10.00 am – Gungahlin Wildcats (0-3) at Tuggeranong Tornadoes (1-2)
It is this matchup that is responsible for one of the more amusing photos in ACT Gridiron history.
The Tornadoes must be happy to face the Wildcats after dropping the Glads game. Last week I felt that the ‘Nadoes won the game everywhere but on the scoreboard – dare I say it, they’ve been impressive in their last two matches.
If this retro Tornadoes outfit (now featuring almost all of their players from the glory days) are to be serious contenders for this season they need to put the Wildcats to the sword.
Although the Wildcats are only 0-3, the ship that is Season 2017 is sailing away and they are still standing on the dock. While mathematically they are still a chance to play finals, I just haven’t seen enough from this young outfit to make me a believer.
My Tip: Tornadoes.
3.00pm – UC Firebirds (3-0) at Woden Valley Gladiators (3-0)
The top two teams in the standings, the top two teams in the power rankings and the two undefeated teams hit it out this weekend – but I can’t help but think this game will showcase the yawning chasm between first and second place.
The Firebirds haven’t looked like losing a match at all so far this season. Even when they’ve been bad (like that third quarter against the Tornadoes) they haven’t looked like crumbling.
The Glads, on the other hand, look like they are down in numbers and down in spirit. Te Huki hobbled off in the third quarter last week and it was as if, from that point on, the brakes were applied on the Glads offence.
If Te Huki is back, and the Glads can re-ignite their run game – they’ll turn this game into a competition.
My Tip: Can the Glads upset the ‘Birdies? No. Firebirds to win.
12.45pm – Diamonds (2-1) at Central Spears (3-0)
I don’t know what we are likely to get this game. It has all the hallmarks of being a competitive match. But, both sides have a few injuries, and the game is essentially meaningless as both teams are already through to the final. What I suspect we might see are two teams who are resting players and limping through to the finals.
I am looking forward to seeing this dynamic Spears offense take on the tough-as-nails Diamonds defense. Their Round 2 clash was a low scoring affair. Since then I think the Diamonds D has improved – but I think the Spears O has excelled. I’m excited by the combination of De Groot, Rowland, Williams and De Masson all running behind the powerful Spears O Line.
If the Diamonds are to pose any threat to the Spears this week, we need to see something from them on offense. A failure to nail even simple run plays has been their downfall so far this season. It’s do or die for the Diamonds’ offense with the final only one game away.
My Tip: That Spears O is just going to be too powerful and will overwhelm the Diamonds.