Category: News Article



Eagles 39 v 20 Oilers


Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Oilers 0 6 7 7 20 Loss
Eagles 13 14 0 12 39 Win

The Eagles might just be onto something! After losing twice by a single point, they now have two on the trot and have been putting up points.

The Oilers seemed to have lost something, after finishing 2017 on a high and winning their first two, have been stuck in reverse of late.

The Eagles started strong and scored quickly, going up 27 before the Oilers responded late in the second quarter, 27-6 at the main break. The strong start proved to be a margin the Oilers could simply not overcome.

The Oilers fought hard, managing to close the gap to 20 at one stage, but the Eagles proved to be too strong. Will the Oilers use the week off to settle on a QB and get back on track before a rematch against the Eagles?

Can the Eagles make a serious push for finals? They’ll need to show up this week and protect the football against the Spartans if they want to be playing December football.


EAGLES: Crummey 2 passing.  Seve 1 rushing, Burford 1 receiving. Ionko 1 receiving. Djaic INT return TD. Long 2 rushing.
OILERS: Tedmanson 1 passing. Hays 1 receiving. Stewart 1 rushing. Smith 1 rushing.


Comeback Kids

Hogs 18 v 9 Oilers


Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Oilers 3 6 0 0 9 Loss
Hogs 0 0 2 16 18 Win

The Hogs squared off against the Oilers for the first time this season (strange scheduling) looking to improve on the lackluster performance the week prior.

After steady improvement to begin the 2018 campaign (two wins, equaling 2017) the Oilers have taken a step backward without QB Tedmanson on the field.

The Oilers opened strong, quickly establishing that they were here to play, leading by 7 early in the fourth quarter. The hogs kicked into gear and scored 16 points in the final minutes, prevailing 18-9.

Will we see Tedmanson back on the field this week, as the Oilers fight for third place against an improved Eagle squad?

The Hogs have been behind in the fourth the last three games, scoring a combined 40 points in those quarters to stay unbeaten, can they generate early pressure in what is the round of the match. Can the Hogs prevail and secure a finals berth?


RAZORBACKS: Welbourn 2 passing. Valles 1 receiving, 1 rushing. Morton 1 receiving.
OILERS: Stewart 1 rushing. Anderson 1 FG.


High flying

Eagles 36 v 13 Chiefs


Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Eagles 0 20 7 9 36 Win
Chiefs 0 0 6 7 13 Loss

The Chiefs found a little rhythm last week, pushing the Hogs for 3 quarters, would they be able to secure their second win of the season against the winless (but improving) Eagles?

Not this time. The Eagles continually harassed Benjamin, never allowing the Chiefs to gain momentum, as they added to the scoreboard, via an improved rushing attack.

The Chiefs have a tough road ahead, can they regroup during the off week and start to generate scoreboard pressure (averaging 13 points per game)?

The Eagles appear to be headed in the right direction, pushing the Spartans and Oilers to the wire, losing each game by one point, before dropping the hammer on the Chiefs. Can they get on up on the Oilers and move into third place?

Riverside at 1pm to find out.


EAGLES: Crummy 1 passing. Long 1 receiving, 1 return. Burford 1 rushing. Ionko 1 rushing. Seve 1 rushing. Plowman 1 FG.
CHIEFS: Benjamin 1 passing. Thorpe 1 receiving. Henshaw INT return TD.


It’s a trap

Hogs 22 v 12 Chiefs



Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Hogs 0 7 0 15 22 Win
Chiefs 0 6 0 6 12 Loss

The Hogs walked onto the pitch very much expecting an easy win, the first play a 70 yard Welbourn to Morton connection and it looked like more of the same (60 v 8 earlier in the season, Morton with 3 TD’s).  The Hogs very quickly found out this game would be different.

The rotation at center continued for the Hogs, resulting it two fumbles in the first quarter.

The return of Benjamin means a pretty deep ball, firing early and often to Myers and Kelly, both hauling in long scores during the contest.

