Australia’s Gridiron Victoria’s Vic Bowl XXXII – Monash Warriors v. Western Crusaders

Gridiron Victoria’s showpiece event, Vic Bowl XXXII, will be played out at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park on Sunday.

The 32nd Bowl, the Victorian Division 1 grand final, will be contested between the minor premiers, the Monash Warriors, and the second-placed Western Crusaders.

In addition to the main event, the Pakenham Silverbacks and Northern Raiders will do battle for the Division 2 championship as a curtain-raiser.

This is the third time the Warriors and Crusaders have met in a Vic Bowl with the Crusaders having the edge after wins in 2000 and 2007.

This is, however, the Crusaders’ first trip back to the big dance since that last title win in 2007.

Vic Bowl No.15 for Monash Warroirs' Dom Dearman.

Vic Bowl No.15 for Monash Warroirs’ Dom Dearman.

The Warriors have gone on to become the most decorated team in Gridiron Victoria history, winning six of eight titles since then.

This season, the Warriors finished atop the standings with an 11-1 record, with the Crusaders (9-3) two games adrift in second.

Monash won both the regular season matches between the two, a tight 8-0 battle early in the season before a convincing 42-3 win just a month ago.

Both teams now boast a current NFL player.

Jordan Berry, now a punter with the Pittsburgh Steelers, originally played for the Crusaders while defensive tackle Adam Gotsis, ex-Warriors, was a second-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos.

Vic Bowl No.15 for Monash Warroirs’ Dom Dearman.
Both teams possess powerful running games with Australian representatives Luke Jackson

and Tyson Garnham in the backfield for the Warriors and Crusaders respectively.

Additionally, both can stretch the field vertically with a quality passing attack.

Veteran Monash quarterback Dom Dearman will be contesting an incredible 15th Vic Bowl, while the Crusaders have their seven-year starting quarterback Edward Ebinger making his first Vic Bowl start.

The Warriors, led by third-year head coach Ralph Maggio, are looking to avenge last year’s

loss in the decider. The Crusaders’ head coach is Craig Wilson, a veteran of both Victorian and Western Australian gridiron and a life member of Gridiron Victoria.

The 32nd year of gridiron in Victoria saw 14 men’s teams split evenly across two

divisions. In addition Gridiron Victoria had a record seven women’s and nine under-19 (Colts) teams.

“We are excited to bring the biggest event of the year back to Melbourne. After years of

sustained growth for our sport across the state we hosted the Vic Bowl in both Bendigo

and Morwell before returning to Melbourne in 2016,” Gridiron Victoria president Sam Weller said. “American football has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years with TV coverage and

some Aussies making it through college and to the NFL.

“It’s great to see so many people taking up the sport.”

  • What: Vic Bowl XXXII
  • Where: Lakeside Stadium (Albert Park)
  • Who: Division 1: Monash Warriors v Western Crusaders. Division 2: Pakenham Silverbacks v Northern Raiders.
  • When: Division 2: noon, Division 1: 4pm
  • How much: free admission

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