So What Happened in Round 5 of the ACT Senior’s Comp?
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Well, this match didn’t go to plan.
What a start – he’d been threatening to do it in his 2 games thus far, and finally, Wildcats RB Stu Duncan took the opening kick return all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. The Cats then ran in the two point conversion and before I’d even taken the lid off my de-caf soy mocha (or at least that’s what the canteen staff assured me it was) the score was 8-0. Unfortunately for the Cats – there was not much to see from Duncan after that, appearing to come off with an injury. And he wasn’t the only one – with the Cats also losing their starting QB not long after that.
Halftime came around and Wildcats fans (and this reviewer) dared to start thinking the unthinkable – could we? Is it our day? There is no doubt that the Wildcats were the better team in the first half.
But resilience is a funny thing – and the ‘Nadoes were nothing if not resilient. Well, ok, maybe a bit lucky too. Unfortunately for the Cats, the Tornadoes went up a gear. In the third quarter, ‘Nadoes RB #38 ran in a TD followed by the 2 point conversion. Then it was a case of Fooksy to the rescue – the veteran RB running in the match-winning TD early in the 4th quarter.
Comebacks are rare in ACT Gridiron – the last memorable one occurring last season when the Centurions came back to defeat the Gladiators. But, if there was a competition that involved manufacturing a defeat from a winning position in the most crushing way possible, the Wildcats would be a contender to hold the trophy high.
UC Firebirds (54) at Woden Valley Gladiators (0)
The afternoon game saw a white-hot Firebirds side totally annihilate a lacklustre Gladiators outfit. The Glads played without QB Te Huki, and were still missing veteran Offensive Lineman Dom Radman.
A near full-strength UC controlled every aspect of this game with such ease that it was both impressive and scary.
Huge runs from the Firebirds RB’s – Lanham and Thornhill in particular, and a brilliant helmet catch from #82 saw the Birdies race to a 20-0 lead early.
The Glads players must have looked up at the scoreboard before the end of the 1st quarter and wondered when the misery would end. It was a tough slog for them that just didn’t get any easier as the game progressed.
Time and time again, the Glads couldn’t handle the defensive pressure of the Birdies. As the game progressed it became a bit of a sack-a-thon – Firebirds lining up to come around and through the Glads O-line to sack the QB. Meanwhile, the Firebirds RB’s continued to run rampant.
Full-time saw a mammoth score of 56 – 0 on the board.
A special shoutout to Firebird’s LB and kicker #30 for his own special take on a Birdies Colour Rush strip – those pants were some of the loudest seen on an ACT Gridiron field for some time.
1. UC Firebirds (No Change)
A clinical destruction of the Gladiators sees the Firebirds sit atop the power rankings.
2. Woden Valley Gladiators (No Change)
They are lucky to maintain 2nd spot after the weekend – but I took into account that they do still have 3 wins on the board, and it was the Firebirds that beat them.
3. Tuggeranong Tornadoes (+1 place)
The resilient come from behind victory sees the ‘Nadoes leapfrog the Cents in the power rankings.
4. Centurions (-1 place)
It’s hard to do much when you have the bye, but it doesn’t help when those closest to you on the ladder get another win.
5. Wildcats (No change)
So close but so far.