We are into week 3 already while Division 1 can only look on in anticipation for their season to kick off.
After 2 weeks we have already seen a few surprises.
Why would this week be any different?
Saturday 1st July – Alfredton 2, Alfredton – 1:00pm
Ballarat Falcons (2-0) V Northern Raiders (2-0)
Last time they met: Falcons 6 – Raiders 14
The Falcons may have surprised the competition with their 2-0 start but no doubt they knew what they were capable of, defeating the Barbarians 14-8 in a hard fought battle. WR/DB #81 Eddie Carey (Sunshine) was again the danger on both sides of the ball. He contributed yet another receiving TD (50yds) and recovered a fumble on Defense, running 92yds for a score. QB #20 James Stephens must be loving the fact he has number 81 on the field. Defensively the Falcons were good again, allowing just 1 late TD to the opposition. The Falcons welcomed back arguably their best defender, who had a 2 year hiatus from the game, #9 Trekka Rimene showed signs of what he can do for this team.
The Raiders continued their strong start to the season with a 29-0 win over CCU, getting some revenge for last years championship game. The Raiders were deadly through the air with over 300yds passing by QB #12 Jamie Di Cicco and 3 TD’s to WR # 24 Ben Norton. The Defense was again solid, not allowing CCU to move the ball on the ground or through the air. They forced 5 turnovers in this one sided affair which included interceptions to DB #5 Jack Pattison and DB #31 Mark Padula. From all reports #47 Alex McDonald was a menace all day.
So now we have 2 undefeated clubs going head to head. Let’s hope the weather holds out for what should be a great game. The Raiders will look to continue their solid form by shutting down a potent Falcon passing game while the Falcons will need to be at their best, limiting turnovers if they want to win this match up. WR #81 Eddie Carey will need another big game to get Ballarat over the line.
Prediction: Falcons 16 – Raiders 20
Sunday 2nd July – MacPherson Park Recreation Reserve, Melton – 10:30am
Bendigo Dragons (0-2) V Western Crusaders II (1-0)
Championship favourites the Bendigo Dragons have not gotten off to the start that they would have expected. They went down 27-8 against the Wolves showing glimpses of what they can do. The running game was again controlled by the Wolves. If not for a few turnovers created by the Dragons Defense the loss could have been greater.
The Crusaders had the week off and are looking to improve on their opening week win. QB #9 Nathan Tang will look to lead his team to win number 2 for 2017. This will be a big test for them to see where they stand against the rest of Division 2.
The Dragons will be looking to get that early 2016 form back and get their first win of the season.
Prediction – Dragons 16 – Crusaders II 14
Sunday 2nd July – MacPherson Park Recreation Reserve, Melton – 2:00pm
Melton Wolves (1-1) V Monash Barbarians (0-1)
Last time they met: Wolves 28 – Barbarians 30
The Wolves came into last weeks game having never beaten the Dragons. The last time the score was 40-0 Dragons but this is a team with new blood mixed with some of the originals. Once again QB #7 Matthew Krul ran riot, scoring 2 rushing TD’s and passing for 1 TD that was caught by rookie WR #88 Daniel Mansueto. Rookie RB #17 Thomas Shutt also found the endzone late in the game for his first ever score. Defensively they dominated for the second week in a row and had the QB under pressure a number of times.
Monash struggled early in last weeks 14-8 loss against the Falcons. They were up 2-0 after an errant snap by the Falcons sailed into the endzone but a huge fumble and recovery for TD by the Falcons really hurt them. Rookie QB #29 Richie Truong showed some good signs by scoring on a QB sneak but it wasn’t enough. On the Defense the Barbs did a solid job keeping the Falcons from scoring with an outstanding game by LB # 49 Jonathan Kuesgen.
These two teams were involved in a shootout last year but this year should be different. The Barbs have a new QB and the Wolves have improved on both sides of the ball this year. The Wolves will use the emotion of a first ever home game to their advantage, expecting a good crowd of locals to cheer them on. The Barbarians had 34 Rookies play their first ever game last week. They should see improvements the more games they play.
Prediction: Wolves ?? Barbarians ?
BYE = CCU