Whether you like it or not (and the deafening silence in the comments section would indicate that you are “MTV generation” to the whole thing), I am back for another week of the aimless, poorly researched, yet usually accurate game of predicting Gridiron Victoria’s Division 1 weekly contests. As we roll into July, and with the playoffs now appearing on the horizon, games will start to hold extra meaning as the top clubs try and position themselves for a championship tilt.
Saturday, July 4 – Syd Pargeter Reserve, Endeavour Hills
Melbourne University Royals (Last Place, 0-8) vs South Eastern Predators (5th Place, 4-4)
Last Time: Predators 20, Royals 14
The Predators are enduring a tough stretch at the moment, coming off three consecutive losses, which include two shutouts. The Royals, while still winless in 2015, have their tails up after producing their best performance of the season in a gritty 14-8 loss to the Croydon Rangers. The Predators have lacked some punch on the offensive side of the ball after the unexpected departure of their American runningback in Week 3, while the Royals have steadily improved game by game, keeping the blowouts to a minimum with a powerful, ball control rushing attack led by Frank Matue and Tokoa Tangatakino. Now you may think that everything I have stated so far makes a case for the Royals breakthrough victory (sounds reasonable). But with playoffs on the line, my gut feel is that the Predators will produce their best performance in a month, with a hard fought victory that helps them regain their mojo.
Stafford’s “Pray for Mojo” Prediction: Predators 18, Royals 16
Berwick Miners (6th Place, 2-5) vs Geelong Buccaneers (3rd Place, 5-3)
Last Time: Buccaneers 26, Miners 6
The boys from Corio have been chugging along quite nicely as of late, going 3-1 over a month of playing the top teams in the league. The Miners went down to the Crusaders 22-0 last weekend, but have produced consistent performances for most of the year behind their underrated defence. The veteran leaders from Geelong have started to find some of their best form recently, and I expect them to continue with that in this contest at Pargeter. The Miners have struggled on offence in games against the top tier teams, and despite the valiant efforts of Andrew Jarvis and stand-in quarterback Brad Ferguson, will have trouble putting points on the board against the outstanding Buccaneer defence.
Stafford’s “ID4 in Endeavour Hills” Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Miners 0
Saturday, July 4 – Ranger Field, Croydon
Last Time: Warriors 28, Rangers 17
Without any hint of bias, I suppose you could call this one the game of the round. Two clubs with a long and storied rivalry battling it out in a top of the table clash on the 4th of July. The only thing that could top it would be Jeff Goldblum, armed with nothing but his trusty 1996 MacBook, going head to head with an invading alien horde hell bent on destroying the Earth. It’s a good thing that those alien spaceships were Apple compatible; otherwise that whole plan would have been silly. Personally, I preferred Goldblum’s performance in Jurassic Park, especially his womanizing backstory. That film has layers. And if you haven’t seen him in “Earth Girls are Easy”, do yourself a favor and check it out. Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans star as aliens who have crash landed in Southern California, and wacky hijinks ensue.
Stafford’s “The Fly? That movie sucked” Prediction: Rangers ??, Warriors ??
I hope you all enjoyed the Goldblum tangent present on that last “prediction”. And if you didn’t, feel free to let me know in person at Ranger Field on Saturday afternoon, where you can enjoy a World Famous Ranger Burger while calling me a hack from the grandstand. Don’t worry about being too mean either, have at it. I’m an athlete, it will roll right off my back.
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