On a perfect Queensland day, the two most talented and explosive teams in the 2016 AGL met in the final match to decide the AGL National Championship.
The 2016 Qld Sundevils came into the game undefeated after beating the South Australia Sharks 27-6 and easily taking care of New South Wales Wolfpack 61-0. A fast and dynamic Sundevils defense had already scored more on defense than their opposition combined (3 TD’s) and also held heir opponents to negative rushing yards in the first two games.
The Offense faced a big challenge with starting quaterback Damien Molloy ruled out due to an injury sustained during the game with NSW and would be replaced by Carlos Williams.
The WA Raiders came into the game after defeating SA Sharks 34-7 and the NSW Wolfpack 60-20. The Raider offense, including Ben Gastarov, Nate Landsdale and Vince Synder connecting well ointorevious games being the ones to watch. While defensively, the Raiders boasted a number of Australian Outback representatives that are capable of shutting down an offense.
Winning the coin toss, the Raiders opted to receive the football, the first Quarter saw the Raiders having some success moving the ball with the short pass game and some well timed rushing attempts only to be stalled inside the red zone by the swarming Sundevils defense. The Queensland offense took some time to get into the game but it was the Sundevils’s defense that struck first blood: a 2nd quarter forced
The Queensland offense took some time to get into the game but it was the Sundevils’s defense that opened the scoring a 2nd quarter forced fumble by Calvin Young, recovered by Kevin Walsh and returned 60+ yards for the touchdown, the extra point attempt by Reece Perkins was good and the score 7-0. The Sundevils Defense again provided the Offense with solid field position to mount their next drive which resulted in a short yardage rushing TD by Darius Holiday-Miller. The touchdown was again converted by Perkns, the score 14-0 to the Sundevils to end the first half.
The second half started as a defensive struggle with neither team really making any inroads to the opposition red zone in the 3rd Quarter. The break for WA came in the 4th quarter after forcing two crucial turnovers in great field position. The first leading to a Ben
The break for the Raiders came in the 4th quarter after forcing two crucial turnovers in great field position, which lead to a Ben Gastarov quaterback sneak followed by a passing 2pt conversion to make the score 14-8. The Raiders found the endzone just a few minutes later with a passing touchdown from Gastarov to Snyder on the shadow’s of the goal posts to level the scores 14-14. WA looking to take the lead late in the game but 2 pt attempt that was ruled incomplete leaving the score at 14-14 and a short time later regulation time expired.
With the game tied at the end of regulation over time would be needed to decide a champion. The Raiders won the toss and again opted for the first attempt but was unable to score. This would mean that any score would be a Sundevils win. The Sundevils got some offense going but it would come down to a 4th down field goal attempt for the championship. Queensland turned to kicker Perkins who had slotted two extra points earlier in the game, Perkins made the kick and in the process won the AGL title with the field goal the final score of 17-14.
The final match up of the AGL did not disappoint and those who witnessed it live or via the live stream were treated to a well-played and close game of American Football. From a Gridiron fan’s
Congratulations to the 2016 AGL Champions the Queensland Sundevils making it back to back AGL titles.
The biggest disappointment of the 2016 AGL was the fact that Victoria and the ACT did not have teams entered in the AGL or the WAGL each for very different reasons. Gridiron in Australia is at the
Gridiron in Australia is at the cross roads, American Football has never been more popular in this country and there are more players than ever before enjoying playing this great game but the governing bodies need to sort it out and bring everyone together or this opportunity that in front of us will be missed.
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