Predators Do What’s Needed.
South Eastern Predators 35 Defeated Ballarat Falcons 6
In a game that could have been a blowout early, the Falcons didn’t allow that to happen with a half time score of 21-6. Both sides were low on numbers on this day so it was survival of the fittest. The Predators Defense didn’t help themselves with a key player getting ejected, as I predicted in my preview.
The Falcons were without RB Duncan McIntosh for another week but the passing game, as always, was their strength with QB James Stephens and WR Eddie Carey teaming up on several pass plays. The Preds Defense finally put their most experienced DB onto him to prevent the damage. Despite a long TD reception by Carey, the Predators Defense was all over the run game, not allowing huge runs. The Preds forced 3 Interceptions on the day, including one returned for a TD by FS #15 Abdul Rauf. DE Lachlan Haynes was solid with a few Sacks as was LB Ben Clark with several tackles.
Offensively RB Ben Clark had a day with 2TDs while at WR Bobby Vahos had 100yds and a score.
Dragons Good For 85.
Bendigo Dragons 85 Defeated Peninsula Sharks 0
What can you say about a game with this kind of score line? Besides the obvious that it was one sided from the very beginning. Bendigo would have enjoyed the Offenses output and the Defense would not have needed to work to hard in this one. Results like this don’t really teach anyone anything.
The Sharks will be looking forward to a game they feel they can at least be competitive in. Recruiting for next season should start now.
Raiders Win Rematch.
Northern Raiders 26 Defeated Melton Wolves 21
Game of the week lived up to its potential with this Div 2 Championship match up. Both sides were looking very different to the last time they met. In a 1st half that produced 41 points it was the Wolves Defense and the Raiders Offense contributing to the scoreboard.
A big opening kick return by the Raiders set them up in good field position to get into the end zone on their first drive. A few running plays later ended with a 10yd run by RB #26 Siddhanta Gurung and the 2 pt conversion was good.
The Wolves first KR netted them good field position on their first possession. With the new backfield of Matthew Krul and Jai Mann, the Wolves moved the ball with short but solid runs. The drive ended with a 5yd run by RB Sharleam Baker and the XP was good despite a fumbled snap.
The Raiders next drive didn’t get them anywhere but they were able to recover a Wolves fumbled snap to get the ball back. A couple of nice catches over the middle gave them great yardage after the catch, setting up a 2yd run for the TD. The 2 pt conversion was no good this time but they led 14-7.
The Wolves next possession ended in a Punt and the Raiders took over deep in their own territory. Enter Wolves LB Luke Sackl for the strip Sack and recovery in the End Zone by DT #99 Michael “Viking” Skabla. The XP was good once again with the scores now tied at 14 points.
The Raiders next possession resulted in a 60yd bomb on just the 2nd play by QB #7 Michael Nebauer to WR Nicholas Faure for the score. A failed XP attempt but they led 20-14.
The next drive of both teams were 3 and outs, ending in short Punts. The Wolves next possession resulted in a fumble and recovery by the Raiders. Unfortunately they were unable to punch it into the end zone and turned it over on a failed 4th down.
A nice 25yd completed pass by Wolves QB David Parkinson to WR #80 Lachlan Vella had them on the move until yet another fumble by Parkinson, which was recovered by the Raiders. The Wolves weren’t going to allow the Raiders to score again. LB Sackl bobbed up again with another strip sack that landed in the arms of DT #49 Trevor Tutaka, who rumbled for 65yds and the score. The XP attempt was good putting the Wolves up 21-20 close to the end of the half.
The Raiders Kick Return by #2 Josh Rice was taken to the house but he was flagged for an early celebration at the Wolves 20yd line. This would prove costly right before half time as the next pass was intercepted by Matthew Krul ending the half.
The Raiders first possession after a Wolves Punt ended with a 2yd TD run after a few good runs by Siddhanta Gurung to set it up. The 2 pt conversion was no good giving the Wolves a chance to take the lead with a TD.
