Saturday, September 16th – Sydney University Square – 4pm Kick Off
- Sutherland Seahawks (0-1) vs. UNSW Raiders (0-2)
- (Choc’s Prediction: RAI by 7)
Well, what a game this ended up being! The Seahawks came out in the first half terribly, giving up valuable field position on D and Special Teams and gifting the Raiders 12 points. The Raiders went up through touchdowns to Lemeki Taumoefolau and Rustum Todd. In the second half, the Seahawks fought back well and gave their all to the Raiders; with rookie RB Trent Mamacan picking up his first career TD. The Hawks came in and put up 24 unanswered points on the Raiders and were poised to win this one. However, Raiders HC Paul Manera always has a trick up his sleeve. The Raiders scored 2 TDs in the space of 2 minutes and leveled the score at 24 apiece. And in heart-breaking fashion (for the Seahawks, don’t worry I know how you’re all feeling; see below haha), Max Nina for the Raiders slotted a HUGE FG to win the game in the dying 15 seconds. What a way for the Raiders to get back into the win column!
Final Score: SEA 24 – 27 RAI
Saturday, September 16th – Sydney University Square – 7pm Kick Off
- Sydney University Lions (2-0) vs. Northern Sydney Rebels (0-2)
- (Choc’s Prediction: SYD by 14)
A strong opening half of football for the Rebels saw them keep Sydney Uni at bay with only 1 TD scored against them. No doubt the Northern Sydney outfit were looking to shock the league and upset the defending champions in this one but the second half was all Sydney Uni. The champs scored 15 unanswered points to go up 21-0 before the Rebels scored at the death to make the scoreline more acceptable. Next week the Rebels will take on UNSW in a rematch from last season where the Rebels gave the Raiders a good run for their money. And at Sydney Uni Square, the big Waratah Bowl XXXII rematch will take place between the defending champs, the Lions, and the West Sydney Pirates. That one should be an absolute cracker!
Final Score: SYD 21 – 8 REB
Saturday, September 16th – Slade Park – 3pm Kick Off
- Northwestern Predators (1-1) vs. UTS Gators (2-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: 😉 )
What a game! I guess I can seem pretty biased when I say this was the game of the round but wow, what a nail-biter! Both the Predators and the Gators came into this one with some key losses in personnel; the Gators had to elect a receiver/TE to play as a RT on the O Line all day. With players from both teams playing both sides of the ball, this one was a grind. The Preds opened the scoring with a 40-yard TD run by RB Jack Marton before the Preds D went out and held the Gators to a 3 & out on their first series and put their O back on the field. QB Mark Shoebridge found WR Jack Prichard on a screen pass and he was set to score, but the ball was stripped just outside the endzone and Preds OL Nate Vala jumped on the ball and scored himself, putting us up 14-0. Seeing this, the Gators came out and went to work; with QB Jordan Rowland dominating on the ground. Rowland put up at least 150 yards rushing all day, rarely looking to move the ball through the air. And I don’t blame him, the guy is an Australian Outback quality RB so he utilised his skills well. The Preds went into the break 14-6 up, but the action came in the 4th quarter. With the Preds up to 20 points, the Gators fought back to bring the deficit to within 2 points; 20-18. At the 2-minute warning, the Preds had the ball and just needed a first down to clinch the game. However, this was not meant to be, with the Gators forcing a fumble and getting the ball on the Preds 40-yard line. The Preds D came out and forced a stop and forced Gators HC Rocco Bosco to make a call. And he put out QB Jordan Rowland to kick a 50 yard FG. With the wind behind him, Rowland (AKA Legatron) struck the ball and we all watched it sail over the crossbar and break the hearts of each of the Predators. What a game though, thanks to all the guys at UTS for a great matchup!
Final Score: NWP 20 – 21 UTS
Saturday, September 16th – Slade Park – 6pm Kick Off
- Central Coast Sharks (0-1-1) vs. Newcastle Kings (1-1)
- (Choc’s Prediction: NEW by 7)
Another close game at Slade Park saw the Sharks come out on top over the Kings in the Battle of the North. The Sharks opened the scoring with QB Jordan Nikora linking up with the big TE Eamonn Akamarmoi for the TD and PAT to put the Central Coast outfit up by 8 points. The Kings held on and fought back in the second half, scoring a TD of their own but missing the PAT. The Sharks D held on right until the final whistle when a long FG was missed by the Kings and gave the Sharks the win. Next week, the Kings will take on the Mustangs whilst the Sharks will do battle with the undefeated Gators.
Final Score: CCS 8 – 6 NEW
Saturday, September 16th – Craik Park – 3pm Kick Off
- West Sydney Pirates (1-0) vs. Nepean Ducks (1-1-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: WST by 7)
I think the scoreline in this one doesn’t really reflect how close of a game this actually was. The scores were deadlocked at nil-all after the first quarter and surprisingly, the Ducks opened the scoring in the 2nd quarter. This was matched by Pirates QB David Ward throwing a TD to Manzil Stone to bring his boys up 8-6 at the break. In the second half, the Pirates showed up and showed the talent they have that’s taken them to 3 Waratah Bowls in the last 3 years; Ward found Stone again for another TD whilst RB Marlou Tacugue added one of his own and ended the game up 17 points. Next week, the Ducks will take some much-needed R&R with the bye, as well as a league bye the following week so they will come back well rested on the 7th of October. Meanwhile, the biggest clash of the year will be Waratah Bowl XXXII rematch between the West Sydney Pirates and the defending champions, the Sydney Uni Lions. Stay tuned to my preview for coverage on this one.
Final Score: WST 23 – 6 NEP
**Wollongong Mustangs have the Bye this week
*Photo Credit: Alfr3d Wong Photography