Saturday, October 8th – Forestville Oval – 2:30pm Kick Off
• Wollongong Mustangs (0-1-3) vs. Northern Sydney Rebels (0-1-3)
• (Choc’s Prediction: REB by 7)
In the words of the Rebels themselves, they “picked up where they left off last week.” The Rebels came out in a dominant performance over the Mustangs to record their first win of the 2016 season and possibly begin a final dash for the playoffs. Their O continued to perform as they did last week with players from the D rotating in to fill holes in the O, with one of those players FB/DT Stephen Armstrong picking up his first career TD. The Mustangs now fall to 0-4 and with a tough few weeks ahead of them (Newcastle, Sydney Uni, Sutherland, UNSW, UTS), it will be hard to pick when they will get their first W of the season.
Final Score: WOL 18 – 47 REB
Saturday, October 8th – The David Phillips Sporting Complex Daceyville – 3:30pm Kick Off
• Nepean Ducks (2-1-2) vs West Sydney Pirates (4-1-0)
• (Choc’s Prediction: WST by 21+)
The Pirates steam train continues to roll on, with another win over the Ducks this week. Coming off a dominant win over the Predators last week, the Pirates came into this one looking to extend their win streak and gain momentum heading into the final rounds of the regular season. And they did just that. Big credit to the Ducks too who showed great determination and grit to stay in this one, with WR Grant McNaughton recording another 2 TDs to his season tally with a reception and pick 6. However over 10 dropped catches hurt the Nepean lads on O who may have let the strength of the Pirates psych them out. This was not the Ducks which we have seen in the last few weeks and a week off this week will help them recover and get back to their blistering form that they have been on in the last few weeks.
Final Score: NEP 14 – 44 WST
Saturday, October 8th – The David Phillips Sporting Complex Daceyville – 6:30pm Kick Off
• Sutherland Seahawks (2-1-1) vs UNSW Raiders (4-0)
• (Choc’s Prediction: RAI by 7)
In the final game at David Phillips, the Raiders came out on top against the Seahawks. The Raiders D held their own well early into the game as the Seahawks came away with 0 points after travelling into the UNSW red zone 3 times; allowing their O to score twice and go into the break 12 points up. In the second half, the Hawks were suffering a few injuries but were able to put some points on the board behind first time QB Jason Lambropoulos. However this wasn’t enough, with the green machine rallying to score another 2 TDs through RB Christian Gaitau and pulled away with the win. The Seahawks travel to Greystanes next week to take on the Preds in a must-win game for both teams, while the Raiders will battle the Rebels.
Final Score: SEA 6 – 24 RAI
Saturday, October 8th – Walters Park Speers Point – 3pm Kick Off
• UTS Gators (0-1-4) vs Northwestern Predators (2-1-2)
• (Choc’s Prediction: NWP by 7)
There’s nothing I can say that will take the taste of defeat out of our mouths. The Gators showed up on the day and unfortunately, we did not. After the opening few drives of the game, the Preds were up 14-0 and were on track to getting another win in the bag. But the Gators had a secret weapon, which no one in the league knew about until this day. Matt Utai. For those who don’t know, Matt Utai is a former NRL star who played for the Bulldogs and Tigers as well as representing New Zealand and Samoa in international games. And little did we know, but he was lining up behind QB Ben Loudon at RB. There was nothing we could do to match his speed, ability to cut and change direction and his strength. Utai rushed for over 200 yards on the ground, with Loudon rarely throwing the ball (since the run game was working so well); and he also scored a handful of TDs, with this being his first game of Gridiron. All these stats don’t paint the real picture of how hard the Preds D line was working though, with rookie DE Matthew Robson coming up with a few big stops on the former NRL star late in the 4th quarter to get the ball back. The Preds fought back to within 6 points but unfortunately we couldn’t come away with the W. Next week, Utai and the Gators will take on the Pirates, which should prove to be a very interesting test for the former NRL star as he will come up against the strongest Defence in the league; while we take on Sutherland in a must-win game in order to have any hopes of making the playoffs.
Final Score: UTS 44 – 38 NWP
Saturday, October 8th – Walters Park Speers Point – 6pm Kick Off
• Central Coast Sharks (2-1-1) vs Newcastle Cobras (0-1-4)
• (Choc’s Prediction: N/A)
After Matt Utai and the rest of the Gators (yes I’m still bitter) walked off the field at Speers Point, it was time for the marquee game of the evening. Under the bright Saturday night lights and infront of many home fans, the Sharks kicked off to give the Cobras the ball for the first drive. And this would prove to be a smart decision as Sharks DB Nath Thompson was able to pick off the Cobras QB Derrick Turner and run it back for 6 points. The Sharks opted for the 2 points and this again was a smart decision as QB Jordan Nikora ran the ball in himself over the pylon to put his Sharks up 8-0. On the next drive, the Cobras turned over the ball again on an INT which was converted into points by the Sharks O (thanks to a 60+ yard pass from Nikora to WR Stuart Lips). This would be the last points that the Sharks put up however as the Cobras D, led by LB Matt Rutledge (NSW Wolfpack Rep), would rally and hold out the Sharks while their O went to work. 2 long range TDs later and the Cobras were within 3 points of tying the game and forcing overtime. 60 seconds left on the clock, the Cobras were able to put together a handful of first downs to get their team onto the Sharks 1 yard line with only a few seconds left on the game clock. The ball was snapped and the Turner looked to the air to win the game but it was not meant to be with the Sharks forcing an incomplete pass, ending the game and breaking the hearts of all the Cobras and their supporters. A surprising decision too, as you would have thought they Cobras would have ran the ball behind that big O Line. Nevertheless, the Sharks came away the victors and proved they are the better team in the North. Can they do it again next week though, as they face their hardest challenge of the season yet, coming up against the 2015 Waratah Bowl Champions Sydney Uni. On the other hand, the Cobras will face the struggling Mustangs on neutral ground where they could quite possibly come away with their first win of the 2016 season.
Final Score: CCS 15 – 12 NEW
**Sydney University Lions have the Bye this week