Saturday, September 9th – Neptune Oval – 4pm Kick Off
- UTS Gators (1-0) vs Northern Sydney Rebels (0-1)
- (Choc’s Prediction: UTS by 7)
In a very defensive outing, the Gators came out on top in this one by a single point. The holes in the Rebels roster were evident in this one, with their kicker (and captain) DL Stephen Armstrong out for the season. This meant they had to try for 2 point conversions after both their TDs which were both unsuccessful. However, their D played lights out, keeping Gators QB Jordan Rowland at bay and (if the stats are correct) kept the UTS O down to a small number of total yards gained. The UTS D kept their team afloat in this one with Jamie McGrory and Sebas Fog both getting a pick 6 each. Next week will be an interesting matchup for both teams, with the Gators taking on the Predators and the Rebels up against the defending champions Sydney Uni.
Final Score: UTS 13 – 12 REB
Saturday, September 9th – Craik Park – 3pm Kick Off
- Nepean Ducks (0-1-0) vs Wollongong Mustangs (1-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: WOL by 3)
This was a great clash between two teams who are looking much more improved this season. The Ducks went up with their superstar receiver WR Grant McNaughton scoring 3 TDs himself. The Ducks O did well in the first half to complete all their series; with their O converting on 4 out of 5 series with a score. Up 27-6 at halftime, the Mustangs came out in the second half firing on all cylinders. McNaughton scored to get his boys up to 33 (with QB Emil Johanssen throwing for 5 TDs all game), before the Mustangs scored themselves and recovered an onside kick before scoring again. This brought the deficit to 11 points but the Ducks did well to run the clock out and keep the Mustangs out of their endzone. Next week, the Ducks will take on the Pirates in the Battle for the West; whilst the Mustangs will get some well needed R&R as they have the bye.
Final Score: NEP 33 – 22 WOL
Saturday, September 9th – Craik Park – 6pm Kick Off
- West Sydney Pirates vs Central Coast Sharks (0-1-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: WST by 14+)
A very depleted Sharks outfit travelled south to Craik Park to take on the Pirates for their first game of the season. The Pirates came into this one very hungry and ready to put the league on notice for their performance in the Waratah Bowl last season. And they did exactly that. Going up 20 points before the half, the Sharks held out with many of their players playing out of position. In the second half, they struck. Sharks QB Jordan Nikora rolled out the pocket to his left and hit WR Jake Humphreys with one of the catches of the season (and its only week 2!). Humphreys took a page out of Odell’s book and caught this one in the endzone, one handed over his right shoulder. One of the best catches I’ve seen since ex Pirates WR Kristian Gacuma did the same thing last season against the Gators.
Final Score: WST 26 – 6 CCS
Saturday, September 9th – The David Phillips Sporting Complex – 4pm Kick Off
- Northwestern Predators (1-0) vs Newcastle Kings (0-1)
- (Choc’s Prediction: 😉 )
Well I called it at the start of the season; the Kings would end this year with at least 1 W on their record. I just didn’t know it would be against us! The Kings O Line came out to dominate and that they did, with rookie RB Hayden Yates pounding the turf to score multiple TDs. The Preds were up by 10 2ith 8 minutes to go but that’s where we fell apart. Some clinical errors forced us to defend out endzone with the Kings charging They were able to score one to bring themselves within 3, and on the following kick-off, the Preds fumbled and the Kings recovered on the Preds 25-yard line. The Kings were able to score in the next series and take their lead to 4 points. We fought back and were driving towards their endzone to try and break their hearts and win in the dying minutes, but unfortunately we were out of time and the Kings walked away the victors. Next week, they will try to do the double, when they take on the Sharks in the Battle of the North; whilst the Preds will look for redemption against the Gators.
Final Score: NWP 27 – 31 NEW
Saturday, September 9th – The David Phillips Sporting Complex – 7pm Kick Off
- UNSW Raiders (0-1) vs Sydney University Lions (1-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: SYD by 7)
I expected this one to be a win for the Lions, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this score line. The Lions came out and were clinical in their win against the Raiders. New Lions QB Isaiah Fuchs showed off his skills and threw for 2 TDs before a huge hit gave the whole Sydney Uni organisation a big scare. Ike rolled out the pocket to his right and was waiting for his receivers to get open deep. As they did, he fired off a pass but was lit up by Raiders DL Ollie Richards and went down. He was helped off the field by the Uni trainers and medical team and was limping along the sideline. In the meantime, Uni kept scoring but were able to do this along the ground through RB Godfred Agyemang. Fuchs was able to come back in late in the second half to finish the game so this is a good sign for him and the Lions. The Raiders now fall to 0-2 which is their worst record to start the season for a few years. The will look to get back in the winner’s circle when they meet the Sutherland Seahawks, whilst the Lions will do battle with the Rebels.
Final Score: RAI 0 – 38 SYD
**Sutherland Seahawks have the Bye this week
*Photo Credit: TM Photography