News: MRF-D kicks off first footy practice
Story by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco
MARRARA, Northern Territory, Australia – Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, tackled their first Australian rules football practice at the TIO Stadium, here, May 26.
MRF-D Marines learned the basics of “footy“ during the practice, which will prepare them for their first match on June 8.
The objective of the game is to move the ball down the field and kick the ball through the opposing team’s goal posts, while weaving in and out of opponents.
“We just taught them how to kick, how to handball and then the two ways we dispose of the ball,” said Travis Edwards, assistant coach of Northern Territory Thunder, who led the Marines’ practice.
The game is similar to American football, but only in the fact that there’s a ball, goal posts and players can tackle.
Players can move anywhere on the field and can run with the ball for as long as they like. However, they must bounce or touch it to the ground every 15 meters, said Edwards, explaining how the game differs from American football.
Edwards said even though the Marines have no experience playing the game, he was impressed with their progress in the first practice.
“They actually did quite well, seeing as they’ve never played it before, and I think only one or two have watched a game,” said Edwards. “They have some spirit and obviously athletic ability.”
Even with little playtime, the Marines are still looking forward to competing in their first footy game.
“I’ve seen it on TV like two or three times. We’re coming out here kind of blind,” said Lance Cpl. Elias Taylor, team leader, 3rd Platoon, Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D. “It’s a lot more running than any other sport I’ve ever played.“
“We’re going to be playing against a bunch of people who have been playing this game their whole lives,” he continued. “It’s more for fun. If we come off the field having fun, then everybody wins.”