Average Joes 0 – 2 Orc Knees
Another day to forget for Average Joes as they lost back-to-back games for the first time in four years, and failed to register on the scoreboard in five years and five tournaments. The two victories gained earlier in the campaign mean they should still qualify for the upper knockout rounds, but may now face meeting the winner of group 1 unless they gain an impressive victory over their match day 5 (last group game) human opponents.
This was ‘Joes third consecutive matchup against an Orc side, and it showed with a rating difference of 20, thanks to more injuries – this time it was rat Ogre Shirley and gutter runner The Rat who were unavailable. The orcs won the toss and chose to receive in the midst of a first half snow blizzard. The blizzard abated at half time, but only after the ‘Knees had scored and ‘Joes had lost two players seriously injured, of which they felt the loss of storm vermin Tank the keenest. Luckily a couple of dodgy looking (and fairly masculine) bloodwiser ‘Babes’ convinced the several knocked out rats that the pitch was the safest place to be in the second half. The Orcs had sportingly scored relatively early in the first half – turn 6 – and the rats had a chance at stealing a touchdown back immediately, but a combination of poor planning and a comical failed leap attempt by Pepper Brooks kept the score at 1-0.
The second half saw ‘Joes carry on where they left off, with an inept cage, followed by a gutter runner (Cotton McKnight this time) failing a simple dodge to leave the ball loose when it was easier to score. They managed to fashion a third chance at equalising, but most of the 19,000 crowd were unsurprised by this time to see linerat ‘Dive’ fall over in the Orc endzone, and gift the Orcs the ball. At this point the majority of ‘Joes 10,000 fans left the stadium. The rats delaying tactics were dogged by more incompetence in the dodging department, and the orcs went on to score their second late on and put the seal on a solid victory.
In terms of tactics Average Joes improved on their previous two appearances verses Orc sides, choosing to stand off and let the opposition do the running while the rats took few casualties, whereas in previous matches they had got too close and suffered for it. The lack of injuries could also be attributed to the Orcs failure to remove their kid cloves before kickoff. A significant number of dodges were failed, along with 3 easy critical rolls which would have given an equaliser – by the third it became clear it simply wasn’t ‘Joes day. On the up side however the two injured rats both recovered enough to return on match day 5 against the humans in the rats last attempt at gaining some points to boost them up the table and away from the big guns. A full team of 15 players will be available.