Sydney College Cup! Wowee! Now I should start by saying let’s give an applause to all the members of Gridiron Australia who…..wait, that’s right, Gridiron Victoria are still in the banished lands that is full with the glory of the biggest and best league in Australia! No it doesn’t quite match the level of excitement of the College Football atmosphere but please take a moment to wake up from the dream you’ve been in for a week and remind yourself, ‘you all suck’. Cool, now that’s done, read this….
1. Pakenham Silverbacks (9-0) Same spot as last week
What a great team. They just keep on racking up the points and proving to the league why they are the best team in Division 2. Not just that, but they also managed to force Gippsland into submission and made them tap out early. Not much else to say about the competition’s yard stick. Number 1. Easy
2. Bendigo Dragons (6-2-1) Same spot as last week
Wannabees or “Can be’s”? There’s a big difference between the two. Although most teams see the Dragons spot as pretty comfortable in Division 2, reports coming from their camp this week is that the cracks are beginning to show. Head Coach Hughes is overseas for their next two games and last year’s complacency may have reared its ugly head again. With some positional numbers low heading into the next few games, this 2 week period will be a real test to see if their players are in fact “Can be’s” and not Wannabees.
3. Northern Raiders (4-2-3) Same spot as last week
Good old boring Raiders. Another win, another tight game and nearly another draw. It’s enough to keep the number 3 ranking, which will now be dubbed as ‘better than the rest’. The Raiders have one of the toughest runs into the playoffs, facing Pakenham, Bendigo and Monash, and they will need to take some points in at least one of those games to guarantee a semi-final appearance. With a handy draw this season, the Raiders have looked to take advantage of all their home games this season by confusing teams with no scoreboards or field markers. Hopefully, they’ve left some tricks up their sleeve for when it counts.
4. Ballarat Falcons (3-4-1) Up 1 spot
I have to give it to the guys across at Ballarat. In their first fixture against the Raiders, achieving a draw seemed like a fluke, however in the return leg of the fixture they nearly pulled out a victory. With what could’ve easily been a draw again, Ballarat fought hard for every down earned and every down stopped. With neither side showing much Offence, Ballarat relied on creating turnovers on the defensive side to keep themselves in the game. You’re now in the top 4 of the rankings Ballarat. To stay there? You must put up good results against those below you. Plucky losses are not enough. Same goes with the Division 2 ladder.
5. Monash Barbarians (4-4) Down 1 spot
Dear oh dear oh dear. I don’t care that you won your week 9 matchup against the Wolves (if you even want to call that a win). Is Coach Daniel Sanderson really that important to the output of your team?! Your performance has declined ever since he had left for the United States to assist in some college coaching (he has been offered a year-long contract at University La Verne’s football program, congrats!). But does that mean he’s a good coach?!…..okay maybe he is. Stop the downward spiral and I’ll stop your slide in the rankings.
6. Melton Wolves (1-8) Up 1 spot
Melton are officially off the bottom! Hooray! Now that that’s done, let’s get down to business. All credit to Melton, when you haven’t a chance to make playoffs then winning is a matter of pride. Not just winning, but everything (prices of Napisan, big supermarkets, lack of savings….). But pride is definitely what they’re gaining. Yes they were up against an embarrassing Barbarians side that is on a downward spiral, but they still showed they had what it took to compete with the an experienced side. The offence did it well in the air and even stronger on the ground. And their defence knew when to make the stops to keep them in the game. Well done Wolves, enjoy 6th.
7. Gippsland Gladiators (1-7-1) Down 1 spot
Are Gippsland the worst team in Division 2? Some may think not, but maybe the question should be is are they a team? The cover up has begun, however not before this writer heard that there may have been a 4th quarter forfeit by the boys in purple. I don’t care what the result was between they and the top ranked Pakenham. If you have enough guys on the park for all four quarters then a forfeit is a disgrace. An even bigger concern is that this game was at home, making it the second home game this year where Gippsland had a no show from their players. If you can’t get them to travel to Morwell, what can Division 2 expect from them for the rest of the season? If the forfeit can be confirmed then I’m afraid 7th may be their ranking for the rest of the year.