MUGC MUGC News News Edi on Three ‐ May 22 2014 Edi on Five —June 6 2014
In this edi on...
Words by Alex Gossage and Jack Roberts
Royals Game Review
Photography by MUGC
Word from the Coach
Design by Liv Rog
Most Valuable Players Around the League Round Six Preview
MUGC Royals v Monash Warriors The Royals returned home for a clash with the Monash Warriors on a glorious day for defensive‐minded, wet weather football. The Royals, s ll searching for their first win of 2014, had made a host of changes to their roster, providing the chance for mul ple rookies to make a big impression for the division one team. A er the Royals kickoﬀ the Warriors, paying no a en on to the miserable condi ons, came out throwing. A er just one incomple on the tac c was reconsidered. A big gain on the ground put the Warriors in Royals territory for the first me in the contest. While failing to complete any passes early, Monash was able to gain large chunks of yards on each rushing a empt. The first pass comple on of the day came on a 14‐yard touchdown pass with a converted 2‐point a empt making it 8‐0 in the opening minutes. Playing from behind early is a con nuing trend from the Royals that will be important to correct as the season wears on. On the first oﬀensive possession, the Royals looked composed and confident, aﬃrmed by a great pass from Jona‐ than Chin to Sam Temple for a big gain. With the ball in Warriors territory the Royals were looking for a quick reply. A costly fumble allowed the Warriors to maintain momentum. Their successful ground game con nued despite the Royals best eﬀorts. A QB sneak on 4th and short kept the Warriors drive alive, before a 20‐yard pass for the touchdown punctuated the costly turnover. With the Warriors holding all the momentum and a 14‐0 advantage the Royals struggled on the ensuing possession and were forced to punt from their own 11‐yard line. A booming punt looked to give the Royals some respite, but their punt coverage was exposed allowing the Warriors to take over with great field posi on. With confidence low a er the two touchdowns through the air the Royals pass coverage started to show signs of weakness but the Warriors were struggling to catch the slippery ball. Jonny Hockey had no such trouble making a great play on a ball that looked to be a certain touchdown, intercep ng it and giving the Royals some early relief from the onslaught. The Royals were placing an emphasis on the ground game due to the wet condi ons. Unfortunately, the Warriors were able to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. While the Royals did manage a first down on the ground, they were forced to punt again from their own territory and the Warriors made another solid return as the quarter ended. The Royals defensive line, which has been a force all year with speed and agility regularly ge ng pressure in the backfield, kept the Royals defense looking sharp. A monster sack on 4th down, by Alec Letoga, lead to a turnover on downs as the Royals defence looked to keep the team in the game early despite facing an uphill ba le, consistently defending poor field posi on. As is a growing trend for Melbourne University Gridiron this season, the momentum could not be maintained as
the Warriors forced a fumble on the very first play of the following possession, gi ing them the ball inside the red zone. The defense con nued it’s strong play of the last couple of possessions with great pass coverage and players flying to the football. Tua Mino came up with a great play that was a pure example of a ‘coverage sack.’ However, the Warriors made it 22‐0 on 4th and long. This me it was a 17‐yard touchdown pass. While the defence was solid overall, the occasional mistake was proving costly on the scoreboard. As the Royals oﬀense struggled migh ly, pun ng again from their own territory, the Warriors took a seemingly insurmountable 30‐0 lead on the 4th touchdown through the air for the day. The defence was solid in disrup ng passing plays throughout drives but con nually faltered when it ma ered most leading to the miserable scoreline. The Royals oﬀence finally started to make some noise on the ground with consecu ve first downs. The first from a great rolling maul followed by a great individual eﬀort from J. Chin oﬀ the read op on. Unfortunately the drive was again halted and the Royals were forced to punt. With the defence finally having the advantage of solid field posi on, with 80 yards to defend, the line con nued to get pressure and safety Henry Wright made a great play coming up with an intercep on to allow the Royals their first trip into the red zone. With under a minute le in the half and the Royals desperately needing to score their fumble issues con nued. At the half the Warriors lead 30‐0. The first drive of the second half was plagued by false starts leading to a three and out. On the ensuing possession the defence was again rewarded for persistence as Peter Markey made a great individual play for the intercep on. Tokoa Samuel con nued to work relessly on the ground but momentum was squandered by con nued false start penal es, followed by an intercep on thrown by J. Chin. The Warriors converted on another Royals turnover, this me on the biggest play of the day, a 40‐yard touchdown Pass with a successful 2‐point conversion making it a miserable 38‐0. The Royals oﬀence con nued to have li le impact and were again forced to punt. As was the case for most of the day, the Warriors marched down the field on the ground while pu ng the finishing touches on the drive through the air. The end of the third quarter had the game well and truly out of reach with the Royals facing a 44‐point deficit. Sacks, penal es and dropped passes in the wet plagued the passing game for the Royals who consistently ended drives with a punt. A 20‐yard pass from J. Chin to Jordan Stewart, who con nues who show improvement and flashes of poten al, was the highlight of the last quarter for the Royals. With the game well and truly over the Warriors were determined to embarrass the Royals. The Warriors preserved the clock with under a minute to play in an a empt to reach the half‐century mark. They were successful as a deep pass with seconds remaining made it 50‐0. The Royals came out throwing as the game drew to a conclusion and sadly J. Chin threw his second intercep on of the day, this me a pick six as the clock expired. The Royals showed glimpses of promise throughout the game but are s ll working towards a complete performance for 2014. Warriors 56‐0.