A penalty flooded affair, turned this game into a difficult one to watch, the Hogs eventually putting Valles to work late in the fourth, scoring via the run and pass.

The Hogs look to tighten up their performance and attitude, while the Chiefs are up against the winless Eagles.


RAZORBACKS: Welbourn 2 passing. Valles 1 receiving, 1 rushing. Plamondon 1 receiving.
CHIEFS: Benjamin 2 passing. Kelly 1 receiving. Meyers 1 receiving.


Turn it over

Spartans 28 v 2 Oilers



Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Oilers 2 0 0 0 2 Loss
Spartans 7 3 6 12 28 Win

The Oilers again took the field without starting QB and leader Tedmanson, and the offensive struggles continued. The Spartans applying constant pressure, forcing 5 interceptions and 2 pick sixes.

The Oilers only score coming via a Spartans intentional safety, avoiding punting from their own endzone.

The Spartans look to be back on track after a losing to the Hogs and scraping past the eagles a week ago. Is this the year they have a pass game to compliment a strong run game, Web again throwing a score.

The Oilers look forward to the return of Tedmanson, will we see him this week VS the Hogs?


SPARTANS: Web 1 passing. Vegera INT TD. Volar 1 rushing, INT TD. 87 1 reception.


Kicking themselves




Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Eagles 6 0 7 6 19 Loss
Spartans 0 6 8 6 20 Win

Showing steady improvement, would the Eagles knock off the Spartans after their first loss in over a year? The probably should have, and will be kicking themselves that they didn’t.

The Spartans continue to move away from their traditional power offence, featuring the pass far more often. Webb connecting with Reichstein three times.

Untimely errors and turnover continue to cost the Eagles at critical moments in games, the Eagles could easily be sitting at 2-2, but haven’t managed to close the last two weeks. Losing each game by a single point.

Given the bye week to regroup, will the Eagles iron out their turnover issues and record their first win against the Chief on the 20th?

Are the last two weeks and aberration, or has the competition figured out how to slow the Spartans? Should be a good contest against the Oilers, whom are looking to rebound from their first loss of the season.


SPARTANS: Webb 3 passing. Reichstein 3 receiving.
EAGLES: Crummy 2 passing. Draper 1 receiving. Long 1 receiving. Burford fumble recovery TD.


Chiefs light up the oil




Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Oilers 0 6 6 6 18 Loss
Chiefs 12 6 6 14 38 Win

Benjamin returned at QB for the Chiefs after missing the first 3 games, managing the game well and avoiding crucial mistakes as his team took advantages of Oilers errors.

Playing without Tedmanson and undermanned, the Oilers fought well but were undone via inexperience, as the Chiefs scored twice defensively and via special teams. Smith filled in well in relief of Tedmanson, with 2 scores, but the team effort of the Chiefs proved unbeatable.

A well rounded game from the Chiefs, scoring in all three phases and chalking up their first victory of the season.


CHIEFS: Benjamin 1 passing. Meyers 1 receiving, 1 INT for TD. Kelly 1 receiving, 1 kick return TD. Edwards 1 rushing. #18 fumble recovery TD.
OILERS: Smith 2 passing, 1 rushing. Schibani 2 receiving.


Friday Night Lights



Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Hogs 0 7 7 9 23 Win
Spartans 14 0 8 0 22 Loss

After the Hogs ruined the Spartans perfect season last year, the grand final rematch was set to be a physical and entertaining affair. Welbourn returns for the Hogs, (after missing all three contests between the two rivals last season) leading the league’s highest scoring offense, against the competitions stingiest defense.

Early turnovers cost Adelaide Uni, spotting the Spartans 14 points. As the first half progressed, the Hogs offense managed to move the ball, with BTP scoring to bring the Hogs within 7. Musallam replied immediately, giving the Spartans a 22-7 lead at the major break.

