Things have slowly started to look like we are back in 2018, with the 3 top sides in DIV 1, back in familiar places and form. Our juniors have showed that Offense is no problem but Defense needs to be worked on. A bit like College Football I guess you could say.

Under 16’s

Croydon Rangers 18 Defeated South Eastern Predators 8

Considering the last time, they met the Rangers scored 40 points, this was a very solid defensive performance by the Predators, who would still have been on a high from their first victory last week. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get it done this time but the improvement is showing. The Rangers did just enough to get the win with the Defense stepping up again.

Photo by Latisha Cowie-Cocker – One of our youngest under 16’s players and a young Predator.

Geelong Buccaneers 14 Defeated by Western Crusaders 44

A late 5pm start on Sunday for these kids. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay to film but some of these “kids” are absolute monsters. A good sign for the sports future and no doubt a few heading to the USA in years to come.

Despite playing at home the Bucs were outclassed by the Crusaders, with the Cru getting back on the winners list after the disappointment of losing last week.

Under 19’s

Croydon Rangers 46 Defeated South Eastern Predators 34

The Power Rangers are definitely go! The offense is proving unstoppable but the only weakness, if you can call it that, is the Defense allowing so many points the past few weeks. I’m sure the coaches aren’t too concerned, as long as the Offense can continue scoring like they have been.

This Predators side is finally improving and can hopefully build as the season comes to a close. A good sign for the return of the Casey Spartans next year.

Photo by Latisha Cowie-Cocker

Geelong Buccaneers 60 Defeated Melbourne Uni Royals 38

I arrived at Hendy St fully expecting to see the DIV 1 teams warming up on the field. Keep in mind it was 130pm when I pulled up. Easily an extra 30 to 45 mins of play was needed for this ridiculous score line. Also remember, the Royals have about 15 or less players. Imagine if they had a few more to keep players fresher.

Not taking anything away from the Geelong, as they are clearly the 2nd best side and the only ones that will be able to take out the Rangers come playoff time. Work on the Defense a bit more at training and they will see a championship in their trophy cabinet.

Division 2

Melton Wolves 8 Defeated by Western Crusaders 50

Something not right in Melton. A team that looked to have some potential, now looks like a team struggling to do anything right. The Crusaders are just using this as a breeding ground for their DIV 1 side and the future looks good.

Division 1

Croydon Rangers 18 Defeated by Western Crusaders 30

The Rangers DIV 1 side was playing at home while their juniors were in Ashwood. The Rangers were needing a win to stay in the top 4. A loss could see then drop out. It was close at the half but the Crusaders restored normality in the galaxy with a hard-fought win. A late TD flattered the score a little as the Rangers had a chance to hit the lead late in the final quarter.

Photo by Latisha Cowie-Cocker

Monash Warriors 29 Defeated South Eastern Predators 0

Speaking of restoring normality. The Warriors are now 3rd on the table after leap frogging the Rangers and Buccaneers. So, I was wrong, they’re not getting old or having to rebuild at all.

It was a homecoming game and the day they retired the famous number 15 of Dom Dearman. The guy has to hold the record for most everything as a QB in GV history. With Dearman watchng the Warriros out on an absolute clinic in the first half. Nothing much happened (scoring wise) in the 2nd half however.

The Predators did try someone different at QB but obviously didn’t work out. Who will get a shot next week in a different position?

Screenshot from GVision

Geelong Buccaneers 6 Defeated by Melbourne Uni Royals 20

The Bucs tried to establish the run game very early on with runs by RB Barnett, eventually leading to a short Barnett run for the first 6 points of the day. The Royals were unable to get anything going on their first 2 possessions. The Bucs lost FB Tinitali for the game with an ankle injury, which proved to be a huge loss.

The Royals LB Outlaw intercepted a QB Johnstone pass with the Bucs well within scoring range. This would be one of about 3 INT thrown by Johnstone on the day. The Royals were trying to get their run game established, but it wasn’t really going to plan just yet. A Bucs turnover on downs/fumble anyway, and the Royals started to march down the field with half time looking. A few passes from QB Fisher to WR Kerin and WR #24, led to a Fisher to Kerin TD with only seconds left in the half. The 2-point conversion run by Fisher was successful.

In the second half the Bucs struggled on the ground and had to resort to more passing. They were being helped by 2 Royals fumbles that were recovered by the Bucs Defense. Unfortunately, Geelong could not capitalise on these Royals mistakes and turning the ball over themselves. The Royal’s run game was starting to make a dent in the Bucs Defense with an elusive 39yd run and score by RB Matema.

A nice 40yd pass by Johnstone to WR Powell ended the 3rd quarter but another INT saw the Royals run a major chunk of the clock off. They ended their drive with a rushing TD to RB #38. A final fumble on the snap saw the Bucs kneel this one out.

Once again, the Royals Defense stood tall while the Offense controlled the clock and moved down field. Can they keep this win streak going? I guess we’ll find out next week. They do loom as the major threat to the Crusaders at this stage of the year.

You can see the highlights of this game below.

Gridiron Victoria Round 7 Review (2021 Season)

Scott Ditcham

Football lover since 1990. Massive Denver Broncos fan and father of 1 future football player. Retired GREAT of the Melton Wolves. Writer for Gridiron Downunder Gridiron Victoria. Onside Kick Productions founder. 2016 season stats - 1 INT, 15 missed tackles, 3 tackles and 1 Minor Concussion.

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