Words from the coach
“I wouldn’t mind a game not in the rain for once. I think defence played well despite the score line. Oﬀense is s ll gelling and it will take me to get everything perfect.”
Most Valuable Player Royals: Jonny Hockey: For a guy playing his fi h game, he kept some of the best receivers in the league quiet and got himself his fourth intercep on of the season.
Around the league Division One: Western Crusaders 35‐0 Monash Barbarians: The Barbarians good run came to a shocking end as the inconsistent Crusaders put on a dominant performance. The Crusaders now sit fourth in their conference which will be lower than hoped. Despite the loss the Barbarians sit one place above them a er 5 games. Geelong Buccaneers 44‐0 Northern Raiders: The annual Skull Bowl between the Buccs and Raiders was another one sides contest with the Buccaneers over powering the Raiders in every area. The win leaves the Buccaneers s ll undefeated with a points diﬀerence of +203 a er 5 games. The Raiders sit bo om of their conference at 0‐5. Bendigo Dragons 6‐0 South Eastern Predators: The Dragons con nue to make headlines with a win over the new team on the block. The game was a defensive ba le like many people expected with a single score deciding it. The Predators have been compe ve every game but their oﬀence has struggled for consistency. Croydon Rangers 20‐0 Berwick Miners: The old rivalry game was something of a disappointment with a solid win going to the Rangers. The Miners are a growing side in 2014 but these losses will hurt them.
Round Six Preview MUGC Lions vs Ballarat Falcons: The Falcons fell from the top with a thud a er a crushing defeat at the hands of the Gladiators. Expect them to come out firing to put that result behind them and get back to winning ways. The Lions are strug‐ gling at the bo om of Division 2 but have improved each week so don’t think they’ll be a push over. Kick oﬀ: 1pm Saturday @ Sydney Pargeter Reserve, Power Road, Endeavour Hills MUGC Royals vs South Eastern Predators: The Royals will think that their results aren’t a fair representa on of the games, but that won’t bother the Predators one bit. A er a couple of disappoin ng results the Predators will come out, hit hard and try and get their oﬀence firing again. The Royals will be giving it everything to get their first win for the season. Kick oﬀ: 4pm Saturday @Sydney Pargeter Reserve, Power Road, Endeavour Hills
Division 1: Berwick Miners vs Northern Raiders: Both teams are having disappoin ng seasons and will come into this thinking they can win. A er their week one win the Miners have been on the losing end of some close games, they’ll want to get a solid win under their belt against a Raiders side that took a bea ng against the Buccs. The Raiders will just want that first win to get the monkey oﬀ their back. Kick oﬀ: 7pm Saturday @ Sydney Pargeter Reserve, Power Road, Endeavour Hills Croydon Rangers vs Geelong Buccaneers: This cross conference game could have a big impact on the make‐up of the finals spots. The unbeaten Buccaneers are looking to carry on their run of form and dominate on both sides of the balls as usual. The Rangers are not having a bad season and are quietly coming into some form so don’t count them out. Tradi onally these games have been close, so this will be a hell of a game. Kick oﬀ: 4pm Saturday @ Tom Flood Sports Centre, Park Road, Bendigo Bendigo Dragons vs Monash Barbarians: Both teams have made strides since moving up in GV’s new format for 2014, scoring wins against the Miners and Predators and being compe ve against the tradi onal Division 1 sides. Under the lights in Bendigo the crowd will get behind the Dragons, but the Barbs have a lot of experience on their side. Expect both sides to throw everything into this one. Kick oﬀ: 7pm Saturday @ Tom Flood Sports Centre, Park Road, Bendigo Western Crusaders vs Monash Warriors: Coming oﬀ big wins in week 5 these sides will be feeling confident. Warriors remain on track to finish just behind the Buccaneers and have shown some of the form that won them the VicBowl last year. The Crusaders have been up and down but certainly have the talent to win this one. Kick oﬀ: 1:30pm Sunday @Henry Turner Reserve, Maribyrnong Blvd, Footscray
Division 2: Gippsland Gladiators vs Pakenham Silverbacks: The Gladiators took top spot in division 2 a er their win over the Falcons and will want to keep on to that as the season nears halfway. Coming oﬀ a big win over the Lions the Silverbacks will hope to cause an upset this week and shake things up in the Division 2 standings. Kick oﬀ: 10:30am @ Henry Turner Reserve, Maribyrnong Blvd, Footscray
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Week 5 action