The second half saw the Hogs offense awaken, with Morton, Olive and BTP each hauling in multiple deep receptions, but again turnovers and penalties stopping them from applying scoreboard pressure. BTP scored late in the third, closing the gap 22-13.

After an impressive first half rushing the ball, the Spartans were unable to sustain drives in the second half, giving the Hogs more opportunities to capitalize. Welbourn connected with BTP, closing the gap 20-23.

As time wore on Olive converted key first downs and put his team within field goal range via a long reception, before converting for three. Adelaide University remains undefeated 23-22.


HOGS: Welbourn 1 passing. Thera-Plamondon 2 rushing, 1 receiving. Olive 1 FG.
SPARTANS: Musallam 3 rushing.



10 Things I think I thought


The 1967 NFL Championship game between the Packers and Cowboys is known as the ‘Ice bowl’, played in the most awful conditions at The Frozen Tundra of (Curly) Lambeau Field.  Well we had our own epic contest, Hogs 23-22 Spartans in the grand final rematch, but whilst my warm winter wear was required I think it was closer to a ‘Pretty Chilly Bowl’

During the weekend, I was thinking of some of the ways that the Spartans could have won the game.  In a game that close, both teams have plays they want back.  The Hogs negative plays were primarily turnovers, however the breadth of instances that the Spartans could have put more points on the board, or stopped Adelaide Uni, was startling and so those instances feature heavily in this week’s column.

  1. Both teams were far from perfect, especially in the first half, with sloppiness including lots of penaltiesimpeding each team’s offensive rhythm. In the cold, the referees be forgiven for hurrying decisions but their committee approach helped ensure that decisions made were as thought-out as possible.
  2. There was a familiarity in the scoringfrom what we’ve seen in the early contests. Isaac Musallam scored his third, fourth and fifth rushing TD’s of the season as he has taken on the Spartans lead back duties with aplomb.  The Hogs TD’s came to Brendan Thera-Plamondon (BTP), who added two TD’s on end arounds to last week’s length of the field effort against the Chiefs.
  3. Worth giving a shout out to the Spartans for their incredible 19 games unbeatenin regular season games.  Fantastic effort.
  4. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 1..  After an impressive interception by Brad Vegera (was he in bounds? I was dubious!) , the Spartans went three-and-out inside their own 10, with the 3rddown play creating room for the punt.  QB David Webb, whose impressive spiral punt later would show his ability, hit the ball too high in the air and with the unfortunate bounce the Hogs took the ball back at the Spartans 9 and scored with the very next play.  It was 14-0 at that point and the Hogs had been struggling to get out of their half.  At this level, punting is dangerous, I wonder if the result would have been different had the Spartans taken the intentional safety (what im now calling a ‘forced behind’) and punted the resulting free-kick pinning the Hogs back in their own half
  5. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 2…At 22-7 to the Spartans, they were unlucky to not get a safety after Harry Headding appeared to take the ball in the field of play and purposefully retreat into the endzone.  That would have added to the Spartans score, to 24.
  6. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 3….A critical penalty after the first of two viscous, but legal, hits applied by Ryan Ottens for taunting.  I may have missed it but I thought Ottens was demonstrating his strength to his own bench rather than directing it at the unfortunate Hog.  That was on third down and would have forced a fourth down decision, instead the penalty created a new first down and BTP found the endzone on the very next play (to make it 13-22).  Worth pointing out just how well both safeties played, stifling the Adelaide Uni offense for large periods of the contest.
  7. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 4…The Spartans ran out of time at the end of the 1sthalf inside the red zone.  A catch to Reichstein and a run to Musallam both were ruled as still in-bounds, and hence the clock ran.  If one of them was ruled out I think the Spartans put at least 6 on the board.  Musallam had a great game but he needed to do more to ensure he got out of bounds and stopped the clock.  It was extra critical when Reichstein fumbled, for the Spartans, after a reception on the first play of the 2nd half.  22-14 could have become 28-14, instead the Hogs wrestled momentum away.
  8. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 5…What looked a critical fumble on a promising Hogs drive was nullified, I assume due to a ruling of the runner’s forward momentum being stopped.  BTP’s (otherwise I breach the agreed Gridiron SA word count limit)  catch for the Hogs third Touchdown was a strong one, holding off safety Ryan Ottens over the middle.
  9. Some ways the Spartans almost won Part 6…This was the first play that I thought of which would have gained the Spartans the 2 critical points needed to win.  After pulling within 2 (at 20-22), the Hogs went for the tie, their opportunity was intercepted by Ottens who looked to have a good chance to return it the other way for 2 points.  He was caught, and the score remained a 2-pt game, those two points would have forced Adelaide Uni into ‘endzone or bust’ instead of requiring a field goal.
  10. You either love or hate Olive’s….Adelaide Uni Coach Thomas Etherton and QB Josh Welbourn love him (Mitchell Olive #89) after several clutch sideline catches at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth stanza.  Offensively, the Hogs lined up in four receiver sets most of the game with two on each side, but seemed to have more success when moving into trips formations (three receivers on one side) late-on.  Olive then lined up for the game winning kick which he slotted through.

