Junior Wildmen 5-0 Scarbringer Savages

Week 4 06/09/03

Referee: Pierluigi Baldinio

Weather: Rain

Gate: 20k

A meagre crowd of just 20,000 showed up to see the clash between the two Western Conference teams who had failed to take maximum points in the week 3 cross-conference games. Following a loss to the Mutineers, the Wildmen were keen to get back on track and they did so in crushing style. A 5-0 hammering of the Savages firmly re-established their conference credentials. For their part, the Savages will have been disappointed to have dropped points at the Mercenaries and a strong performance was needed to kickstart their playoff hopes. It simply did not happen.

The Wildmen had been caught out early on in their previous two games so the coaching staff must have been hoping for a quicker start from the heavy duty blocking units. Showing some respect for the all-round pace in the Savages side, the Wildmen opted for an intermediate defensive formation. A decent kick-off in the light rain was fielded by Savages Skaven Thrower "Fur" Tooth and the game was on. For their part, the Wildmen blocking line was slow off the mark once again with only a handful of successful blocks in the immediate momemts following the kick-off. The most significant early action was that by referee Pierlugi Baldinio who clamped down on foul play early, sending off Wildmen Lineman Mr Jeffrey for the first foul of the game.

The Savages had set up with an aggressive line-up in an attempt to match up against the front line of the Wildmen. It proved to be a mistake. The kick-off had been deep and by the time Fur Tooth had been able to pass out to Stinky the Skink, the Savages front line had not made a single successful block. For their part, the Wildmen seemed to prefer the game to be played more centrally so their lack of pace across the defence could not be exploited by a flank overload. Minotaur Horny Wildman was the player to take advantage of the Savages lack of penetration. The awesome physical sight of the horned monster blitzing must have terrified poor Stinky. The Skink was knocked out on his feet, the ball just trickling free beside him following a head clash. With the defensive secondary line being pushed up near to the front, they were in perfect position to take advantage. Amazon Thrower Lisa Furykup and High Elf Speedy McSpeedy combined to counter-attack rapidly and move deep into Savages territory with the ball in the Elf's hands. The Savages including Rat Ogre "The Claw" could failed to slow the High Elf down as he dodged away to run in an early score.

The second drive was devastating. Speedy McSpeedy turned on the style straight from the kick-off, taking advantage of the hole created following a failed block from Skaven Blitzer S'lip D'isc to reach the ball before any Savage player could lay their hands on it. The Savages seemed to have no answer as the High Elf ran rampant through the backfield. With almost embarassing ease, Speedy struck for his second of the game. Speedy was playing like an Elf possessed, the third drive of the half led to his third score. The small opening the free-scoring Elf needed was created by a fumble from Fur Tooth who succumbed to the pressure when failing to gather in the loose ball from the kick-off. Once Speedy was through the line and had taken possession for himself, the Savages once again were unable to lay a significant block in his path. The away side could do nothing to prevent only the second hat-trick of the season after Salina Black of the Dolts. Speedy's though was a first half hat-trick, an incredible feat.

3-0 at half-time. The Wildmen were proving their strength at home. An away loss to the Mutineers and an away draw with the Mugaz were distant memories. From the Savages perspective, their famous victory over the All-Stars seems equally long ago. The first half performance from the Wildmen has to merit as the best display seen so far in the league. Such a turnaround from the disappointing game against the Mutineers. Unfortunately for the Savages, the home side were beginning to grow in confidence.

Kicking off in the second half, the Savages seemed shell-shocked. It was almost as if their coach had sent them out of the dugout as punishment for the performance in the first period. The away team had not been capable of holding on to the ball for any length of time in their own backfield so they lined up in an extremely aggressive fashion perhaps hoping to raid into Wildmen territory before they had a chance to set up play. The blocking units must have licked their lips at the sight of the physically over-matched Savages lining up across the length of the line of scrimmage. If the Savages thought they could take on the Wildmen in a blocking match, they were wrong.

