A Winters Tale - Lions v Rebels - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

A Winters Tale – Lions v Rebels

A Winters Tale – Lions v Rebels

A Winters Tale*

Melbourne Rebels v Golden Lions

Ellis Park, Johannesburg. South Africa.

Kick off: 1910 hrs local, 0310 hrs, AEST.

*With apologies to the bard.


Dramatis Personae

Higgers: A King of Melbourne

Coach T: A Gaoler

Mitch, Luke, Hugh, Woody: Four Lords of Victoria

Laurie: A Clown

Daz: A Rogue

Supporters: As Chorus



Antechamber in AAMI Park, Half-Time, Rebels v Reds.

[Enter HIGGERS: and COACH T:]

COACH T: If you shall chance, Higgers, to not give away such infringements, you shall see, as I have said, no great difference betwixt our Rebels and those dastardly Reds.

HIGGERS: I think, in fairness, the ref doth be blind. Surely, in the second half of this great contest, he means to pay the Reds the Yellow card which he justly owes them.

COACH T: Wherein our game-plan shall shame us, we will be justified in our adoring supporters; for indeed–

SUPPORTERS: [in the background] Reeeeee-bels! Reeeeeee-bels!

COACH T: Shut up!

HIGGERS: Gads, that resounding noise guilts us all. Verily, they speak it in ignorance of the scoreboard.

COACH T: They pay a great deal, too dear, for what tripe is given by you and your men. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.


HUGH: We cannot show ourselves over-kind to Queensland. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, that I disbelieve their position on the Australian Conference ladder.

MITCH: Verily so. We must overcome this Queensland bond somehow, brothers.

LUKE: Well, your 10 in the bin didn’t fucking help.

MITCH: Thou doth gain a Gold Jersey, and suddenly thou art above us in standing? What is this madness?

LUKE: The lure of the ARU top-up is strong. Agree with me, brothers?

HUGH: and WOODY [together] Wellll….

COACH: T: What is this cloud that doth descend? Focus, you buggers.

[Enter LAURIE, staggering from side to side]

LAURIE: [Distressed] Mine eyes! Mine eyes!Rebels indiginous

COACH T: [to all] What’s his problem?

LAURIE This jersey doth steal away my desire to play. Such hideousness! Verily, I am blinded!

COACH T: This affliction bodes darkly for our journey to the Republic, but a week hence from this day.

MITCH: I have willed myself to extra sweating, but I fear this accursed jersey will go unbidded at auction.

HUGH: Your devoted follower will surely put aside such concerns, at all costs.

MITCH: I fear not. Even that rogue has his limits. And his fellow supporters too.

SUPPORTERS: [in the background] Reeeeee-bels! Reeeeeee-bels!

COACH T: Shut up!

LUKE: Brothers, listen to our chorus! They have come to see victory. Should we not give them that, here, at our last home game? For the Republic awaits us, far from kith and kin.

HIGGERS: Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

COACH T: If the team had a win, they would desire to live.

LAURIE: The Lions doth have a potent forward pack. I fear to survive, thank you.

COACH T: Stay your thanks a while, and pay them when you part these fair shores to Africa.

MITCH: Sir, that’s next game.

WOODY: I am question’d by my fears, of what may chance. No wins at home, besides, I have stay’d to get that Gold Jersey.

LUKE: Yeah, right. All in Black doth suit you best.

WOODY: I’ll no longer stay.

HUGH: I say this too, brother.

COACH T: Which is why you are on the bench, lacking game time.

HUGH: Merde.

COACH T: Gather ye thoughts! ‘Tis time to face the accursed Reds for the final 40, before recovery and a flight to South Africa. The Lions await us, anticipating such easy victory.

HIGGERS: Press me not, beseech you, so. There is no tongue that moves, none, none i’ the world, So soon as yours could win me: so it should now.

MITCH: Tongue-tied, our Gaoler? Speak you.

COACH T: I had thought, Higgers: , to have held my peace until full time, but I say this now; win, or get dropped to the Dewar Shield.

LAURIE: Well said, Coach T:.

COACH T: For glory’s sake, open your eyes, clown!

LAURIE: The jersey doth hurt me. O, such a fool I be. But better to scrum blinded, than see the nightmare all around me.

COACH T: Righto then. But to you all I say this; The borrow of a week, when at South Africa we shall be in our traditional away strip. No excuse to gift the Lions any advantage of playing blinded, as we do today.

[ALL] Verily!

COACH T: And tho’ today doth look bloody bleak against the accursed Reds, I swear to you , that the foul Lions will taste defeat, heavy and bitter. By about 7, I’d propose. On our supporters life, I swear it!

SUPPORTERS: [in the background] Reeeeee-bels! Reeeeee-bels!

COACH T: Shut up!


Schalk van der Merwe1Toby Smith
Robbie Coetzee2Shota Horie
Julian Redelinghuys3Laurie Weeks
Franco Mostert4Hugh Pyle
Franco van der Merwe5Luke Jones
Jaco Kriel6Colby Fainga'a
Warwick Tecklenburg7Scott Fuglistaller
Warren Whiteley8Scott Higginbotham
Ross Cronje9Luke Burgess
Marnitz Boshoff10Bryce Hegarty
Anthony Volmink11Tom English
Alwyn Hollenbach12Mitch Inman
Stokkies Hanekom13Tamati Ellison
Deon van Rensburg14Tom Kingston
Coenie van Wyk15Jack Debreczeni
Armand van der Merwe16Pat Leafa
Jacques van Rooyen/Corne Fourie17Cruze Ah-Nau
Ruan Dreyer18Paul Alo-Emile
Willie Britz19Cadeyrn Neville
Derick Minnie20Jordy Reid
Faf de Klerk21Nic Stirzaker
Elton Jantjies22Jason Woodward
Lionel Mapoe23Telusa Veainu
Location:Ellis ParkJohannesburg
Kickoff:Sat 5 Jul 3:10
Referee:Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Cobus Wessels
TMO :Johan Greeff


  • Antony

    … That was wonderful.

  • Bairdy

    Quite an eccentric, Daz.
    Your pieces never fail to deliver, that’s for sure. Bravo!

  • wilful

    Good effort!

  • You are delightfully mad, my friend.
    I’ faith.

  • Spaldo

    This article should be decriminalized and made available for medical purposes. It is so awesome that scientists should be testing new biofuels made from it.

  • 44bottles

    What happened to McMahon? Injured or just not selected?

    • Bairdy

      Selected for the Commonwealth Games in the 7s.

  • Patrick

    My favourite part is the evident eternal hope – I’m happy that I’m not the only one so deluded!

  • stuartfaz

    I had my pinkie finger raised the entire time. Verily, an exquisite romp.

  • Ath

    Superb effort Daz, top shelf.

  • RobC

    Standing ovation

  • USARugger

    The most avant garde match review in the history of sport – brings a tear to the eye.

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