Saturday, October 22nd – Robert Ziems Park Corrimal – 3:00pm Kick Off
• Sutherland Seahawks (3-1-2) vs. West Sydney Pirates (6-1-0)
• (Last Season: Sutherland DNP)
The Pirates seem unstoppable this season! With another crushing defeat of another opponent, they push their lead at the top of the table to a 1 point difference over the UNSW Raiders and 2 points over defending champions Sydney Uni. If they are to bag another win here today (and the Preds can pull off a shock defeat over the Raiders), they will be able to extend their lead over the top teams in the league and cement their place in the playoffs. The Seahawks are coming off a dominant performance over a depleted Predators outfit and are sitting mid-table. If they want to secure their own playoff place, they will need to surprise the league with a win here, otherwise they will need to win one of their following 3 games (and hope the Predators and Ducks lose one of theirs). This is likely to be another W for the Pirates juggernaut and it will provide a bit more clarity to the current standings.
Choc’s Prediction: WST by 14+
Saturday, October 22nd – Robert Ziems Park Corrimal – 6:00pm Kick Off
• Wollongong Mustangs (1-1-4) vs. Sydney University Lions (5-1-0)
• (Last Season: WOL 14 – 63 SYD)
In the final game at Corrimal, the travelling defending champions, the Lions will take on the Mustangs, who were able to get their first win of the season last week. The Lions seem to have woken up after a few weeks of mediocre performances… and when I say mediocre, I mean the scores the Lions were putting up were not reminiscent of the Lions of previous years (dominating an opponent by 40+). They will need to keep the momentum going in the next few games as they face Mustangs this week, then the very dangerous Raiders and the Pirates in the following two weeks. So it will be a tough run for the Lions who may pick up their first defeat in 2 seasons in the following weeks. However their focus this week should be on the Mustangs. The ‘Stangs were able to pick up their first victory of the season last week, just edging out a resilient Newcastle outfit; however they too have a tough road ahead. If they are to have any hope of making the playoffs, they will need to win 3 out of their next 4 games (Lions, Seahawks, UNSW, UTS) and hope that the Rebels, Ducks and Predators can lose majority of theirs. It’s a tough ask, but never say never.
Choc’s Prediction: SYD by 14+
Saturday, October 22nd – The David Phillips Sporting Complex Daceyville – 6:00pm Kick Off
• Northwestern Predators (2-1-4) vs. UNSW Raiders (6-0)
• (Last Season: NWP 12 – 17 RAI)
This should be an interesting clash. The Raiders are looking to continue their undefeated run and hopefully face the top two teams (Lions & Pirates) with 0 losses under their belts. With their previous performances, they have secured a spot in the playoffs, along with Sydney Uni and West Sydney so this will be about the Preds and how they can bounce back from a 4 game losing streak. After shock defeats to both the Gators and Seahawks, the Predators sit in an awkward predicament. We will need to win at least 2 of our next 3 games (and hope Sutherland loses 2 of theirs) or win all 3 to secure a spot in the playoffs. This will have to start with the Raiders. UNSW are an incredibly strong team this season and the Predators secondary will be tested heavily against their speedy receivers. This will be a tough one so I’m not predicting this one. I’ll let the performances of both the Raiders and Predators speak for themselves.
Choc’s Prediction: N/A
Saturday, October 22nd –Budgewoi Soccer Club Buff Point – 2:00pm Kick Off
• Northern Sydney Rebels (1-1-4) vs. Newcastle Cobras (0-1-6)
• (Last Season: REB 22 – 12 NEW)
This one is my pick for game of the week! The Cobras have been so close to getting their first win in over 2 seasons on 3 different occasions this year, and if the Rebels take their eyes off them for one second, they may just surprise everyone and come away with the W. Last week the Rebels were so close to snapping the undefeated streak of the Raiders but fell 2 points short; while the Cobras just fell short themselves of their first W, losing by 3 to Wollongong. My prediction is this will be a low scoring game by both teams, with Cobras focusing their attack on the ground behind that massive O Line and the Rebels focusing on their game through the air. If only we had the bye this week, I would love to watch this game myself.
Choc’s Prediction: too close to call
Saturday, October 22nd –Budgewoi Soccer Club Buff Point – 5:00pm Kick Off
• Central Coast Sharks (3-1-2) vs. Nepean Ducks (2-1-3)
• (Last Season: CCS 6 – 0 NEP)
Last time these two met, it was an incredibly defensive matchup under horrendous weather. The Sharks were just able to edge out the Ducks to take home the W. This time around? I’m not quite sure the result will be the same. The Sharks have had a good run of wins in the last few weeks before losing to the defending champions Sydney Uni last week. And they have already faced all the tough teams this season (their week 1 game against West Sydney was washed out, declared a draw). And surprisingly, this is the same situation as the Ducks. They have been lucky to face the top teams in their opening weeks (their week 1 game against Sydney Uni was washed out as well) and can now bring home a streak of W’s in the tail end of the season. Nepean are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since their inception and with a W over the Sharks this week, they will have a very good shot at it.
Choc’s Prediction: NEP by 3
**UTS Gators have the Bye this week
*Photo Credit to West Sydney Pirates Photographer Alex Lambousis