There is only one team left undefeated in Division 2 for 2018, with UHS-VU causing a major upset beating Whitefriars to leave Old Paradians alone on top. More hard-fought wins came from Bulleen, who crushed an undermanned Power House and Yarra Old Grammarians holding MHSOB to only seven goals. This week proved that to earn the four points, a team must be willing to put their head over the ball for four full quarters to create opportunity around the ground. Wins from now on will have a lasting impact come seasons end, so each side must now evaluate where they stand in the race for the final four. Let’s see how Round 6 went down.
Emmaus St Leos vs Eltham Collegians
A six goal to one first quarter set up Emmaus St Leos to take the four points against Eltham at their home ground by 74 points. While it was a gutsy effort from the undermanned Turtles side, they could not stop the onslaught of goals coming from each contest. The Animals were consistent in front of goal and sealed the game in the last quarter with five goals to one. Eltham’s poor kicking (4 goals 12 points) could have made the game a closer battle, but their goals came from young guns Eden Simpson and Fraser Cloney. Tim Woods worked hard around the ground also. The Animals had a spread of 9 goal kickers, led by Tom Birkett’s stellar 4 and Harrison Davis with 2. Across the ground, Paul Baranello and Newbegin Baxter were solid.
UHS-VU vs Whitefriars
UHS-VU caused a major upset when they defeated top-of-the-table Whitefriars by a solid 14 points at Brens Oval. A tight battle ensued with the Friars staying in front for the first three terms, with help from a variety of goal kickers, including Nick Mercuri (2) and Kristan Height. Entering the final quarter with a two-point lead, it was up to defensive pressure to hold each side out, with the Vultures proving too good in the end. Goals were consistent from both sides all day but it was the Vultures final quarter burst of 4 goals to the Friars 2 that pushed them out in front to take the points. The big plus for UHS-VU was the spread of 12 goal kickers. Power forwards Lewis Neate (5) and Michael Nitas (3) again were strong along with Jamus Campbell and Darcy Spence named in Whitefriars best. For the winners, Ben Dimattina and James Ford starred along with multiple goals from Chris Lund (2), Brandon Jackson (2) and James Dimattina (2).
Yarra Old Grammarians vs MHSOB
Jack Hall (4) and Michael Scott (3) led Yarra Old Grammarians to a much-needed 75-point win over MHSOB at Doncaster Reserve. The Rangers kicked six majors to the Unicorns one in the first term and from there did not stop up forward, kicking six more in the second quarter. Liam Marshall (2) was another leader in the spread of the Bushrangers 11 goals kickers. MHSOB seemed to have no answers and only managed 3 leading into the final term, but had a better last quarter where they kicked four. However, the Rangers big first half and strong defence that broke down MHSOB’s forward structures put them in prime position as they settled in the last and took their well-deserved win. Kane Smith kicked five of the Unicorns seven goals and was named their best with support from Will Suhr and James Tran. More support for the Bushrangers came from Jesse Woolley and Bailey Johnson, both one goal each.
Old Paradians vs St Johns
Old Paradians held St Johns goalless in the first quarter and again proved why they are a force to be reckoned with in 2018. Coming out 68 points winners, the Raiders managed eight goals in the first half and kept the Jocs quiet all day. In the first half, the Jocs kicked eight points and continually struggled to impact the scoreboard, kicking 4 goals 17 points for the day. The Raiders had 29 scoring shots kicking an efficient 16 goals 13 points and Raiders utilised their chances in front of goal. Old Paradians covered all areas and did not allow St Johns to play their free-flowing game. Consistency across the ground from Old Paradians’ BOGs Michael Bellizia and Michael Deligiorgis ensured the Raiders took home the four points, as they sparked five goals from Michael Boundy and another three from Chris Kandilakis. Alex Thornton had three of St Johns four to his name and the consistent Keith Ash was best for his side.
Bulleen Templestowe vs Power House
There were loose men everywhere for the Bullants who ran out 73-point winners over an injury-struck and undermanned Power House side. Celebrating the anniversary of their 2008 Premiership (coincidently with 2008 Premiership Coach Dave Matthews now coaching Power House), it was a battle that both sides were eager to dominate. However, Bulleen showed who was boss in the end, holding the House, led by a brilliant defence, to only 1 goal in the first three quarters and stopping the House from finding their feet. The Bullants were low scoring until they turned a corner in the third quarter and kicked eight unanswered goals to set them up for a big last term. Power House managed to kick two late goals but it was too little too late for a side that must regroup next week. Bulleen had a range of goal kickers, including Anthony Lucisano and Jack Cowell who shared four between them. More support for the Bullants came from BOG Lachlan Bruce who shut down the opposition through the middle and backline. For Power House, Luke Stubbs kicked one, Fiachra O’Deasmhunaigh and Dom Mitchell were strong in the backline.
Round 7 Preview:
Eltham Collegians vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Yarra Old Grammarians yet again proved that they can hurt teams on the scoreboard if they get the chance, so it’s up to Eltham to shut them down from the middle and slow down the goal onslaught. Eltham are still looking for their first win and are relying on their younger players, Simpson and Robertson to push through to the end. Yarra are relying on this week to take the four points as they try to fend off a chasing group of teams eyeing their spot in the top four. Watch out for goal kickers Hall and Scott who can again lead the Rangers to a high-score that can’t be beat.
Power House vs Old Paradians
Old Paradians are now standing as the only undefeated side in Division 2 this season and are looking to keep a clean record, which they can definitely do away from home. Power House have shown that they play better football at home, but if they aren’t willing to put their bodies on the line, they will be run over quickly. The Raider’s Boundy is a target for the House as he is on track to win the highest goal kicker this season, so Gregory (Power House) and the backline must tighten up. The Raiders have the ability to use their composure and clever ball use to shake-up their opponents so the House will need to find a simple structure that works for them and can score them much-needed points.
Bulleen Templestowe vs UHS-VU
UHS-VU have now had a spread of 11 and 12 goal kickers over the past 2 weeks and have an even amount of support across the ground, which means that Bulleen must figure out how to stop not one, not two, but a whole team of able contributors. UHS-Vu have now shown that they are a true finals competitor with the ability to pressure teams to turn the ball over and make mistakes. If Uni High take the four points, they may just jump into the top two. Riding high after their big win over Power House last week, Bulleen will use their big ground to their advantage, as they have the legs to utilise its’ length. UHS-VU play best on a wide ground, so it will be an interesting encounter to see how they match up if they are forced to play long-bomb footy.
St Johns vs MHSOB
Both coming off disappointing losses, Melbourne High will be searching for the catalyst to lead them through what looks to be a tough battle. St Johns can genuinely compete against the Unicorns if they can put the pressure on the scoreboard. The Unicorns need the percentage boost if they want to overtake the Bushrangers in fourth position on the ladder. This could well and truly become the match of the round as both sides seem to be equal on field, but it will come down to the midfielders who must create scoring shots out of heavy-trafficked contests.
Whitefriars vs Emmaus St Leos
After their shock loss to UHS-VU last week, the Friars are ready to get back on track and stay in the top 2 where they believe they belong. Emmaus St Leos on the other hand are wanting to make another push for top six and keep above the other lower-placed sides. Keep an eye out for the battle between Neate (Whitefriars) and Birkett (Emmaus) who are eager to add to their goals for season 2018. It will come down to which side can get the opposition to play their game style; whether it be the fast moving, high scoring Friars game or the hard-fought, contested game of the Animals.