Quokka Cup Goes to Young Explorers

The Sea Explorers is a Mentoring Program run by several of the school's Alumni, from the Classes of 1968 and 1969. These past students, work with a group of Year 10 and 11 boys each Friday in a program themed around the ocean. During the annual camp, the traditional 'Quokka Cup' game was played ... and here is the match report. Enjoy.

Sunday 1st April marked the opening of the 2012 Rottnest AFL season with a nail biting 1 point victory to the newly formed Lawley Sea Explorers. Leading from the front from the first bounce Conor's young stars left the Lawley Old Salts lamenting and in real doubt for their next match after a string of serious injuries.

The first bounce saw the Old Salts take the ball away from the middle into attack with Dorrington receiving a sickening blow to the head and then justifiably being rewarded with the first free kick of the game. His courage and determination inspired his tiring team mates to keep going harder. Alfrich showed great dash and agility after having a delayed start in the game due to work commitments as a cameraman. Callan had the run of the ground on three separate occasions creating opportunity after opportunity.

Tully was strong in defence capturing the loose ball on several occasions and proving a real obstacle in front of the Old Salts. Explorers' players Raven and Casey showed excellent pace around the ground gathering numerous possessions. DJ opened the scoring with a magnificent goal from 70m (15 really). A great banana kick from Tully after a free kick in the goal square saw the Old Salts post their first score for the game with a forced behind. Godden snapped truly for the Old Salts only to have the goal disallowed for non compliance with the newly introduced handball rule. Team mates were scathing of his unwillingness to share the ball and shunned him for the remainder of the quarter which luckily for him was only another 15 seconds.

The second quarter saw Armstrong assert his authority with some very telling marks all around the ground. His long goal from centre half back was a welcome relief for the ailing Old Salts. Papadopulos's disposal was causing great angst amongst his team mates. Gathering 27 possessions in the first half of which only one was effective. This certainly limited the Old Salts chances of scoring. Josh played a solid role in defence and repelled wave after wave of Old Salt attacking moves. He held McCarthy kickless in the first half. A thudding Tully shirt front on Alfrich should have resulted in a send off but the umpire was unsighted; a worrying trend it should be noted.

The Sea Explorers French connection soon came to the fore. Nick and Jahlee really asserting themselves. Applying a Napoleonic like manoeuvre they got the ball across the boarder to Callan who skilfully got it on to Conor who scored another magnificent goal from long range. The goal was met with some controversy with the central umpire calling for a video review before giving it the 'all clear'.

Half time came none too soon for the Old Salts who put their 410 years of collective knowledge together to come up with a master plan for the second half. The Sea Explorers were quietly confident as they made there way off the ground. A nasty incident between DJ and Godden during the half time break only steeled the resolve further of both teams. Whilst getting a drink out of the tap DJ made a snide remark to Godden about his drinking technique and then flicked water on him. The AFL review panel will conduct a fully enquiry into this incident and serious penalties are like to be applied.

Eaton addressed the Old Salts at half time with some inspiring words to his team mates. "I can't do it all on my own," he claimed. "In fact I'm not sure if I can even do it at all." A short mind relaxation exercise by Alfrich brought the team focus back to reality. There was a common thought bubble; "What on earth are we doing here?"

The siren sounded for the start of the 3rd quarter. After a quiet first half Daniel dashed in and stole the first kick finding Raven 30m out. He responded by posting the first point for the Explorers. Daniel continued to be effective with Casey, Jahlee and DJ gathering possession after possession. Conor resumed his dour struggle with Papadopulos with both players inspiring their lagging team mates. Armstrong continued to add run to his team with Dorrington and Eaton both chipping in with some excellent conversation in the right full forward pocket. After a frenzied period of play Godden was award a free kick directly in front of goal and with pin point accuracy just snuck it in between the big posts. The game was hotting up.

The 3 quarter time break was a welcome relief for McCarthy who suffered a serious hamstring injury whilst attempting to tie up his boots. He addressed the Old Salts and with military precision and hatched what would become the biggest single strategic move of the game. Dorrington muttered approval and with a look of steely determination walked onto the ground ready, willing and unable.

Nick and Tully addressed the Explorers group begging for a continued effort. Praise was heaped on both Josh and Jahlee who came into the game under injury clouds. Jahlee made short work of his broken hand and Josh ignored the searing pain of his snapped Archilles tendon. Conor again explained to them that the team which kicked the most points would eventually run out winners. A roar of approval came from their 3 quarter time huddle and they broke brimming with confidence.

The fourth quarter commenced with the same ferocity as the third finished. Papadopulos broke away from the centre bounce passed the ball to Alfrich over to Dorrington still burrowing hard at ground level. Eaton lead wide in the direction of the Basin to take a telling mark. DJ and Casey intercepted and took the ball away. Callan rushed in and rushed away with the ball yet again. Conor, Daniel and Nick were creating havoc easily outrunning Godden and McCarthy. Tully, Jahlee and Raven teamed up for a shot on goal with a 6 pointer being the result.

After the centre play broke the Old Salts gained the forward ascendency. Suddenly there was an almighty crash, the ground shook and the game was brought to a thudding halt. Josh had dropped McCarthy behind the play; pure speculation of course - we don't dive in Aussie Rules. McCarthy was in great distress pleading to the umpire for a free kick. Awarded! He lines up, proppy, dazed, incoherent, uneasy but determined. He shoots on goal…. The scores are level!!.

One minute to go… The umpire puts his whistle to his mouth to blow time and out of nowhere Daniel snaps on goal… would it register? A solitary point is scored, the whistle blows… the Explorers take the cup.

Match Summary:

1st Q

2nd Q

3rd Q

4th Q

Final Score

Sea Explorers






Old Salts







Sea Explorers: Conor 1.0, DJ 1.0, Raven 1.1, Daniel 0.1

Old Salts: Armstrong 1.0, Godden1.0, McCarthy 1.0, Papadopolus 0.1


Sea Explorers: Josh (Archilles before game), Jahlee (before game)

Old Salts: McCarthy (hamstring), Eaton (heart burn), Dorrington (chafe), Alfrich (tennis elbow), Papadopolus (vocal chords), Armstrong (loose heel), Godden (pride)


Sea Explorers: Team effort

Old Salts: Armstrong