurging on enough Souths gear that would make both Madge and Reggie red and green envy, I headed back to the oval for today’s match: a meeting of the Souths Juniors against a team from England.  I was really looking forward to seeing the game; I was in need of a win after seeing those accursed Roosters beat my Bunnies!  In short, I needed some kind of catharsis, and seeing these young chaps in stripes would certainly ail me.

Brain, Tanya, Brigitte, and I took our seats in the many bleacher rows.  I couldn’t help but be in awe of how this small oval (looked more like a big rectangle) used to be a legit stadium.  I am in no way insulting the team, but rather paying a compliment to a team’s humble beginnings.  The oval reminded me of a small stadium that one would expect to see at either a high school or public park.  Ok, granted the oval was in a park, but when someone learns that this used to be a real NRL stadium, one would expect a bigger venue.  This place felt like it was in the middle of a suburb, which added to the ambiance of my being there.  I got the same feeling from when I visited Wrigley Field in Chicago; a beautiful stadium, and in the heart of neighborhood, not located off a highway near some massive parking lot.  This was obviously a special place, and I could see why Rabbitohs fans cherished such a place.  Not to mention that this was the very neighborhood where the team was born.

"Hey, you?  You lookin at me?!"

“Hey, you? You lookin at me?!”

The game began with the national anthems; “God Save the Queen” for the English team and “Advance Australia Fair” for the Souths.  I didn’t know the full lyrics to either one; if one of the songs had been Waltzing Matilda, I would have gotten up and sang out loud (I have two versions of that song on my iPod!).  With the anthems out of the way, the game began with Souths receiving the kick.  Since there was no scoreboard, I had to keep track of all the tackles and tries.  Meanwhile, I was too busy trying to capture the all the hits and misses on my camcorder.  Doing my best impersonation of a cameraman at a football game, I had my camcorder and my tripod zooming in on all the action.  Sadly, in all my “professional” gear, I looked more like some soccer mom proudly watching her son dribble the ball up the field before heading to Shakey’s.  While watching the game, I couldn’t help but be brought back to my athletic days at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, my alma mata. Seeing those boys in red and green charge up that field reminded me of when I played for my old varsity soccer team, only we were never as physical as those red and green juniors!

English Juniors

English Juniors

South Sydney Juniors

South Sydney Juniors

 

Souths Juniors VS England Juniors

Souths Juniors VS England Juniors

As the game wore on, I kept swapping between my camera, iPhone, and camcorder.  When I wasn’t filming, I kept looking out at the backdrop of Redfern.  Across from the field, I saw a row of tall apartment buildings.  I immediately began to feel like I was back in Queens; just looking at those apartments reminded me of taking the Long Island Railroad through Jamaica, Locust Manor, or Forest Hills.  Big green parks/small stadiums surrounded by co-ops and apartments that seemed to kiss the sky.  For a moment, I felt like I was back home.  That’s one more thing I like about Sydney: so many neighborhoods look like towns in Long Island, one could feel right at home here, provided you know the metric system and not forget to drive on the other side of the road!

"Back to Redfern, South of Sydney!"

“Back to Redfern, South of Sydney!”

By the end of the game, the Juniors had won the match, and I began to feel a bit of closure from last nights game.  However, little did I know, that my immersion within the Rabbitohs was just beginning!  We packed ourselves into Brian’s car, and drove our good friend Tanya to the airport, just in time to catch her flight back to Brisbane.  After a tearful goodbye, we hugged and promised to one day be back at ANZ!  It wouldn’t be goodbye, but more like, “See You Later!”  However, this would not be my goodbye from Redfern Oval.  Not by a longshot!

Next time: I return one more time to Redfern Oval, where I am treated to the surprise of a lifetime!  You might say I get a little starstruck!  Just you wait…

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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