What a season 2016. All the teams should be proud of their achievements and to those who have not made the playoffs, we look forward to seeing you all rested and ready to go for season 2017!!
- Sydney University Lions (9-1-0)
- West Sydney Pirates (8-1-1)
- UNSW Raiders (8-2)
- Northern Sydney Rebels (5-1-4)
- Sutherland Seahawks (5-1-4)
- Northwestern Predators (4-1-5)
- Nepean Ducks (4-1-5)
- Central Coast Sharks (4-1-5)
- UTS Gators (2-1-7)
- Wollongong Mustangs (1-1-8)
- Newcastle Cobras (0-1-9)
With that, lets look onto the impending playoffs and what it means for each team:
Saturday, November 19th – Lidcombe Oval – 1:00pm Kick Off
• 4th Northern Sydney Rebels (5-1-4) vs. 5th Sutherland Seahawks (5-1-4)
- Regular Season Result: Week 1, First game was washed out
This should be an interesting clash. These two teams have not met since the last time the Seahawks had a team in the Division 1 competition (back in 2014). Both teams had a surprising 2016 campaign, particularly the Rebels who had a stellar back-end of the season; getting wins over the Ducks, Mustangs, Gators, Cobras and Sharks. These performances cemented their place in the playoffs and have given them a serious amount of momentum heading into the quarter finals, and a huge focus was on their D who came through in the last few games to seal the victories. The Seahawks are coming into this one after a shock loss to the Sharks. In a game where they turned over the ball 6 times, the Hawks will need to readjust and go back to their winning ways of old if they are to progress into the semis. The victor in this clash will meet the unstoppable Pirates who are coming off a 4 point win over the Raiders. Big call but I’m tipping the Rebels to shock everyone and take this one.
Choc’s Prediction: REB by 3
Saturday, November 19th – Lidcombe Oval – 6:00pm Kick Off
• 3rd UNSW Raiders (8-2) vs. 6th Northwestern Predators (4-1-5)
- Regular Season Result: Week 8, RAI 55 – 22 NWP
After a string of tough losses, the Preds were able to rally the troops and bring it home in the final 2 games. First with a last minute win over the Sharks. And then, a shutout win over the Ducks. A bye in the final week meant we had to wait and see how other results went around the league but our place in the playoffs was solidified. It’s certainly not the spot we would like to be but finishing 6th means we now have to prove to the rest of the league not to count us out just yet. Meanwhile, the Raiders are coming off a tough few weeks. A win over the Mustangs in between 2 weeks of losses; first to the defending champions Sydney Uni and the other to the West Sydney Pirates. Their last game against the Pirates is proof that they are still able to give the big teams a run for their money and the stats don’t lie either; the Raiders D is still ranked in the top 3 in the league (at one point in the tail-end of the season, they were ranked #1). HC Paul Manera will need to rally his boys to bring their A game this weekend and continue their dominance on both sides of the ball if they are to walk away victors in this one; with the winner of this one going on to face the defending champs Sydney Uni in the semi-finals. This one sure proves to be a barn burner whichever way it goes!
Choc’s Prediction: 😉
*EDIT: so a little birdie actually clarified the semi final outlook for me. If the Raiders win this week, they will go up against the Pirates in the semis (as 2nd plays the highest winner) and the winner of the Rebels/Seahawks will take on Sydney Uni. If the Preds win, they will face the Lions as they will not be the highest winner (1st plays the lowest winner) and the winner of the Rebels/Seahawks game will take on the defending champions. Big thanks to Elissa Manera for clearing this one up.