Surfers clash in Juc footy classic
SATURDAY’S AFL grand final may have been the game that stops a nation, but arguably the Surf Coast’s biggest game of football was held only that morning in Jan Juc.
The Torquay and Jan Juc surfing community gathered at Bob Pettit Reserve for the game between the Jan Juc Jaguars and the Bird Rock Bandicoots, which Surfing Victoria’s Cahill Bell-Warren described as “essentially under 28s (Bandicoots) vs over 28s (Jaguars)”.
“It started out as a social sort of game, and became more and more serious to the point where everyone was wearing jumpers and the teams had national anthems,” he said.
“It was good quality football; there was everyone from veterans to guys who’ve never played a game of football in their whole life.”
He said it was a surprisingly contested game from the first bounce.
“The Bandicoots got the jump on the Jaguars, they certainly played with a lot of intensity early on and got out to a lead of a few goals, then I think they might have run out of steam and the wise heads of the Jaguars got the job done in the end.”
A GFL umpire ensured that both sides followed the rules and played within the spirit of the game.
“I think we were lucky that he was very, very competent at his job because there were a couple of moments where the lid could have blown off,” Bell-Warren said.
The Jaguars eventually won by about three goals, and Bell-Warren said the game ended five minutes early “because the only thing that was going to happen was that someone was going to get injured”.
“I think we’ll try to make it bigger and better next year.”