The Semi finals have been run and won. We now look forward to Xmas day for GV fans and participating players of all the clubs involved.

Before we talk about the Vic Bowl, we must go back in time and look at what happened in the semi’s. Four Division 1 teams faced off to see who would be playing off for a Championship. On the livestream field we had the Croydon Rangers taking on the Warriors Gridiron.

I had a little bit of time to watch the first part of the opening of this match. The Warriors were definitely there to play. The energy was high and they forced the Rangers into mistakes that lead into turnovers. With the score 20-15 in favour of the Rangers at the first half, the Warriors were in with a great chance of an upset. The Rangers managed to compose themselves, scoring 2 more times to run out 33-15 winners and advancing to yet another Vic Bowl. Who would they be facing in that game?

Could the South Eastern Predators do the unthinkable and dethrone the reigning champs? or would the Crusader juggernaut just continue to roll on and make their 6th Vic Bowl in a row?

The Western Crusaders had only been held under 40 points ONCE this season. They have lost just 2 games over a 4 or 5 season period (I think it’s 5) not losing a single game this year. So, it was safe to say the Predators would have to weave some kind of magic to get past them. Unfortunately, there was no magic. It actually started badly, with their top defensive player ejected after a questionable tackle after the first of about 4 INT’s by the Preds. The Cru went on to win 48-0 and finding themselves in great position to go for a 5th straight Championship, for the already full trophy cabinet.

In the other games for the under 19’s and 16’s. The Geelong Buccaneers will have 2 sides playing for a championship after their under 16 side had the upset of the season. Having only won 1 game all year, they saved their best for the semi against the top of the table Crusaders, who had lost just one game. In a highly entertaining game to watch, it was an arm wrestle to the very end. The game was determined in the last 30 seconds with a Crusader fumble inside the 15yd line, recovered by the Buccaneers.

The under 19’s was a tight battle up until half time with the Buccaneers leading 16-8 over the Casey Spartans. Unfortunately, the Spartans couldn’t keep up with the young Buccaneers and eventually fell well short 36-8.

So here we are. Vic Bowl is here!!!

Under 16’s see’s the South Eastern Predators make a return after getting beaten on this day last season. They will be hot favourites to knock off the Geelong Buccaneers, but we saw last week what can happen to a hot favourite. Preds to win 36-20.

Under 19’s the Buccaneers and Rangers face off for the 2nd consecutive season in the big one. Last time the Buccaneers got the win but this year the Rangers have averaged 43 points per game. A high-powered offense led by a talented QB will see the Rangers as hot favourites. We have seen what can happen to explosive offenses in championship games (Super Bowl 48 comes to mind) so don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers cause an upset. Also don’t be surprised if the Rangers blow them out of the water early on. Either way, we will be seeing the future of the Men’s competition on display. Rangers win 44-16.

The Men’s game will be shown on KAYO sports from what I have heard. This is a huge positive for the League. Dare I say it though (I know you’re thinking it) this game between the defending champion Western Crusaders and runners up Croydon Rangers, will be a bit of a fizzer. Comparable to last year’s Vic Bowl where the Crusaders won 50-0.

I don’t like to think negatively about a game like this but history shows it’s going to happen, UNLESS……

The Rangers can find a way to open holes for young RB Jeremi Green. This is where they will get some points on the board. Don’t get me wrong, QB David Nilsson has done an extraordinary job since taking over as the starter. He is going to be facing the fiercest Defense in possibly the entire country (I’m sure the Bayside Ravens might disagree) and will need to get talented WR’s Jacob Kerin and James Cleaver the ball. On the defensive side, the Rangers will need to contain a large number of starters on the Cru offense. Even their backups are good enough to start. They will need to put pressure on QB Matthew Krul and not allow him to scramble out of trouble. The DB’s will need to be alert on the deep ball while the LB’s can’t make mistakes, or they will pay dearly for it. Rangers score early, we might see a different outcome.

Western Crusaders to make it 5 Championships in a row with a score of 44-0.

*GV vision will not be filmed for these games. However, I will be filming a different style of video, capturing as much of the emotion from the day as possible. STAY TUNED!!

Gridiron Victoria 2022 Semi Final Review and VIC BOWL Preview

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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