I hope you enjoyed your rare public holiday with a full slate of NFL games. For those lamenting missing the game last weekend, there could be a game just as dramatic this week with Gridiron SA’s two winless teams (Eagles and Chiefs) squaring off at 1pm next Saturday.  Add that, and the next time the Hogs and Spartans meet (17th October @ 4pm)  to your calendar.



Rivalries are forged by repeated battles, through triumph and heartbreaks with some still so raw. We are lucky to be blessed with such a rivalry and can witness its latest chapter this Friday night.

For two sides last year’s Gridiron SA season appeared headed in different directions. The Spartans were perfect through ten games and qualified directly for the Great Southern Bowl. Its opponent would be the Razorbacks (Hogs) who had limped home with a 5-5 record after QB Josh Welbourn (passer rating 123.5) was lost to the season prior to the first meeting between the two clubs. The Hogs would win their fifth straight with a resolute defensive stop on a 4th and 1 in overtime to stun the Spartans.

Gridiron SA’s graphic shows the stats from the three battles the Spartans and Razorbacks took part in. Those stats reflect the Spartans prominence as a running team with a strong defense and the Hogs as the better passing outfit of the two.

This year has begun, as expected, with both sides winning two-from-two with both having faced the Eagles and Chiefs.  The Spartans defense has been magnificent and hasn’t conceded in the two games. Whilst, with Welbourn (#8) back, the Hogs offense and passing game has thrived especially against the Chiefs last weekend when they put up 61 on the board, with five passing touchdowns for Welbourn, and three receiving Touchdowns to Sam Morton (#10).  Brendon Thera-Plamondon (#83) had two receiving Touchdowns in the Hogs first game of the season and a rushing TD from an end around.

The matchup, of the Hogs passing game against the Spartans defense, is intriguing. Will their running game pose enough of a threat to the Spartans who will do everything possible to limit Welbourn’s effectiveness?  Receivers Morton, Renney (#11), Thera-Plamondon and Olsson (#85) have a good secondary lined up against them, including Brad Vegera (#24) who had 8 interceptions during 2017 of which 4 were against the Razorbacks.

Whilst that will be a critical matchup, the other side of the ball will also be key in determining the winner. Can the Hogs stop the Spartans running attack spear-headed by last year’s Gridiron SA MVP Damian Vollar (#36) and Isaac Musallam (#14), who had two rushing TD’s against the Chiefs in Round 2? Will QB Nathan Van Pamelen (#19) be able to take advantage of the Hogs stacking the box?

I encourage all reading this to get to the game and bring a friend who hasn’t seen a local game before. It will be well worth your effort and will begin a fantastic long weekend!  Kick off is Friday at 7pm at Port Adelaide Rugby Club.

Hogs V Spartans 2017 review