Commentator : Ohh, a superb try to young Murphy, his third for the team in only his second game. See here on the replay how once he gets that slick pass he's got that great balance to step through the gap and there's no stopping him.
(Murphy and Smithson run forward in slow motion as the commentator speaks. Murphy receives the ball, steps past one player, hands off another and scores. All the time Smithson is screaming for the pass. After the replay, they go back to the centre of the stage.)
Commentator: He still had his winger outside him, but he didn't need him, and that young man in your picture now (Murphy mimes picking his nose) has put his team back into this game with a bang, and it's tied right up with the kick now o-
(The commentator and Murphy both freeze, and Smithson steps up to the audience)
Smithson: That should have been my try. Before he came into the team, I was the guy who scored those tries. I've been top try-scorer in this team for the last 3 years. You know what I think? I reckon that he's just trying to get all the glory. Not that I ever sought it for myself. But he's trying to take it off me. Keep watching and you'll see if I'm right.
(Smithson returns to his position and the others unfreeze.)
Commentator: (continuing from where he left off): -ver. Mick, how did that look from down on the sideline? You'd have had a great view of that one, wouldn't you? (Silence) Ah well, Mick's not there just at the moment. Back with the action, the ball's just being held in the back of the scrum there. (Murphy mimes hearing a call from his inside backs, and he passes it on to Smithson, hand shielding his call from the opposition) They'll have to be careful it doesn't go around past 90, and it's out in the backs now, Rawene doubles around, the defence is up flat but it's coming now to Murphy, what can he do? It's out to Smithson, ohh, that's a huge hit by McAndrew on Smithson, he absolutely buried him alive, that pass was so hospital you could have written a soap opera about it.
(During the move, Smithson keeps calling for the ball until Murphy passes it, then he collapses under a tackle. Murphy holds a hand up to show he is sorry, then, as the commentator and Smithson freeze (Smithson is just getting back to his feet), Murphy comes to front to speak to audience.)
Murphy: Man, I feel awful about that. I shouldn't have let the ball go, but he kept calling for it and I thought if anyone can do anything here it's Smithy. I mean, he's the best, isn't he? I'm just so stoked to be in a team with guys of his calibre, eh. But I'm going to have to do better than that if I'm not going to let everyone down.
(Murphy freezes and Smithson replaces him at the front)
Smithson: Hospital pass. Trying to kill me. That proves it. He's trying to make me look bad and himself look good.
Commentator: Mick, what did you make of that tackle from down on the sideline? (Silence) It helps if you turn your mike on, mate. It's 23 all, there's ten minutes to go, and we'll be back right after this break.
(All 3 stay on stage, moving around aimlessly. After a while…)
Murphy: How much longer do the ads go for, mate?
Smithson: About another 30 seconds.
(More aimlessness, then finally the commentator resumes)
Commentator: Welcome back –
(Commentator and Murphy freeze, Smithson goes to the front)
Smithson: I'm going to make him look an idiot on defence, see if I don't.
(The others unfreeze, and the commentator resumes.)
Commentator: - to this cliffhanger of a match, that great try of Murphy's has got his team level, but can they win or can they still lose it? they're going to be tested on defence here.
(Murphy and Smithson watch who they're marking, lining up the tackles. Just as Murphy is about to launch into a tackle, Smithson calls out.)
Smithson: I've got him, Murphy. (But he lets the guy through between them. Smithson and Murphy stand there looking at each other)
Commentator: Ohh, he's through the gap, Murphy held off in the tackle, and Vaiaka is off to the tryline quicker than you can say Jack Kobinso- er, Jab Snokin- um, quicker than I can say Jan Rottensock and what was your view on that one, Mick?
(Silence as before, then …)
Mick: (speaking very slowly) I fink it's Jack Robinson, Andy.
Commentator: You didn't give up your weekday job I hope, Mick?
Murphy: I thought you said you had him.
Smithson: No, he was your man. I said, "You get him." You can't just hang off tackles like that, boy. The other two freeze, Smithson speaks to audience He doesn't look so good now, does he? And I can make a mistake now and blame it on having to look after the young lad. (Smithson freezes.)
Murphy: (unfreezing) I thought he said ... (Sighs) Never mind, I've got to keep trying.
(Everyone unfreezes and the commentator resumes)
Commentator: Well, that's a crucial lead now with that try to Vaiaka. Can they be pegged back with just a few minutes to go or is it all over bar the shouting? They have it in their hands again.
(Murphy and Smithson again line up the tackles; this time both players tackle Murphy's man, leaving Smithson's man free to score outside them). It's out to Vaiaka, oh they've both gone for him but he's flicked it on to McAndrew outside him and he's got a clear run down the touchline with all the time in the world to say, "Brush your teeth and it's good night nurse!"
Murphy: He was my man!
Smithson: You looked like you needed a bit of help after the last time. (The other two freeze and he continues) There, made sure he's not going to be my rival anymore. We've lost the game and now my fans will idolize me again! He freezes.
Murphy: (unfreezing) I'd dreamed of playing on the same team as Smithy. But now my dream's come true and it's like we're on different teams. How did we lose this game when we should have been the better team? I'm not enjoying this so much anymore.
All freeze, the lights go down, and all exit.
© Greg Brook (Dunedin City Baptist) March 2000
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. Our drama group can be contacted at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org