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Round 8: Melbourne Royals Vs Berwick Miners After defeating the Croydon Stars for the second time of the 2012 season, the Royals returned to Endeavour Hills, this time to take on the hosting Berwick Miners. Officially in the second half of the season, the Royals were keen to test their capabilities against a division-one side again after losing to the Western Crusaders by a single touchdown. The Royals received the ball first; kick returner Chris Tuohy taking the ball to the 31-yard line to start the Royals’ first drive. Unfortunately, the Royals would get off to a slow start, false starting before fumbling the ball on second down to a tough Miners defence. The Miners offence took to the field, first attempting to run the ball with a big stop made by linebacker Josh Vakapuna. The Miners then turned to the air, quarterback Andrew Nixon connecting with his receiver for a touchdown, the PAT good, the Royals trailed 0-7. The Royals offence returned to the field, quarterback Blair Black looking to get the offence moving after a slow start. The Royals continued to put the ball on the ground with running back Frank Matue continuing to take nearly all handoffs. Quarterback Blair Black in the absence of receiver Adam Watson, found a new favourite receiver for the day, hitting slot receiver Darcy Muller for short quick gains to pick up first downs. QB Blair Black eventually exploited a weakness in the Miners defence, throwing a touchdown on third down to wide receiver Chris Tuohy. Black would then hold onto the football and run it in for two points. The Royals becoming the first division-two team to have a lead against a division-one side, 8-7. The Royals defence came back to the field to stop the Miners, forcing the Miners to punt. However, neither team would score again before the end of the first quarter. The Miners offence started with the ball in the second quarter, and were quickly able to put points on the board again. QB Andrew Nixon throwing another touchdown on a blown Royals coverage. The extra point was missed and the Royals fell behind again 8-13. The Miners then got the ball back quickly, and hit the Royals for another touchdown on first and ten. The extra point was kicked and the Miners went further ahead 8-20. A series of incomplete passes saw the Royals unable to get moving effectively in the wet conditions from the previous days of rain. The Royals were forced to punt with big lineman Larny Pasene and Norm Kortum there for the stop. Some good plays by the defence in the second half kept the Royals alive, with nose tackle turned defensive end Aaron Mapstone recording his first sack for the season and some very big stops by linebacker Andrew Rowse and free safety Ben Ly. However the Royals would go into half time still behind 8-20.


The Miners would receive the ball at the start of the second half, Andrew Rowse there again to make a stop on a very fast Berwick kick returner. The Royals defence were hit with a roughing the passer penalty, letting the Miners walk down the field before they would throw another deep ball for a touchdown, the Miners QB hitting a new receiver. The Miners attempted a fake kick, trying to run the ball but were stopped by the defence. The Royals starting to lose control of the game, behind 8-26. An invigorated Blair Black would return however, sparking the offense to make something happen, despite an offensive line that was having to deal with a blitz of some kind all day. After some passing to receivers Darcy Muller and Chris Tuohy as well as a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, QB Blair Black held the ball and ran it for a touchdown. The two-point attempt was missed, after a hit on Blair Black that drew a penalty on the Miners defence. The Royals behind 14-26. The Miners would receive the kick, however were flagged for a late hit and received a penalty. The defence would provide strong pass rush pressure on the Miners quarterback, with defensive tackle Jeremy Edwards sacking the quarterback twice in the second half. Linebacker Andrew Rowse continued to clean up tackles as well, preventing the run. However, the Miners were again able to air it out, with Miners QB Andrew Nixon throwing his fifth touchdown of the day. The Royals were behind 14-32 in the fourth quarter after the kick was blocked and recovered by linebacker Michael Van Gessell, however their hopes to be able to beat a division-one team looked to be over for the day. Some solid running would be seen by Frank Matue throughout the final quarter, as well as a deep pass to the middle caught by speedy receiver/running back Dom Macaluso. The Royals received their second loss of the season, their overall record now 5-2. The Miners proved to be too strong and showed their division-one status. The Royals after taking a loss now look forward to their division-two match up with the Monash Barbarians this Sunday July 1st, returning to Endeavour Hills for a kick-off time of 10.30am. Come down and see the Royals take on the rising Barbarians, as the Royals look to get their winning streak back on.


