You know what’s better than getting positive responses from the Gridiron community about my light hearted articles? Haters. That’s right folks, I know I must be whipping up literary genius when the hate mail arrives, and boy was it a doozy this week! A bit of advice for my new biggest fan ‘Aaa’ (if you could change this to ‘biggest fan’ then that would be great), take a chill pill. Is life so serious that I actually think that the incorrect spelling of Ballarat matters? Just to help educate you (seeing as your lexicon extends to one letter repeated), Ballarat was originally spelled ‘Ballaarat’ and was changed in 1996. The sign is not incorrect, nor is it outdated. It’s historic and I actually like it. But hey, thanks for taking me seriously when not even I do. And for those who don’t understand the context of this rant, go onto gridirondownunder.com and have a read of the Power Rankings from Week 5 and 6!
1. Pakenham Silverbacks (7-0)
No doubt about it, the Silverbacks are Number 1 and will most likely stay there for the rest of the season. Seven and ZERO. The clash of the titans has been and gone and they still stand without a loss. For what was the most anticipated match of the round in Division 2, the Lime Green Monster came out on top, selfishly taking the lead after what was a very even first half. The unsung hero from the game must go to Head Coach Mel Martin. The defensive front this year has often been undisciplined and penalty ridden, however Mel ‘the ape whisperer’ Martin seemed to pull the baboons into order and walk away with the win. If that makes Mel The Great White Ape, who is Jane then? Maybe the long haired Howler(tt) monkey.
2. Bendigo Dragons (4-2-1)
It’s been a long time since the Dragons have had back to back weeks without a win. Although the difference between themselves and the top placed Pakenham was only one score, success breeds success and with this week’s game against the third placed Barbarians, they’ll be desperate for no more mistakes. Maybe the key is in that exact phrase: Success breeds success. Many up in the Goldfields believe the act of abstinence before a game is vital for success, but maybe some actual breeding should be practised this week. Lock your doors ladies of Bendigo!
3. Monash Barbarians (3-3)
For me, Monash have to be the biggest enigma in Division 2 this year. Although they hold one of the better win loss records in the Division they are also one of the most unpredictable. Where most below them have faltered and walked away with a draw, the Barbarians have proved experienced enough to win. The thought to ponder: Is their team settled now? Their first match of their 2016 campaign back in week 2 was against Bendigo where they played hot potato with the football. Second time around will be their chance to prove they can hold onto the football, and in turn again contend for a championship.
4. Northern Raiders (2-2-3)
The things you and I have shared together this year: a mud bath, showers, championship points and hopefully some laughs. So let me share with you one more thing. To win you must convert. Remember that famous saying ‘defence wins championships’? It’s true, and there is no reason why yours cannot. However you offence must convert on their end. Whether it’s against one of the pipsqueaks or powerhouses of the Division, you must convert. Week 8 Ranking has you at 4 but one or two conversions can have you move up.
5. Ballarat Falcons (3-3-1)
Well Ballarat (however you spell it), you’ve turned a doubter into a believer. Or as some would see it, a hater to a doubter. I for one applaud you. You could’ve stayed and played with the mud from last week’s article but instead decided to turn that criticism into tacklin’ fuel against the Gladiators in week 7. Although Ballarat forgot to show up for the first half of the game, Quarterback Duncan McIntosh shouldered the responsibility for his offence and valiantly lead them to a narrow victory. I sense some dejavu. Looks like the decision to stay in Ballarat this year is paying off for McIntosh.
6. Gippsland Gladiators (1-5-1)
Normally when you state that someone has solidified their position at Number 6, you think it’s a good thing. However it doesn’t seem like Gippsland realise that there are only 7 spots in these rankings. Is it the Morwell power plant increasing its emissions that has caused them to lose sight of the championship or is it something more? Either way things aren’t looking pretty.
7. Melton Wolves (1-6)
The word on the rumour mill is that Melton are in a bit of disarray. Can we put this down to the rookie blues or is it something more? What was thought to be one of the numerically largest lists in Division 2 seems to be quickly shrinking, and the coaching positions keep swapping like 3 two year olds playing Go-Fish. BUT I do have some inspiring good news for those over in the West. I am willing to guarantee you a straight swap: If you manage to put another win on the board no matter who the opponent, then I will happily promote you to 6th in the Power Rankings. Let’s go Wolves!