Predators Prey On Barbarians.
South Eastern Predators 48 Defeated Monash Barbarians 0
After a tough game against the Warriors last week, the Preds were looking forward to flexing their muscles against a weaker opponent in the baby brothers the Barbarians. Another power running display by the Preds who had virtually no passing game at all. It was the import RB’s who did all the damage with #8 Kyle Martin scoring 2 TD’s and the destroyer #38 Mike Collins scoring 3 TD’s. Kicker, yes I said Kicker Matthew Mcleod was a stand out managing to kick a FG and miss only 1 extra point attempt. Defensively for the Preds FS #20 Bobby Vahos had an interception and a few good punt returns setting up good field position. DE #90 Lachlan Haynes also managed to take a fumble recovery to the house.
The Barbarians had real issues holding onto the football, giving the Predators great field position on far too many occasions. They just couldn’t get anything going at all.
Warriors Pillage Raiders.
Monash Warriors 34 Defeated Northern Raiders 8
Oddly enough, this was the closest game of the weekend which is credit to the Raiders players and coaching staff. If not for a lapse in the 2nd qtr giving up 20 points, it would have been much closer (Captain Obvious). Overall the Defense forced another 3 turnovers, proving to be the teams strength especially with veteran LB/FB Sala Taula. Taula scored their first TD of the year on Offense after the Defense forced an interception and he snuffed out some runs by the Warriors.
The Warriors saw the return of QB Dom Dearman under centre after James Avia was serviceable last week. They allowed their first points against for the season and I’m guessing they wouldn’t have been overly happy with that result.
Croydon Rangers 32 Defeated Bendigo Dragons 0
A positive start to the season for the Dragons gave them hope of being able to knock off the Rangers. Unfortunately that hope was dashed quickly and they struggled to produce anything on Offense. The Majority of the yards came from import QB Ian Juede who was forced to scramble by the Rangers swarming Defense. The Dragons Defense had a difficult time containing Rangers QB Brady Keliher, despite putting pressure on him he just found ways to hurt them either on the ground or in the air.
The Rangers Offense took control of the game with QB Keliher connecting with early ROY favourite WR #85 James Fountain (5 Total TD’s this season) on 2 occasions resulting in TD’s. Once again there was threat of lightning in Croydon but it was the Defense that struck for most of the day. LB #47 Adam Kolinski, CB #23 Majny Majing and DT #79 Jesse Peters were the stand outs in the shut out.
Crusader Cruise Control.
Western Crusaders 40 Defeated Ballarat Falcons 6
The outcome of this game was pretty much as expected. The Crusaders were able to score twice early in the cold, wet and blustery conditions. Both kicking games struggled due to the weather however Falcons QB #20 James Stephenson was impressive, protected by his O Line he was able to get perfect passes off but most were dropped. The only one without an issue catching the ball was WR #18 Duncan McInstosh making some key catches in the wet. The only TD for the Falcons came very late in the game with a pass caught by WR Andrew Pickersgill.
The Cru was once again able to get valuable game time into all their players and will have another break with their 2nd bye in 3 weeks. The Defense gave the Falcons a hard time by not allowing good field position for the majority of the game.
Royal Shark Cull.
Melbourne University Royals 45 Defeated Peninsula Sharks 0
Another tough day for the new guys at the Sharks. Although Sharks are at their best in water they don’t tend to like mud too much. The wet and slippery conditions played havoc with both running games with the Royals deciding to take to the air after a slow and lethargic start to the game. Once they had thawed out the scoring became easier. QB #37 Noah Sims got some reps after QB Franklin was used sparingly early, he managed to rush for a 60yd TD in the 2nd half despite the slippery conditions.
WR #89 Zeb Pawolski caught 2 TD passes and WR #82 Caleb Morgan also added a score on a 40yd reception. WR/PR Harry Roberts was the star with 3 returns for TD’s. Unfortunately, 2 of them were called back due to penalties against the Royals but impressive anyway. WR #11 Jacob Kerin added a score of his own, this time on a 15yd rushing play.
Despite not scoring again the Sharks played with enthusiasm and to the whistle on each play. They again suffered some injuries in this game and will be looking forward to the bye which isn’t until week 6.
BYE – Crusaders (2nd), Monash Warriors, Raiders (2nd).
|August 25, 2018||Geelong Buccaneers v Bendigo Dragons||2:00 pm||Hendy Street Reserve|
GAME OF THE WEEK.
Although the Buccaneers were shut out in game 1 and the broken start to the season schedule with 2 byes in the first 3 weeks, they have a chance for win number 1 on the year. They were competitive at times and will look to establish a good running game complemented by the passing game, which looked dangerous on occasions. No reason why they can’t beat the Dragons.
After a positive start in week 1, the Dragons were shut out against the Rangers. The ground game might suffer from injuries so it will be left up to the air attack to put some points on the board.
Prediction – Buccaneers 20 V Dragons 18
|August 26, 2018||Ballarat Gridiron v Peninsula Sharks||10:30 am||MacPherson Park|
The Falcons, although they were beaten soundly by the Crusaders last week, looked good in the air. Only let down by receivers not being able to hold onto passes in the wet conditions. Against a weaker and less experienced opponent, they’ll need to fix that. Should be a comfortable victory for the Falcons but funnier things have happened before.
The Sharks were decisively outclassed by the Royals last week. The ground game struggled but their young QB, if given time by his O Line, could become a valuable weapon on Sunday. The Defense will continue to learn.
Prediction – Falcons 38 V Sharks 8
|August 26, 2018||Pakenham Silverbacks v Croydon Rangers||10:30 am||Brens Oval|
Silverbacks are rested after the bye but face a tough task when they face the Rangers. They might need to take to the air against a strong run Defense but the O Line will need to give the QB some time to throw.
The Rangers hope there is no further lightning this week. The only lightning they’ll want to see is from their offensive weapons, especially in the passing game. The Defense should have a good game.
Prediction – Silverbacks 0 V Rangers 42
|August 26, 2018||Melton Wolves v South Eastern Predators||2:00 pm||MacPherson Park|
The Wolves also had the bye last week after an offensive explosion the week before. The running game will get tested heavily this week which means the passing game will need to be precise against a solid opponent. The Defense will have a hard time controlling the run. The DB’s will be relied on to help limit the damage on the ground.
The Predators are showing signs that they are far better than last year and will be a force to be reckoned with. With most players playing both sides of the ball again fitness will play a big part. If the run isn’t as potent as it has been they will need to take to the air. Something they haven’t done a lot of so far this season.
Prediction – Wolves 14 V Predators 30
|August 26, 2018||Melbourne University v Monash Barbarians||2:00 pm||Brens Oval|
The Royals might be able to give some of the backups more valuable game time this week. The passing game can continue to improve as the run game is their strength at this stage. The Defense will have more fun this week.
The Barbarians have had trouble holding onto the ball so far. Providing the weather improves their might be more of it. A team full of rookies will continue to learn the game. No better way than against the Leagues form side.
Prediction – Royals 48 V Barbarians 0