The stage is set for the biggest game of the year. With 3 Vic Bowls competed for and a division 2 Championship under lights, to finish off the day.
Croydon Rangers V South Eastern Predators – 9am
After a slow start to the year, the Predators find themselves coming in hot for this game against the Rangers. The Rangers, after losing game 1 to the Crusaders, have been consistent over the year. The only hiccup was a recent loss to the Predators who have won 4 in a row. Can they make it 5 and a championship? We’ll find out at 9am Saturday.
PREDICTION – Rangers 28 Predators 26
Geelong Buccaneers V Croydon Rangers – 1030am
This one could go for hours. With both sides easily scoring over 30 points in a game on average, we could see either OT or a lot of stoppages due to scoring. A championship title on the line might see the pressure get to these boys. Either way I think we are in for the best game of the day with the high-powered offenses. A hard game to split.
PREDICTION – Buccaneers 36 Rangers 40
Western Crusaders V Northern Raiders – 530pm
This game will be played AFTER the Division 1 Vic Bowl. Should be interesting to see how this one pans out if the Crusaders Div 1 side takes out the win. They might not be too fussed if they win this one or not. In saying that, I don’t see Glenn Parke relaxing on the sidelines for this one. He will want to WIN.
They face up against the Northern Raiders who want to prove they belong there. The last matchup was cut short due to lack of healthy players for the Raiders. Hopefully there are enough numbers to finish it off and get that possible victory, and another Div 2 Championship in their trophy cabinet.
PREDICTION – Crusaders 32 Raiders 26
Western Crusaders V Croydon Rangers – 2pm
A bit of a surprise the Rangers got over the Royals to get to another Vic Bowl. They did it quite well, negating the impact of WR Jacob Kerin and the run threat of QB Ian Fisher. They face a different hurdle when they face the 3-time defending champion Western Crusaders.
The Crusaders are going for their 4th Vic Bowl victory in a row. With eyes on winning a few more while they have the team they have put together over the past years. They still have a lot of original guys that were there during the lean times. Head Coach Craig Wilson has turned them into a juggernaut, and despite the 2 losses mid-season, they look to be back at to their scary selves.
Hopefully the last matchup is an indication of what we will be seeing on Saturday at 2pm. The Crusaders don’t seem to have a weakness. When teams think they have found a weak spot, it’s rectified pretty quickly. The Cru can score quickly so the Rangers Defense will have to play at their absolute best to slow them down. The Cru has a plethora of options to run the ball as well as at receiver. Their Kick return game has seen a lot of points put up over the years. With Rustem Todd and Rohail Akhtar doing the return duties, we could see some big returns.
QB Jared Stegman makes the Rangers a possible victor but he really needs help from his receivers, if they are going to control the game. Dropped passes have been plentiful in the games I have seen so that needs to be rectified. Same goes for the Rangers Defenders who have dropped a number of interception opportunities, but in recent weeks they have improved. The D line will need to be aware of the trickery of the Cru, who run a number of misdirection run plays, with Tyson Garnham doing the most damage on the ground.
There should be a strong home crowd for the Rangers as it’s played at Ranger Field. With Local Aussie Rules starting at the neighbouring field, you better get there early to find a car park.
PREDICTION – Western Crusaders 38 Croydon Rangers 12