Both Offenses couldn’t get into the end zone but the Wolves Defense forced a Raiders fumble and an interception. A final drive by the Wolves got them to about the Raiders 20yd line but one final pass by Parkinson was intercepted. The Raiders then went into victory formation to end it.
Warriors Of Old.
Monash Warriors 85 Defeated Pakenham Silverbacks 0
Firstly I’d like to apologise to the Silverbacks for calling this a Forfeit in my Power Rankings. Although they borrowed players they were unable to win no matter the result. They played out a full game but not having enough players isn’t a good sign for this young club.
The Warriors used this an opportunity to fine tune their game plan and work on some weaknesses. Safe to say they did that.
Crusaders Get It Done.
Western Crusaders 34 Defeated Croydon Rangers 6
Despite the score line this game was much closer than it looks. Both sides took advantage of the perfect football weather and came out passing with the both QBs doing all the rushing duties.
The Crusaders also welcomed back 2 familiar faces after very short retirements in Eli Curry and Jnala Saluni, bolstering an already solid Defense.
The Crusaders took the opening kickoff into Ranger territory after a good return. The Cru were able to get the ball down to the 24yd line of the Rangers through short passing and a QB Andrew Healy run or two. The Rangers Defense was getting tested early but were able to hold the Cru out with a Sack on 3rd down and then a turnover on Downs.
The Rangers first drive was met by a ton of pressure from the Crusaders pass rush, eventually QB Brady Keliher threw an interception to LB #53 Zoe Dovarni at the 30yd line which was returned for about 10yds. The Cru tried to get the ball into the end zone for the opening score but QB Healy was pushed out at the 1yd line on 4th and Goal, giving the ball back to the Rangers in a very dangerous spot.
QB Keliher was able to relieve the pressure on the Offensive line with a run straight up the guts for 17yds and then a 20yd pass to WR #84 Brad Cummings. QB Keliher was doing well considering a few snaps went below his knees but eventually they were forced to Punt.
The Crusaders took over from their own 38yd line and continued to take to the air with short passes to WR #3 Tyson Garnham and then a 28yd completion. The Cru finally tried to run it inside the 10yd line but were stuffed by the Rangers Defense with DE #12 Callum Beattie forcing a fumble, the Rangers recovered at the 8yd line. With the 1st qtr expired, the Rangers found themselves deep in their own territory once again. The pressure by the Cru pass rush finally took it’s toll with QB Keliher throwing the ball from the end zone as he was getting Sacked, straight into the waiting arms of #25 DJ Batistella who walked in for the TD. The 2 pt run was stuffed and the Cru led 6-0 in what looked like would be a defensive battle.
The Rangers were held to a 3 and out after they took over possession but on a 4th and short, a hard count made the Cru jump, handing them a 1st down. The Rangers were moving the ball until QB Keliher attempted a long pass that was intercepted by DB #31 Christian Cinel at the Cru 17yd line.
Both teams were unable to do anything on their next possession until Crusader RB #18 Qyntin Muller started getting some carries with good yardage. Credit to the Rangers DB’s by this stage with CB #6 Fawlo Apai and CB #23 Majny Majing all over their opponents which was clearly frustrating Crusaders QB Healy and forcing them to Punt. The Rangers had an opportunity to score when WR James Fountain was all on his own down the sideline, he was missed by QB Keliher which would prove costly after they Punted the ball away to midfield. The Crusaders didn’t waste any time when QB Healy hit RB Muller over the middle for a 50yd TD. The 2pt was again no good but you could see the missed opportunity by the Rangers hurt them.
The Kick Return by WR Fountain saw him get absolutely levelled but to his credit, he eventually got up and shook it off. The Rangers had to Punt it away again but they made the mistake of kicking it straight to DB Cinel who turned on the jets and returned the ball for 47yds, eventually getting pushed out of bounds at the 23yd line. The Crusaders tried to get the ball into the End Zone through the air but were unsuccessful, ending the half at 12-0 in favour of the Crusaders.
After the half time break the Rangers came out with runs by RB #13 Dwain Jackson and a handy 25yd run by QB Keliher. The good work came undone when QB Keliher hit WR Jamie Stafford over the middle who then fumbled at the 10yd line and recovered by the Crusaders. Another scoring opportunity missed.
