The weekend began bright and early as a troop of dedicated monkeys commenced setting up for the tournament. Pitches were marked, water bottles filled and the legendary simian buffet laid out.
As the teams arrived, one noticeable absence became apparent. When Geoff finally appeared he once again blamed the language barrier, after 6 months, as suspicious claim. But the team was together and eager to begin.
First however, we had to wait for our coaches’ clandestine meeting to conclude. What secret strategies were discussed? We may never know. But eventually the rest of us were permitted to enter, it was time to get serious. Each of us were given a partner (for a lucky few, a ménage à trois) and we took to the field.
For our first match we faced off against the Ziggles, with many extra metres on us it was clear that they would favour the long throws. We were not deterred however and our confidence was high, perhaps a little too high. In true Monkey fashion we fell into an immediate deficit and some of our tempers came very close to fraying. The disc was hot !
Later it would be decided that we had not sufficiently warmed up, a mistake that would be fully rectified in our remaining games, but this information could not help us now, something needed to be done.
A crucial timeout was called and we took the very brief one minute to clear our heads. After cooling off and reiterating the basics we were ready for the counter attack. Slowly but surely we managed to turn the game around, and the Ziggles offense began to crack.
Though we came far closer to the edge than we would have liked we eventually managed to claw victory from our rivals and finish the game 13 to 10, in particular thanks to our top scorer, in front of France 3 Alpes.
Now with a little space to breath we took the time to iron out some of the many wrinkles of the first game. Each of us had made mistakes that we did not want to repeat and we were determined to hit the rest of our matches hard from the get-go. Unfortunately we were now a man down, Adrien had made a noble attempt to join us during our first game, but his injury prevented him from going any further.
His desire to support the team however was clear to everyone, as Adrien remained glued to the sideline, offering encouragement (and water) for the rest of the weekend, for which we were all grateful.
Eventually we had to tear ourselves away from the quiche and get ready to do battle with T-R’Aix. With a far more intensive warm-up, and a more humbled outlook, we were all focused and ready. From the very first pull we began our attack with relentless efficiency.
Much like the mixed team, we used the explosive power of our handlers to carry out an exhaustive short game to win a lot of meters.
Even though little ground was gained, the reasoning was clear, and in no time the force became non-existant. Then, with handlers free to throw as they please, it was the turn of our middles to effect the final blow. The points rained down, seemingly with ease, but out of respect for opponents, we did not let up. Even the most vertically challenged among us took to this sky, and the game was quickly finished off 13 to 3.
Now we all felt that we could relax a little more and enjoy our next break. More food was eaten, music was played and the spikeball was unpacked. As a side note, for those of you wishing to give this new pasttime a go, it is suggested not to play against Pierre G. and Brice. One may be led to believe that these two respected coaches would aid you in your induction, offer advice and even take it a little easy. One would be wrong. This fast past game brings out a cruelness in these two rarely seen. They will make you look stupid and enjoy every minute of it.
Unfortunately for them, some of us had been practicing long and hard, and were finally ready to inact our reve……..WHAT!? AGAIN!? FUCK THIS STUPID GAME!!
Ahem, our last match of the day was against Les Discjonctés, a young team with less experience, but our first game had taught us not to underestimate anyone.
Once again we exploded off of the line, making sure that our opponents knew that everytime they dropped the disc, the consequences would be swift … and for us too.
Though we led the game from the very beginning, we were dedicated to finishing as strong as we started, with several players shedding skin in their attempts. As desperation kicked in, our opponents started to take more and more risks, much to the enjoyment of our D machine.
Once again the match was finished early, and we ended our first day 13 to 4.
The matches are finished.
The evening, most of the teams grouped together at our favorite brewer’s: the Dr. D. After some pints, we go back home for a well deserved rest.
Sunday brought us another early start with a match against our more evolved cousins, Pongo. Not wanting a repeat of the previous day an extensive warm up was carry out.
But wait, another late arrival? This time not Air Force One but the other anglophone. He uses his offspring as an excuse but Theo doubts its validity. As punishment he is banned from the first half of the game. The coaches are harsh, but fair.
Fortunately for the immigrant, he does not have to wait long. The warm up had done it’s job and the Monkeys attack was relentless.
We had also anticipated Pongo’s main strategy, to throw crazy shit. This has worked for them in the past, often bamboozling the other team by its unexpected nature, but not this time.
Everytime a cut was made, we expected the throw, and either by our individual speed, or our timely switches, the turnovers came fast and frequent.
Frustrations soon kicked in and the yellow apes began to fight amongst themselves. This did not help their game and the match came to an end at 13 to 6 in favour of the smaller of the two primates.
With the weekend drawing to a close there remained one last hurdle, our old friends Dahultimate.
Though a strong player down, they still posed a threat to our winning streak and no one was being complacent. Again, even with tired legs, we made sure to warm up, as much for our heads as for our bodies.
We know this team well, we know their style, their strengths, and more importantly, their weaknesses. The game begins with a trusting throw from our tallest coach, putting our first point on the board in mere seconds.
We hoped Dahu was shaken by this, but if they were, they did not show it. They kept their cool and points are briefly traded. With all heads back in the game the match continues and we start to pull away. After four victories our strategies have been solidified, every player knowing his place.
Several times we simply walk the disc into the end zone and there was nothing Dahu could do to prevent our 13-6 victory.
Thus the weekend came to an end and we could not be in a better position for the second phase. Much thanks must be given to our trio of coaches as well as all the other Monkeys who came to support us. We hope to do them all proud in the next tournament.