Speedy McSpeedy took the kick-off with ease and simply ran round the end of the defensive line. He was not even challenged as he burst down the left flank of the defence. The Savages are blessed with decent all-round speed but they did not have any players in position to catch the rapid Elf. They also didn't have any players capable of taking the blocks dished out on the. front line. Savage after Savage went down including Rat Ogre "The Claw" who was knocked out and failed to recover for the rest of the game. Perhaps more crucially, Fur Tooth, the key Savages ball player was injured by Minotaur Horny Wildman as the skilled passer strayed too close to the line of scrimmage. Almost indifferent to the carnage on the front line, Speedy McSpeedy took the cheers of the crowd as he ran in his and the team's fourth score of the game. No player had previously scored four touchdowns in one game. Only one team, the Fabienettes had previously managed that feat.

The Savages medical team, consisting of Hacker "Hacksaw" Bones the Apothecary was in over-drive but could only put out five players for the next kick-off. Without Fur Tooth, it was Sirius the Dark Elf Blitzer who was selected to take the kick-off. His possession lasted four yards before Amazon Thrower Lisa Furykup caught up to him and stunned the Dark Elf with a vicious blitz. Another score looked on the cards until perhaps the best play of the Savages game came from Lineman Blacktooth Bob. Standing after a block from Mr Wildman, the Lineman dodged away from the Troll, left the front line and tackled Mr Cock Knocker, the Human Catcher who had taken advantage of the earlier tackle from Lisa Furykup. Even that was not enough to stem the tide of abuse with Speedy McSpeedy lurking nearby and able to take command of the situation, running in his fifth score to break the record for most scores by a team in one game. To add insult to the many injuries, Savages Lineman Pete O'Stool was sent off for a foul by the ever vigilant Pierluigi Baldinio.

If the Savages thought that the game had been harrowing, the worst was in some ways yet to come. The medical team managed to patch up eight players to take the field. Bravely, they lined up with Skink Stinky and Sirius the Dark Elf as the only backfield players. Stinky took hold of the ball and sought protection while those who could threw blocks. The blocks barely dented the morale of the Wildmen. Treeman Woody Wildman picked up his first casualty of the season by Badly Hurting Savages Lineman Steely-Eyed Sam. Still the away team gave everything but the front line turned nasty. Troll Blocker and team captain Mr Wildman showed exactly why he is so popular among the home fans with his own unique brand of blocking. Faced by Skaven Lineman Femur Slink, the Troll lifted his much smaller opponent from the ground. Play seemed to stop as the awesome strength and fearsome physical prowess of the Wildmen captain held the attention of all in attendance. The unpredictable blocker paused for a moment, surveying the scene around him. To the horror of the Savages fans, the Troll opened his gigantic mouth and bit down hard on Femur's head, severing it clean from his shoulders. The second fatality of the season and the first on a Western Conference side drew rapturous cheers from the home support and a bellowing cry of glory from their skipper.

The gruesome sight of the Skaven's carcass seemed to affect the ball playing members of both sides. Stinky the Skink dropped the ball, perhaps un-nerved by what he had witnessed. Mr Cock Knocker of the Wildmen attempted to take advantage but his grip on the ball was loosened by Savages High Elf Lineman Mithdithius. Mithdithius himself fumbled when attempting to make a pass only to see the previously impecable Speedy McSpeedy do exactly the same a moment later. The half descended into a farce with these fumbles, neither team even looking like commanding the ball. The death of Femur Slink overshadowed the rest of the game and it ended with a crushing victory for the Wildmen. 5-0, and one fatality, a devastating result that is sure to send chills around the rest of the league. For their part, the Savages were never really in the game and following a disappointing draw with the Mercenaries, it remains to be seen whether they can mount a realistic playoff challenge.

Injuries: None

Key Stats

MVPS: Speedy McSpeedy, Mithdithius

Best Players

Speedy McSpeedy: 5 TDs, 6 Rushes for 39 Yards, 1 Reception for 1 Yard, 5 Blocks, 4 Downs, 3 Dodges, 1 Fumble
Mr Wildman: 1 Fatality, 1 CAS, 9 Blocks, 6 Downs
Horny Wildman : 1 CAS, 7 Blocks, 4 Downs, 1 Tackle, 2 Stand