The first weekend of the relaunched JDG season is going off seamlessly with encouraging “thumbs up” from players, officials and hospital emergency departments around the country.
On Thursday night, the 64-day hiatus in the 2020 competition caused by COVID-19 came to an end with an at-times spiteful clash between the Brisbane Bolts and the Parramattta Prolapses.
The game, which the JDG said had been watched by an estimated world audience of close to seven billion people, was played at one of the hubs set up to accommodate teams affected by flight and border closures – the live grenade practice range at the Australian Army’s Canungra jungle warfare training centre.
There were several more deaths than normal as the match unfortunately clashed with one of the Army’s live practice drills.
Noticeable in the matches played so far has been the speed of play, and delighted JDG acting chairman Sir Lilian Pansy put that down to the cost-cutting decision to have no on-field referees at all for the remainder of the season.
“Everything flowed much faster than normal and not just the blood,” Sir Lilian joked.
Bolts’ long-time water boy and former club great Lang Alflier admitted: “I had real trouble with my little legs keeping up with the lads to shout out illegal tactical instructions.
“The six-again compound-fracture rule didn’t make it any easier for me either.”
But Bolts head coach Jack Sunders suggested the play would soon revert to the dour, physical battles the game’s fans expect.
“You’ve got to remember these boys have been locked up in home detention for the entire time since the season was scrapped after only two rounds.
“They’re not piss fit and they’re far too toey.
“Give them the chance to get up to their usual good-natured horseplay and harmless hijinks by rooting some near under-age girls, taking banned drugs at near-fatal levels, shooting up outback road signs and livestock, and engaging in their usual lengthy and often naked hotel binge sessions and vicious bar-room brawls among themselves and they’ll be back to top form in no time.”
One feature of the relaunched season has been the eerie silence brought about by the absence of fans baying for blood.
Bolts general manager Terry Verandah: “I couldn’t get over how well you could hear those two Parramatta players as they cried out for their mothers as they bled out.
“That was one of the highlights for mine. Plus we didn’t have any of you bludging, fuckwit, whingeing media reptiles shoving microphones under our noses asking putrid stupid questions, which was a positive change.”
On a separate matter, Brisbane Bolts’ lawyer Dickie Shearman QC has issued a blistering warning to the “despicable low-lifes spreading rumours that I used insider knowledge to clean up on the 2019 season coach of the year award”.
“If any of you guttersnipes utter one more word that somehow I knew that Sam Ward from the Townsville Toercutters would win, so help me I’ll have your house, your bank accounts and even your pre-paid cemetery plots if you have them,” he said.
“Plus I do know where all your children go to school. Just saying.”
DISCLAIMER: The Bug has been a long-time sponsor and part-owner of the mighty Brisbane Bolts.