Week 7. You know what that means, it’s mid-year power rankings time! The time of the year where each team needs to take a good hard look at themselves, and start making adjustments to start their run at the playoffs. Please keep in mind, when I say a good, hard look I’m not talking about physical appearances (that means you Barbarians). I’m talking about teams getting honest with what’s working and what isn’t. And if they don’t know that, then reading this may help (but probably not).
- Victoria Park
Without a doubt the best performer of Week 7, the Military Drive field put on a massive defensive performance. Boasting one of the stingiest defenses in the league, the sludge infested field walked away with 3 shutouts and just 6 points to a fourth-placed team. With nearly less than 150 total yards from 4 teams, well done Victoria “2000 Baltimore Ravens” Park.
- (Actual number 1) Pakenham Silverbacks (6-0)
Pakenham walk into Week 7 still in the number one spot, but I will no longer say comfortably. Don’t get me wrong, no other team can contend with them yet but a question has to be raised about the resurgence of their opponent in the last quarter of their week 6 matchup. Pakenham will go into this week’s game with Bendigo as strong favorites, and will be keen to prevent Bendigo from making them look like chimps in front of their home crowd.
- Bendigo Dragons (4-1-1)
Is the tide changing in Bendigo? Considering they are about as far away from the ocean as you can get, I don’t think so. However tying with the Northern Raiders last weekend could cost them a legitimate shot at finishing on top of the Division. Apart from that, nothing much could be taken away from the game in what was probably the worst conditions for football that this pundit has ever seen. The offence could not navigate the harsh conditions, and as much as it would be nice to say the defense was excellent, in the end the shutout comes back to the conditions again. Big week character test this week facing the top team in Pakenham.
- Monash Barbarians (3-3)
Monash have been slow to get going but are finally hitting their straps. But let’s talk about the big elephant in the room (No this isn’t me repeating an already overdone joke). The elephant that I’m referring to is the one that joins the wheelbarrow on a Saturday night, and mixes with its big brother. Now I for one don’t believe it’s actually relevant to their mid-season comeback however I love it when the rumor mill gets going. If the Barbarians can keep their young squad dedicated and on the park then finals are nearly guaranteed.
- Northern Raiders (1-2-3)
Another tie! Are you serious!? Is this because tying is easier to deal with than losing? Or simply because people out in the northern suburbs find it easier counting by ones? (I hope I don’t play in Reservoir again this year). In defense of the Raiders, this was their best tie yet. All ties previous to this result saw the Raiders heading in as favorites, but against Bendigo many would’ve marked them down for a loss. In horrendous conditions, the Raiders grinded out a gutsy result and has filled this writer with a bit more trust than he had once had.
- Gippsland Gladiators (1-4-1)
Are you better than some above you in the power rankings? Maybe. Are you worse than some bellow you? Maybe. The answer to these questions are in your hands. With an optimistic offense in the hands of young Quarterback Tom Veale, Gippsland could rocket up the charts. I believe the key could be in their Defensive Line. Led by the Polish sausage and Jesse “Potato” Williams, it is one of the physically largest lines in the league. Let’s see if they can take advantage of it.
- Ballarat Falcons (2-3-1)
Let me make one thing clear: I didn’t even consider adjusting you this week. Maybe I am biased against you due to the natural rivalry between Bendigo and Ballarat, or maybe it’s the fact that your club rooms boasts an outdated and incorrect sign spelling Ballarat as Ballaarat.. Either way, you need to impress me to make a move up the rankings. Grinding out a narrow win against an inexperienced defense isn’t enough.
- Melton Wolves (1-5)
Melton, this is the week where your administration should start asking themselves what the hell they were thinking: Why would you design a predominantly white jersey?! I hope Napisan is on special at your local Woolies because that stuff is expensive! Melton fought well in torrential conditions for what could’ve been a second win on the trot, however fell one score short. Is this first year club about to shock teams in the second half of the season? HA! No chance but I had you going there for a second.