NFL Comparisons Last week Royals Newsletter compared the quarterback and receivers on the team to NFL stars. This week, we turn to the defensive stars of the team, the linebackers. Linebacker: Andrew Rowse – Lance Briggs, Chicago Bears Lance Briggs shows Andrew Rowse’s capabilities on the Royals Roster, as the linebacker can play both at the inside and strong side positions due to his speed, ability to beat blocks and find the ball. Rowse dominates tackles out on the field and is a leader for all the defence. Furthermore, like Briggs, Rowse is a great defender in jamming the tight end when needed and also providing pass coverage. He is a threat to pick off any QB when watching the pass and will make them pay for overlooking him. Linebacker: Floyd Baragwanath – Von Miller, Denver Broncos. Baragwanath had value last year stepping into the defensive end position when needed, as he possesses speed and strength, as well as a keen eye for the play. The 2012 defensive captain has been missing for a few weeks, and is a noticeable loss to the Royals defence, as like Miller is able to deliver big stops when it matters and turn the ball over. In addition, we see Baragwanath as Von Miller due to his sometimes snappy, sometimes outrageous dress style. Baragwanath is likely to either be wearing a tweed suit and matching flat cap, or his trademark Hawaiian shirt. Linebacker: Donnie Lussier – D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns. D’Qwell Jackson may not be one of the biggest names in the NFL, but when he’s injured, his presence is sorely missed. Lussier plays weak side linebacker, and like Jackson has missed a bit of time due to an upper body injury. Lussier’s experience allows him to be a leader on the field though like Jackson, and is capable of delivering big hits like the AFC north linebacker. Watch for Lussier to be back this week or next and to lift the defence with his experience. Linebacker: Alex Strickland – Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills. Strickland has proved to be a durable and strong player in 2012, forcing and recovering a fumble in his first game. He is valuable both at the linebacker position and defensive end. Like Williams, Strickland possesses speed and size, which allows him to navigate both positions. Strickland’s athleticism comes most likely from his army background, and has only room to grow on the Royals roster, as he becomes more familiar with the workings of the linebacker position. Linebacker: Josh Vakapuna – Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins. 2012 Rookie Josh Vakapuna is built like a middle linebacker, but is mostly played as an outside linebacker. It’s no secret either that Vakapuna is possibly one of the strongest guys on the team, with an overall athleticism that allows him to make plays. Most like him then is Brian Orakpo, outside linebacker for the Redskins. Both Vakapuna and Orakpo share big frames that would allow the linebacker to even play on the line. Orakpo’s reputation as a ‘workout warrior’ furthermore makes us see Vakapuna, as he plays multiple sports and is tough to take on anywhere.


Around the league Week 8 saw cross-divisional games for each match. The match however between the Gippsland Gladiators and the Bay City Buccaneers was cancelled due to conditions in Morwell. The heavy rain had made the field unusable for the week and the game will be postponed until week 15, when both teams were scheduled for a bye week. The Saturday saw a double header in Croydon, with the Croydon Stars hosting the division-one Western Crusaders. The top of the ladder Crusaders were too strong for the winless Stars however, and took home an easy win 36-0 over the Stars, who are struggling for players currently. Croydon would however get a win, with the Rangers firing up offensively scoring 54 points to zero in the first half of the game against the Northern Raiders. The Raiders defence were able to slow the Rangers in the second half however, finishing the game 60-0. A big win for the 2011 runners-up.

OFF THE FIELD with ahmed arayne

Food PIZZA

Movie: shawshank redemption

TV Show: White Collar

MUSIC THE CAT EMPIRE

ACTOR CHRIS TUOHY

Heard about royals STARTED THE ROYALs

Byes: Monash Warriors, Monash Barbarians.

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Contributors Writer//Editor

Jeremy Edwards

Photographers

Luke Markof

Liv rog

Designer

Ahmed Arayne

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Royals Newsletter Edition 8