Sydney, Australia
September 23, 2001 - Redfern, NSW - Footy Final

By beating a number of larger and better funded opponents over a period of weeks, the La Perouse Rugby League Football Club made it to the Grand Final, the last and deciding game which would crown the Rugby League champion for the southern suburban region of Sydney.

While the uninitiated simply call it "rugby," there are actually two different types of rules to the game that are played widely in Australia:

La Perouse used a combination of skill, stamina, and excellent timing to defeat Moore Park and win the 2001 Grand Final. A try by Bunda (Robert Simms) evened the game with only minutes to play, and the winning kick came from Pumpkin, one of the team's best place kickers.

This game was exciting, even to novices of the sport, such as Katherine and I. Many times, the crowd proved to be the most interesting part of the game, as the La Pa supporters really threw themselves behind their team and held nothing back in the support of their "boys."

Footy Final Movie
[5.8 mb; 4:52]
Many of the action sequences in this movie do not play as well as I would like, thanks to the high level of compression. However, at least the movie is a decent size for low bandwidth viewers.

La Perouse Players Bunda and an unknown La Pa player before halftime.

Note the lack of any real padding. Skinned knees and bloody elbows are just part of the game.

Tackle A Moore Park player is surrounded by La Pa players before being tackled.
Try, Try Again Play resumes again, with the football being placed on the ground to be passed back to a teammate by using a foot.
Halftime The game starts to take its toll, with La Pa substitutions becoming increasingly necessary closer to halftime.
Worried La Pa Fans La Pa fans could barely restrain themselves every time a call was made against their team.

During most of the game, most of the loudest fans, especially players from previous La Pa teams, stood shoulder-to-shoulder below one of the lights used for night games, straining to make out very movement of the ball.

Bunda Bunda prepares to catch a kick and run the ball back.
Taking the Field A lot of the game is walking around, trying to anticipate where the football is going to go next so that you can be ready to tackle if the action heads your way.
Pass to Bunda Bunda prepares to catch the pass for the winning try.
Bunda Scores a Try When scoring the winning try, Bunda had the presence of mind to stick his hand out of the pile and place the ball on the ground, making sure that the refs - and the crowd - could see he was successful.
Finger After scoring his try, Bunda's finger goes into the air from the middle of the pile to start the celebration.
Celebration Bunda and his team celebrate the apparent win.
Pumpkin's Winning Kick Pumpkin lines up to kick the winning field goal.
Final Score Final score:

La Perouse 30
Moore Park 28

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