Saturday, October 14th – Neptune Oval – 4pm Kick Off
- UNSW Raiders (2-3) vs. UTS Gators (5-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: UTS by 7)
Hey, one thing I love in this league is when I get proven wrong! I called UTS to win and the Raiders came out and shut me up. Great stuff from the Green Machine. The Gators opened the scoring early in this one before the Raiders tied it all up. The Gators capitalised on a fumbled PAT and brought the scoring up to 8-6 however this would be the last time they scored all game. The Raiders turned up the heat in the second half as their D held the Gators out in the 3rd quarter, before the Raiders O came out in the 4th and piled on the points, thanks to QB Lukas Vojnar. This blows the title race wide open now, as the Pirates are the only undefeated team in the GNSW. The Gators will meet with the Mustangs next week in the hope they can turn this loss round, whilst the Raiders will see if they can take another undefeated record from another team when they take on the Pirates.
Final Score: RAI 22 – 8 UTS
Saturday, October 14th – Lidcombe Oval – 3pm Kick Off
- Wollongong Mustangs (1-1-2) vs. West Sydney Pirates (4-0)
- (Choc’s Prediction: WST by 14+)
I tell you what, Wollongong certainly aren’t the team they were last season. Look at the difference in the scores from last year to this one. The Mustangs have a very big team and gave the Pirates a good run for their money. The Pirates led this one for the whole game but the Mustangs weren’t far behind. At the end of the first quarter, the West Sydney lads were just up, 7-6. The Pirates turned it on in the second and third quarters but the fourth gave them a good scare. The Mustangs fought back and scored to bring the score to within 2 possessions. It wasn’t enough but hey, they gave it one hell of a shot and you can’t blame them for that. As I mentioned above, next week the Mustangs will meet the Gators who suffered their first loss for the season, whilst the Pirates will defend their undefeated record against the Raiders.
Final Score: WOL 20 – 33 WST
- Northwestern Predators (1-3) vs. Central Coast Sharks (1-1-3)
- (Last Season: NWP 30 – 28 CCS)
Call me biased, call me whatever. But this game is always the Game Of The Week everytime we meet. The Sharks are a team with a lot of heart and the will to win and they gave it their all in this one. The Preds came out with a new look offensive line (and a familiar face starting at centre 😉 heres my own shout out Jack Marton HAHA) and the reality that if we lost this game, we would fall out of the playoff race. The Preds took possession of the ball in the first stanza but couldn’t capitalise and we punted it away. The Sharks looked dangerous in their first series, moving the ball down the field well. This was until a great pass rush by the Preds D Line forced Sharks QB Jordan Nikora to throw off balance and the ball was picked by FS Sean Toohey and ran back for a TD. Both teams went score for score, through TDs to Preds WR James Murray and extremely solid runs by RB Jack Marton to pick up first downs. This was before a few good defensive stands by the Preds D gave us the upper hand. One surprise was that Nikora didn’t utilise his dangerous run game against us, which could be because our D Line kept him contained. But this was definitely our game to win. On a side note, quick shout out to Preds WR Jason Edwards who picked up his first career TD; hopefully first of many to come. Just wanna thank Coach Tos and the entire Sharks organisation for a great game as always, all the best for the rest of the season.
Final Score: NWP 35 – 20 CCS
Saturday, October 14th – Melwood Oval – 3pm Kick Off
- Newcastle Kings (1-1-3) vs. Nepean Ducks (1-1-2)
- (Choc’s Prediction: NEP by 3)
Well I stand corrected from my previous article. I stated that Newcastle has a dangerous run game with RB Hayden Yates pounding the turf however I received unfortunate news that Yates tore his ACL against the Mustangs and is out for the season. Wishing you a speedy recovery mate. The Kings substituted in RB Scott Hartley who has been moving the ball well in the last few weeks. However, this was not to be against the Ducks. Nepean came out with the same mind-set as the Preds; win this game or face the reality that they might not make the playoffs. The Ducks turned Newcastle’s game against them and utilised an extremely strong run game to secure their win. It looks like Coach Bowes has done a great job in getting RB Adam Simpson slotted into the void which was left by retiring Duck Stuart Etcell. Simpson had 16 carries for 151 yards and 2 TDs; numbers which are replicated in college ball and the NFL, so well done Adam. The Ducks have now jumped up 6th on the ladder but have a tough road ahead of them, facing off against the Rebels this weekend and Sutherland next. These are two must win games if they are to secure 6th spot and a place in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Kings have a bye this week and will regroup against the Rebels the following weekend.
Final Score: NEW 0 – 22 NEP
Saturday, October 14th – Melwood Oval – 6pm Kick Off
- North Sydney Rebels (2-3) vs. Sutherland Seahawks (1-3)
- (Choc’s Prediction: REB by 7)
The last game played at Melwood oval on Saturday was contested by the boys from the Northern Beaches going up against the boys from the Southern Beaches. This one was a defensive battle, played under the rain in scrappy conditions. The Rebels secured the W through TDs to RB John Manu and QB/WR/RB (I don’t know, can I just call him a super sub? Haha) Mitch Kirk. With this loss, the Seahawks fall back to 8th place and sit just outside of playoff contention. Next week, they will do battle with the Central Coast Sharks which is my pick for Game Of The Week. Both teams are desperate for a win and will throw everything and but the kitchen sink at each other to get the W. Meanwhile, the Rebels will face off against the Ducks, who will be looking for revenge after the Rebels knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Both games should be crackers!
Final Score: REB 12 – 8 SEA
**Sydney University have the Bye this week
*Photo Credit: TM Photography