The Cru were deep in their own territory when what looked like a fumble by QB Healy was ruled an incomplete pass by the Officials. QB Healy was able to give them some breathing room with a 12yd run. On 3rd down Rangers FS Liam Fordham almost had a pick but the Cru Punted, which was then blocked by LB Adam Kolinski after the snap sailed high. The Cru recovered at the 11yd line giving the Rangers the perfect opportunity to punch one in. The Rangers could not get the points after a clear Pass Interference was not called in the End Zone on 4th Down.
The Crusaders next possession was highlighted by a 43yd run by RB #11 Sam De Lia to the Rangers 37yd line. QB Healy then hit WR Garnham for 31yds and it was finished off by a 6yd run, with an excellent cutback by RB #44 Richard Fatefehi for the TD. The 2pt attempt was good by RB Fatefehi. This looked to be the straw that broke the Rangers back.
In the final quarter, the Rangers next possession ended with a Punt but a 35yd pass attempt by Crusaders QB Healy was intercepted by FS Fordham at the Rangers own 45yd line. Could this be the Rangers first scoring drive? Of course it could be but they needed to hold onto the ball.
An 11yd run by FB #40 Will Bendle followed by a 25yd and 17yd pass to WR Stafford getting them to the 4yd line. QB Keliher hit WR #84 Sean Embery for the TD but the 2pt conversion was no good. Running out of time to come back they needed a stop of the Crusaders on the next possession.
A decent Kick Return by RB Garnham took the Crusaders to the 42yd line. The very next play from scrimmage RB Muller took it 58yds for the score and putting the game out of the Rangers reach. The 2pt run by RB Fatefehi was good. Scores were now 28-6 in favour of the Crusaders.
The Rangers WR’s had issues jumping the snap, causing 2 false starts on the day and having to Punt the ball away again. Another big 23yd run by Crusaders QB Healy and another score from RB Fatefehi put the game beyond doubt.
BYE – Royals, Warriors, Silverbacks.
|October 6, 2018||Peninsula Sharks v Monash Barbarians||10:30 am||Hendy Street Reserve|
The Sharks will be hoping they can score some points. If the Defense is alert there is no reason why they can’t force some turnovers. Just a matter if they can cut out the simple mistakes.
The Barbarians were able to put some points in the board before their bye week. They will take advantage of the inexperienced Sharks to score the most points in a game this season.
Prediction – Sharks 0 V Barbarians 30
|October 6, 2018||Geelong Buccaneers v South Eastern Predators||2:00 pm||Hendy Street Reserve|
GAME OF THE WEEK.
The Buccaneers running game has been improving against the lower ranked sides but can it withstand the physical presents of the Predators? I expect the passing game to thrive a little in this one.
The Predators are using everyone on their sideline to run out games. Might have to switch it up against a good Buccaneers Run Defense and pass a bit more than usual.
Prediction – Buccaneers 18 V Predators 14
|October 7, 2018||Ballarat Gridiron v Croydon Rangers||10:30 am||DR Atkinson Reserve|
The Falcons will rely again on Eddie Carey and the arm of James Stephens. Unfortunately they will face one of the better secondaries in the League. The Defense will need to keep an eye on WR Jamie Stafford and James Fountain.
The Rangers were good last week and will look to continue with what they did. Expect the running game to prosper against a weaker opponent.
Prediction – Falcons 6 V Rangers 35
|October 7, 2018||Northern Raiders v Bendigo Dragons||2:00 pm||DR Atkinson Reserve|
The Raiders will look to dominate Defensively and ensure the Dragons don’t get the running game going. The Offense is starting to click and should find the end zone.
This won’t be anywhere near as easy as last weeks game at home. They will find out if the easy game helped or hindered them.
Prediction – Raiders 20 V Dragons 22
|October 7, 2018||Western Crusaders v Melton Wolves||2:00 pm||Henry Turner Reserve|
Due to a number of injuries to their linemen, the Wolves have officially Forfeited this game.