Another week and another weird round of results. Most went to plan while yet another couple of games went the way most of us wouldn’t have thought……. Or do we just not know anymore? Starting to doubt my own predictions each week.
South Eastern Predators 6 Defeated Geelong Buccaneers 0
This would be classed as a boil over for sure, despite the Bucs only having the 1 win so far. The young preds managed to scrape together their first ever victory. Coach Andy Nilsson was very pleased with the outcome.
Croydon Rangers 16 Defeated Western Crusaders 14
Our first Twighlight game saw what most people involved with the Rangers saw coming….and now I’ve been made aware of just how good they are becoming. My warehouse of knowledge is starting to fill up.
The Crusaders had to say goodbye to their head coach Will Pipe, who is packing up and moving to WA. Good luck Will and thanks for everything you have done for the sport.
South Eastern Predators 20 Defeated by Geelong Buccaneers 32
After last week’s shootout, the Buccaneers restored normality and beat a very gallant Predator outfit. The Preds had a new QB to start for them and he immediately made an impact. Making the offense, in particular the passing game, more of a threat than it has been. Unfortunately, they still lost in the end but looked better.
NOTE – I correctly predicted the Bucs score.
Croydon Rangers 52 Defeated Melbourne Uni Royals 32
Not much defense in this one by the looks of it. A 32 to 12 half time score was too much to overcome for the Royals. Despite the lower playing numbers, the Royals are doing pretty well. The Rangers on the other hand are just getting better and better every week. Punishing teams with their explosive offense.
Northern Raiders FORFEIT to Western Crusaders.
For one reason or another, the Raiders were unable to put a team together for this game. This leaves the Crusaders as clear leaders in this division.
South Eastern Predators 6 Defeated by Geelong Buccaneers 22
Another hard-fought victory for the Buccaneers who just did enough to beat the Predators for the 2nd time this season. Not as dominant as the first time around, but one might argue, holding the Preds to 6 points was dominant.
The Preds are just playing for pride and maybe should try other options at QB to spark things on offense. Can Prince Coleman play QB? How about long-time player Ben Clark at RB?
NOTE – I got the Bucs score prediction right here as well and 2 points off the Preds score. Yay me!!
No! this is not a typo. The Crusaders have now dropped 2 games in a row, opening up top spot for whoever wants it more. We knew they would have to lose eventually and did to the Warriors last week. Most of us thought they’d get back on track and grind out a win against the Defensively impressive Royals.
The Royals got the start on the scoreboard on their first possession, after the Crusaders failed on a 4th down conversion. QB Ian Fisher hit WR Jacob Kerin in the right front corner of the endzone, falling down as he caught it for the TD. The 2-point conversion was good.
The Crusaders were able to respond in the 2nd quarter but were very lucky it wasn’t turned over before they did. QB Matthew Krul was intercepted by none other than DB Jack Pattison, who returned it almost the entire field. Unfortunately, a flag was thrown for Roughing the passer (which was there) and brought back. The Cru then punched it in from the 4yd line by RB Junior Alama for their opening score. The conversion was intercepted.
The Royals stretched their lead midway through the 2nd quarter with a nice run by RB Munya Matema, that set up a fake QB run and pass to LB/TE Terron Outlaw for the 30yd score, breaking 4 tackles along the way.
Crusader WR/KR Rustum Todd helped his team gain good field position, this time setting then up around midfield. The drive was eventually topped off with a 22 yd elusive run by WR/DB Dennis Battistella Jr. Once again, the 2-point conversion was no good.
The Royals were forced to punt on their next possession but an Interception by DB Alex Franklin at the Royals 25 stopped the Crusaders drive in its tracks. The boys in Royal blue, with less than a minute in the half, had a nice 35yd pass and catch to WR Cooper Maher for another TD. I have recently called for the Royals to involve Maher more in the Offense, I think they must have read it…. or they already knew this. Either way I’m taking the credit for it.
The Crusaders were intercepted again at mid field by Pattison, ending the half in favour of the Royals 22-12. I wasn’t sure at the time if the Royals would be able to continue playing at the level they had been. Fully expecting some kind of comeback by the Crusaders. So far, their weapons had been kept relatively quiet, especially in the run game. RB Tyrell Sharp had only been sighted once so far and Todd was being held reasonably quiet in the passing game, as was Tyson Garnham in the run game.
The Crusaders started to mount their comeback with a 3yd run by Krul. A drive that started around midfield again. 3rd time was not the charm as the 2-point conversion was once again no good.
The Royals were intercepted at the 50yd by FS Mark Padula, after a pass deflected off the hands of Maher, and returned the ball for about 20yds, setting up great field position once again. The Crusaders got as close as the 10yd line before failing on 4th and long.
The next Royals drive came to an abrupt holt when a pass was intercepted by LB Justice Kantanka at the Royals own 24yd line. Handing the ball back to the Crusaders in, you guessed it, great field position. They were unable to convert and turned it back over to the Royals, who were able to put the final nail in the coffin with a 50yd bomb to Maher at the Crusaders 40yd. Finished off with a 33yd pass to Kerin, who out jumped 2 Crusader defenders for the score in the back of the endzone. Another successful 2-point conversion for the Royals. The Crusaders tried to get another score but their 2 final drives ended in Krul interceptions.
The Royals have made a statement. They are here to win it all and have what it takes to do so. I’m finally convinced, as the run game was more affective and the Defense were outstanding.
Melbourne Uni Royals 30 Defeated Western Crusaders 18
The final game was on Sunday at Ranger Field. This has been a good venue for the home team recently, coming off 2 victories. The Warriors were coming of a defensive standout game against the Crusaders last week. With the Rangers finding it hard to stop the run this season, this could have been a monster game for Luke Jackson.
According to sources, the Warriors are back! The fact the Rangers dropped multiple passes, including 2 that would have been TD’s, added to the surprise loss.
Croydon Rangers 6 Defeated by Warriors Gridiron 22.
GVision Royals V Crusaders with bonus footage from Rangers V Warriors, Courtesy of OZQB