Our First Game of Sport
Milton C. W. Pearson, CSM, 106 Field Workshop, 1968-1969
A rugby challenge went out between the two largest platoons, that is, 1(Veh)Platoon and 2(GE)Platoon.
Never having played rugby before I thought I would have a go. Being the CSM, I decided to play for 2 Platoon. I had represented Victoria in Inter-service Aussie Rules so I was picked to play fullback.
On-field instructions from Cfn Dennis Cordier gave me some indication of where I should be. It wasn't long before I was reading the play and joined the backline making an overlap. I received the ball and sprinted some 70 yards! Bingo! our first try.
Next time I received the ball my mathematical brain figured that the shortest distance between two points was a straight line so instead of sprinting across the field I bolted up the middle and into the opposing forwards. I stiff-armed WO2 John Putland then leapt in the air and hit Sgt Charles Calcraft in the chest. As I approached the next forward he wasn't moving so I employed my first and almost last sidestep.
That forward turned out to be Cpl Smith JW (the J is for John). He waited until I was alongside him, picked me up like a toy, inverted me and when my head was three inches from the ground he simply dropped me saying "Orrrr don't do that again CSM".
I learnt fast. Never try to run through a pack of forwards.
Who won. I don't remember. I think 2 Platoon; recall Dennis Cordier scoring for us.
As a result of this game a 106 team was selected and we played one of the Battalions. We lost that match 3-nil.
I actually crossed the try line in that match. You couldn't actually tell where the line was because there was no markings simply the corner flags and, with four grunts wrapping me in a headlock and all, I couldn't ground the ball.
I only had one more match in country when I was selected as fullback for 102 Fd Wksp in some competition down Vunggers.