LIVESTREAM: Gridiron Victoria – Feb. 19. 6 am CET (4 pm Australia EDT, 12 am ET)

We are now at the halfway point of the Gridiron Victoria season with things getting tight mid table. Every team has played each other once. A

fter a solid start, the Western Crusaders dropped their first game after 44 straight wins. While the Croydon Rangers start to firm as 2nd favourites after some solid performances.

After a disastrous start to the year with two games forfeited, the Melbourne University Royals are gaining momentum and now face their toughest challenge so far.

The South Eastern Predators have been the most disappointing so far, while injuries and suspensions have not helped their cause at all.

Three games on tap

We have three more games this weekend with games both Saturday and Sunday.

In Reservoir, we have the Western Crusaders taking on the Melbourne Uni Royals, in a game that should show just how close the Royals are to the top teams.

With a weakness exploited by the Predators last week, the middle of the defense is susceptible to giving up big yards. Something the Royals would have worked on at training. The Crusaders possess a very potent run game, with more than a few options. QB Matthew Krul had his worst game last week and generally doesn’t have two bad games in a row. Look for him to run more in this one. The game will be determined in the trenches with both sides having good defensive lines, but the Cru have more options here as well.

The Royals will look to get other receivers more involved in the passing attack. Currently, they use WR Jacob Kerin a lot and will need to find a way to get young WR Cooper Maher more of the ball, to relieve the double team Kerin will most likely receive. The run game isn’t all that strong and this will require young QB Declan Ramage to pass more.

Livestream: South Eastern Predators vs Geelong Buccaneers, Feb. 19, 6 am CET (4 pm EDT, 12 am ET)

Out at Endeavour Hills, we see the struggling South Eastern Predators up against the Geelong Buccaneers. In their first meeting the Bucs got the jump on the preds with a 20-0 first quarter. After that they pretty much exchanged blow for blow. This time the Preds are without QB Brad Ferguson, a loss that has affected them more than they would have liked in the passing game. The Preds have the big bodies at RB and look to continue how they left off against the Royals last week. Geelong is a bit better at defending the run up the middle however. The question will be, can the Predators stop the Geelong run game that killed them last time?

Finally, the Croydon Rangers play host to the Warriors Gridiron club. Their first meeting wasn’t exactly an exciting one for fans who hadn’t seen a game played in two years. It was full of mistakes and poor passing. This time will be different as the Rangers have QB Jared Stegman, while the Warriors young QB Reid Hiskins looked better last week in the win than in the first game, which saw him benched for James Avia. Warriors RB Luke Jackson had a standout game last week with two TD’s and over 100 yards on the ground, he could be the difference between the two sides. Avia will probably play at defensive end like he did last week. A great move that definitely had an impact on the result last week.

Gridiron Victoria will stream the Saturday games from Endeavour Hills

Weekly highlights on Gvision by Onside Kick Productions will be footage from the Crusaders and Royals match up. Look for the YouTube link on the Facebook page.

Scott Ditcham is from Melbourne, Australia and played 4 seasons at Gridiron Victoria (Valley Pirates, Templestowe Thunder and Melton Wolves) He is the head of Onside Kick Productions and a writer for Gridiron Downunder.