Falcons dig deep to win Gold.
Barbarians keep Casey Cardinia at bay.
Wolves inflict more than “Just a flesh wound” on Crusaders.
With the completion of the 5th Gold Fields Bowl it got me thinking. Why should Bendigo and Ballarat participate in the only Bowl game that Division 2 has to offer?
We all know the title ‘Vic Bowl’ is reserved for Division 1 leaving Div 2 feeling like the cousin no one likes. Here are a few ideas GV should really consider (Well not really).
After week 7 is completed every club will have played each other once. With 1 win separating 1st from 5th, this week will be interesting, to say the least.
Note – Next weeks preview will include the standings of each club.
Sunday 30th July – MacPherson Park Recreation Reserve, Melton – 10:30am
Monash Barbarians (3-2) V Bendigo Dragons (1-4)
Last time they met: Barbarians 8 Dragons 50
Win number 3 for Monash came at the expense of cellar dwellers Casey Cardinia United. It wasn’t an easy victory however but a win is a win, that win was by the score of 14-8.
The Barbs Offense has finally lived up to it’s potential and the Defense is not allowing teams to score easy TD’s. DL #97 Jared Lealofi was making sure nothing got past him all day. RB #42 Montell Wickremasinghe might have been the spark the run game needed as he scored on a rushing TD. WR #88 Andrew Mills, who was returning after an ACL injury, caught a pass from QB #29 Richie Truong for a score which had the Barbs leading 14-0. Defensively they allowed CCU to score a TD and 2pt conversion but that’s as close as it got.
What the hell is happening in Bendigo??? I had you guys winning it all but you can’t even beat the Falcons in a game you have owned since it’s inception. Criticism aside, the 2017 season looks like one the Dragons won’t be making any playoff appearance in with this current form. Something will have to change and quick. What exactly I do not know. Thomas Prince back at QB perhaps? His fans are insisting on it.
On home soil you would expect Bendigo to beat just about anyone. Well last year you would have but this year maybe not. Although they found themselves up 16-9 at the half you just knew that it was going to go down to the wire under lights. A few more key injuries were inflicted on the day, not just on their ego’s.
I’m not going to back the Dragons until they can prove otherwise, so I see the Barbarians notching up win number 4 on the year and staying in the top 4.
Prediction – Barbarians 16 Dragons 14
Sunday 30th July – MacPherson Park Recreation Reserve, Melton – 2:00pm
Melton Wolves (3-2) V Casey Cardinia United (0-5)
Last time they met: Wolves 6 CCU 57
A little known fact about last Sunday. It was 12 months to the day that the Melton Wolves won their 1st ever game in GV. It was a cold, wet and muddy day in hell, I mean Morwell that day. This time they didn’t need to travel 45hrs to get their 5th overall win as a club.
CCU will need to bring buckets of water to throw at QB #7 Matthew Krul because he was on fire last week in the victory over the Crusaders 28-6. Krul had a hand in all 4 TD’s for the Wolves, 2 passing and 2 he ran in himself with a total of 200yds of Offense on the day. The highlight was a 42yd pass by Krul to WR #6 Luke Houston with just 25 seconds left in the first half, this led to a 15 yard TD pass.
The Crusaders should have asked the referees to check Krul for any illegal slippery substance on his uniform as they could not tackle him. He had a supporting cast with Rookie RB #17 Thomas Shutt handling all RB duties being the only active RB to suit up. Shutt rumbled for a game high 90yds on 21 carries, most of his yards coming straight up the middle behind the ever improving Offensive Line. The O Line were the MVP’s of the game not allowing a sack and assisting with 200yds rushing. WR #88 Daniel Mansueto caught the 2 TD’s thrown by Krul making it 6 on the season for the Rookie. He was assisted by another Rookie in TE #84 David Parkinson who is slowly growing in stature, even with a nick name like ‘Cup Cakes’.
