It’s been a while but it’s good to be back. It’s been a busy few months for me so this took kind of a backseat to everything else so apologies to all the avid readers.
Since my last article, there’s been a few movers and shakers and with the regular season coming to a close and the playoffs starting this weekend, it’s time to look back at the weeks we missed in the GNSW and look ahead to the playoffs.
To close out the regular season, the table finished like this:
- West Sydney Pirates
- Sydney University Lions
- UTS Gators
- Northern Sydney Rebels
- UNSW Raiders
- Sutherland Seahawks
- Nepean Ducks
- Wollongong Mustangs
- Northwestern Predators
- Central Coast Sharks
- Newcastle Kings
Some of the key matchups you may have missed in the last few weeks:
- Central Coast Sharks vs UNSW Raiders (Week 11) – the final swansong for legendary coach and GNSW figure Peter Tos Sr. The Raiders unveiled the Peter Tos Snr Lifetime Service Trophy which will now be contested everytime the Sharks and Raiders meet in the future. This one ended with the Raiders taking it out in a close one, 34-28. It was a great game to see everyone come together and celebrate the career of one of the greats; PT you’ll be missed mate!
- UTS Gators vs Sydney Uni Lions (Week 10) – what was said to be the matchup of the season, ended in lackluster fashion. The Gators had a white-hot start to the season, going undefeated in their first 5 games before losing to the Raiders. The Lions came into this clash with plenty to prove and that they did; thumping the Gators 58-6 and putting the league (and their closest rivals West Sydney) on notice that they aren’t dead yet.
- Northern Sydney Rebels vs Northwestern Predators (Week 9) – the Predators came into this one with an extremely under-manned team; having lost QB Mark Shoebridge to injury for the remainder of the season, backup QB (and resident all around great bloke) Jack Prichard stepped under centre. The Rebels were well drilled and had plenty of depth and for the first time in their young club’s history, kept a team to 0 points. They are definitely a team to keep your eye on during the playoffs.
- Sutherland Seahawks vs Nepean Ducks (Week 8) – these two teams always have great battles and this one was no exception. It’s a shame the result knocked one of these two out of the playoffs. The Seahawks sealed their second consecutive playoff berth with this win, having defeated all the teams below them on the table during the regular season. This made the Ducks a little desperate for a win in their final 3 games to make the post-season but unfortunately, they couldn’t come through.
Now we look towards the 2017 playoffs. The top 6 teams are through, so this includes the Pirates, Lions, Gators, Rebels, Raiders and Seahawks. Stay tuned for my playoff preview coming this Friday.