‘THE CELEBRITIES’ vs ‘THE FISHBOWL FAVOURITES’

first_imgA new initiative was tested out this grand final day at the 2005 National 18’s Champs, as Tony Eltakchi donned a microphone headset, pulled up his referee socks and our celebrities faced the `Fishbowl Favourites’ in the 2005 Celebrity Challenge. The result???…hilarity all around. The grandstand was packed and in for a treat as a lucky 13 players were chosen from teams who had not made the top eight sides. These were players that had stood out to the men in `The Fishbowl’ (tournament control tower) ether through their skill, appearance or just general fantastic qualities. We called them the `Fishbowl Favourites’ and they were coached by Aussie Mixed Open coach Gary Madders. It was no doubt an experience for these young players, a chance to play in front of a packed grandstand and create history for TFA…perhaps even start a tradition??!! Designed to build crowd excitement and prepare everyone for the grand finals, the group had the crowd in stitches. We had celebrity referee Tony `Tash’ Eltakchi being wheeled out in a garbage bin, to sin binning Peter Topp (TFA Game Development Officer) for allegedly being offside, to Kane Weeks bolting down from the Fishbowl to push his way past the opposition to score and being gang tackled by Natasha Stergi from the ACT, Kyle from CIS and then Baartz, the youngest (and littlest) player at the tournament. The referees were cheering for their panel member Kathy, while they accepted Tash’s slightly over the top refereeing (and maybe on occasions just plain wrong) with good humour. Doctor Bruce was a hit in his Jamaican wig…who ever knew the doctor was so talented? While NRL Rabbitoh and former Touchie Joe Williams showed he still has what it takes when it comes to that step. Renee Randall and Maree Curran proved the Aussie Womens 30’s side will be a force to be reckoned with come All Nations, while Renee’s brilliant intercept and potential length of the field touchdown was halted by Tash’s whistle…and the reason you ask??? “Penalty for being too good,” were the words from the referee’s mouth. Phil Gyemore and Shelley Matcham (Aussie Open representatives) proved to the kids that Aussie selection is an honour and worth aiming for as they played against and encouraged the `Fishbowl Favourites’. Shae Moran from the Northern Eagles was an absolute hit with the crowd, he even stepped Joey Williams (claim to fame no doubt) and he dived across the line for two touchdowns. It was a great break from the competition, a light hearted break that all seemed to enjoy. Let’s hope we see it again next year!! The teams: FISHBOWL FAVOURITES Natasha Sergi (ACT) Andrew Baartz (CQ) Dylan Jones (SC) Andrew McCabe (SWQ) Kristen Noack (SUNS) Emily Hudson (TAS) Sharon Wong (WA) Candice Fuller (Rebels) Kyle Hiscox (CIS) Trystan Graham (Scorpions) Thomas Ainsle (Crusaders) Shaye Moran (Eagles) Jack Benson (NT) Jim Proust (Hornets) Australian Coach: Gary Madders All STARS TEAM Joe Williams (NRL South Sydney) Phil Gyemore (Aussie Mens Open) Shelley Matcham (Aussie Womens Open) Maree Curran (Aussie Womens 30’s) Renee Randall (Aussie Womens 30’s) Kathy Sweeney (Referees Panel) Russell (Groundsman) Dean Lannan (Selector) Peter Topp (Staff TFA) Jackson Goman (Tournament Staff) John Singh (Aussie Coach) Doctor Bruce Watts By Rachel Moylelast_img

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