The Wolves Defense was solid and switched on from the kick off unlike the previous week. They were led by the Defensive line who had the Crusader QB under constant pressure and LB #13 Daren “The Human Bicep” Tutai was everywhere, shutting down runs and getting into the ears of the receivers. LB #36 Joshua Cutler also made himself known to the Crusaders RB’s. The Defense held the Crusaders to 100yds of total Offense.
I’m guessing most teams wouldn’t be happy sitting on a 0-5 record, especially after going 12-0 and winning the championship the previous season. Despite their record, CCU should be happy with what they have produced the last 10 quarters of football they have played, allowing just 29 points and scoring 14 of their own. Hell, the Cleveland Browns would be happy with that kind of result.
Lapses in concentration might be what’s letting them down. Not fielding a Kick off and allowing the opposition to jump on the ball is the kind of thing they really shouldn’t let happen. GET ON THE DAMN BALL.
CCU will have to be at their absolute best on Defense and the Offense needs to find a way to score if they want to make a game of it. The Wolves will want to ‘Defend the Den’ this Sunday and get closer to top spot.
The Wolves should win this battle. SHOULD doesn’t always equal WILL.
Prediction – Wolves ?? CCU ??
Sunday 30th July – Brens Oval Royal Park, Parkville – 10:30am
Northern Raiders (4-1) vs Western Crusaders II (3-2)
Last time they met: DNP
The Raiders had the week off and look to stay on top of the Division. A win here will see them move 2 points clear of the Falcons. Has the week off given them time to regroup and get the kicker a proper jersey? I guess we’ll find out Sunday morning.
The Crusaders lost for the 2nd week in a row “But that’s ok”, any wins this year were going to be a bonus. It’s about development and having fun down at Crusader Park so don’t put high expectations on them.
Led by #3 Luke “Mr Everywhere” Dyt, the Crusaders struggled to contain the Wolves weapons and move the ball downfield themselves. Rookie QB #8 Logan Tia who came from the Colts program took over at QB in the 2nd qtr replacing #12 Gurvinder Toor. Unfortunately due to nerves or just not enough training reps, Tia was under pressure more often than not. He was sacked 4 or 5 times and fumbled snaps and hand offs to the RB. When he had time to pass he looked poised and confident. The Wolves Defense did not allow him to get into a rhythm.
A shining light was WR #83 Anthony Tang who showed glimpses of being a handful for opposition Defenses. His Kick Returns with DB #31 Christian Cinel were the only highlight on a disappointing homecoming day for the Crusaders. Veteran #30 Harry Jalland did his best to get inside the Wolves players heads with some success.
The Crusaders come up against the Division leaders and will find it hard to move the ball on the ground. They will need a big day from their Offensive line and 43yo RB #36 Nol Arabit. I’d like to see #83 Anthony Tang get some reps in the RB position. With his low centre of gravity (Ok, he’s short) and quick feet he could be a valuable weapon.
Prediction – Raiders 28 Crusaders 8
- Bye – Falcons
The Falcons travelled to Bendigo last Saturday night to do what no Falcon team had done before, win the Gold Fields Bowl Trophy, an impressive looking trophy it is by the way.
They were the first to score on a Field Goal attempt by Super Boot #92 Paul Jones half way through the 1st qtr. The ensuing kickoff allowed the Dragons to return the ball the length of the field for a TD and a 2pt conversion to make it 8-3. Once again as he has done all season, DL #69 Dave Parker was causing havoc for the Dragons Offense.
QB #20 James Stephens managed to hit WR #13 Mark Hocking late in the 2nd for a TD but the Defense gave up a late TD to Bendigo and another 2pt conversion. The half ended with the scores 16-9 in favour of the Dragons.
After half time it was all Ballarat with further passing TD’s by Stephens to Hocking and late in the 4th qtr to WR #81 Eddie Carey, who hadn’t caught a TD pass for a number of weeks. The Falcons were able to hold on and take out their first ever win over Bendigo 22-16 and bring the Gold Fields trophy home. Both teams showed true sportsmanship by posing for a group photo after the game.