Well, I survived Melton! Many thought they may be out to get me on the Gridiron after some ill interpreted jokes. However after they gave me many chances to see the field, I left it unscathed. Big news coming out of GA this week saying that GV and GA are allowed to talk to each other but aren’t allowed to play in the yard together. School yard politics still going strong however at least this time it seems to be in the right direction
1. Pakenham Silverbacks (10-0) Same spot as last week
First let me start by saying…Thanks Ashlee.
Pakenham was still looking as dominant as ever in their week 11, 58-6 win against Ballarat. The number 1 offence of Division 2 keep on powering on. But to help give me some content to write each week I’m going to get picky with the top ranked Silverbacks. Yes, they are good but every good team should want to be better. So here we go…
You keep leaking points. One would presume the momentary lapses allowing single touchdowns in 2 of your last 3 games are due to backups being given an opportunity but depth is important in finals. Shout outs should be the goal for any defense. For backups or starters
2. Bendigo Dragons (7-2-1) Same spot as last week
Last week I spoke of trouble in the Dragons camp. Although the score line looked impressive against the Wolves, the Dragons offence didn’t look as polished as usual. With Head Coach Hughes out of the country, the usual fluency wasn’t quite there. The number 1 ranked defense however didn’t flinch once, holding on to the goose egg. The timing of Hughes’ absence is convenient though with Bendigo facing up against the bottom two teams. Let’s see if they can get back to the fundamentals this week to clean up for a run into the finals.
3. Northern Raiders (4-2-3) Same spot as last week
Rumor has it that the Coaching staff has given up hope with their offence and have allowed Outback member Josh Faure to re-jig their offensive playbook in the bye week. The true test of this roll of the dice is against top-ranked Pakenham this week. The season to date has seen their most successful play on offence be a wide receiver screen (whether it’s a standard line up or something nearly as exotic as the Colts embarrassing trick play against the Patriots in week 6 of the 2015 NFL season). Can Faure’s influence add another string to the Raiders bow? I hope so
4. Ballarat Falcons (3-5-1) Same spot as last week
Old mate Ballarat. What do you have for us this week? The messages of displeasure came in thick and fast after last week’s rankings were announced so hence my question, what do you have for us this week? Up against the Barbarians means that a loss this week could easily mean a loss in the rankings. I for one hope you stick it to the nay-sayers and get up. Throw a spanner in the Barbarians plans and also save me the job of adjusting my rankings template. This week was great. No one moves anywhere
5. Monash Barbarians (5-4) Same spot as last week
Two weeks in a row and the Barbarians aren’t ranked in the top 4. How long will it last? Many in Division 2 still believe they can make a showing in the finals this year, with one of the Barbarians coaches confident on finishing 3rd by seasons end. When being asked about having to leap frog Raiders he simply said ‘we always play well against the Raiders’. Before they worry about the Raiders they have to get passed Ballarat. Their offense need to hold on to the ball and their defense need to keep the edge sealed. At this point their outside linebackers couldn’t contain the South East Predators at an open bar.
6. Melton Wolves (1-9) Same spot as last week
This week was the first hiccup in their road of repeats. Unfortunately, neither the offence nor the defense could put together any resistance against the Dragons. A commendable mention must go to Quarterback Jai Mann #30, when all else failed he held on to the ball and pounded the ball down the Dragons. Running like a Mack truck and nearly as big as one, Mann often forced a pile of Dragons to make the stop. With the BYE this week, let’s see the Wolves offence work on a route other than a 5 and out.
7. Gippsland Gladiators (1-8-1) Same spot as last week
Maybe I need to make a clarification. I know some people believed it harsh that I called Gippsland out for their late game forfeit in week 10 however that’s just bad luck. Wear it. I will keep my fingers crossed that they will see out the Dragons match up they have for week 12. If they can, they see a must win game against the Melton Wolves. A win for Gippsland would guarantee avoiding the wooden spoon and could also lift them off the bottom of the rankings. My personal hope is that this eventuates however being the good journalist I am I won’t admit to it. I hope it is a 0-0 draw