Category: News Article


Hogs season 2018 preview

The Adelaide University Gridiron Club has won 24 premierships since the Gridiron League of South Australia was formed in 1985. Originally, known as the Eastside Razorbacks up until the affiliation with Adelaide University started in 2014.

Known as either Razorbacks or Hogs, the team enters the 2018 with the opportunity of winning the Great Southern Bowl for the sixth consecutive season.  They are used to having the target on their back with every team looking to knock them off.  They go into this season with the championship as their minimum expectation.

The regular season record was below expectations (5-5), however the season was significant impacted by the loss of Josh Welbourn (who had 534 yards, 9 TDs and no interceptions before his injury 4 games into the season). However, with a trip to the big dance stamped they took the prize home by beating the Chiefs in the Semi, and then winning the Great Southern Bowl in a thrilling overtime period against the undefeated Spartans.

Jos Builder took the majority of the snaps after Welbourn’s injury and threw for over 700 yards and 8 TD’s.  Julian Rech led the ground game with 328 yards rushing, whilst Cecil Buckskin was the goalline threat pounding in for five rushing TDs.  All-rounder, Henry Olsson had over 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving, as well as 272 punt-return yards and 38 tackles.

Defensively, Jaden Valles led the team in tackles (41) and sacks (3.5), whilst head coach Thomas Etherton had three interceptions.  The group returns in pretty good shape, although Rech will not play due to work commitments.

Welbourn returns at QB and is one of the team captains, as are Olsson, Gavin Jones and Tom Rose, with Jaden Valles and Sam Morton as first-time selections.  The Hogs begin the season after last week’s bye with a challenging game against the Eagles, however a key game on the horizon is week 4’s Friday night grand final replay that should be in your calendar by now!



We had a great day of football out at Port Adelaide Rugby Club, with the Oilers and Spartans recording wins against the Chiefs and Eagles respectively.  Whilst the better side won both contests there was critical periods of play that determined the outcome.

During this season I’ll be writing a column after each week’s games.  This week I’ve taken a leaf out of Peter King’s (MMQB) 10 Things I Think I Think column, and so without further ado, here is 10 Things I think I thought:

  1. As a new arrival in SA, I arrived at my first local game here in Adelaide to see the final play of the Chiefs epic goalline stand.  It appeared to be a pivotal moment that allowed the Chiefs to stay in the game, and was a fantastic way to start watching the competition.  (Note, the outcome of the safety is a great example that the downside of going for it on 4th and Goal is not that bad…..more on safeties to come).
  2. Michael Tedmanson and Oliver English (the new QB for the Chiefs) will battle this year for the ‘Steve Young’ rushing QB award.
  3. The aforementioned Tedmanson gets married next weekend, coinciding with the Oilers bye.  Its great those fine people at Gridiron SA schedule bye weeks so as they don’t get in the way of true love.  Congrats to all.
  4. Of all the battles in week 1, the one I most enjoyed was Caleb Hays v Sam Meyers.  Hays had 15 receptions for 251 yards last term enjoyed some success against the SA Shark, but last year’s joint-leading interception machine followed up a great timing play by picking off an English pass that came off Hays’ fingertips.
  5. I mentioned in the season previews the positive way the Oilers finished 2017.  Didn’t they just hit the ground running on Saturday? Oilers are now four games unbeaten against non-Spartans and have proven, if needed, that they won’t be pushovers for anyone.
  6. In the NFL the Falcons / Eagles was a snooze-fest, however despite the difference in talent level there was not a dull moment in our games today that kept the interest level through to the late stages of the fourth quarter.
  7. The commentary setup, audio volume and quality was awesome and I had to say well done to the guys.  They provided a great tempo and set up plays well with reminders on down and distance and made the game more enjoyable.
  8. Both the Eagles and Chiefs offense had positive plays, but whilst the Oilers created plenty of defensive pressure the Chiefs beat themselves with mistakes at crucial times.  You’ve got to not beat yourself before you can beat an opponent.
  9. The importance of a kicker/punter cannot be underestimated.  All facets are impacted with more attempts on fourth down (hence the name of the column) and better offensive starting positions.  There appears big differences between the kicking games of the teams which is a significant advantage/disadvantage to some.
  10. The Oilers fumbled punt recovered by the Chiefs, made the game contestable when the Oilers should have been comfortable.  It was a great situation for an often overlooked coaching option of the ‘intentional safety’ loved by Bill Belichick.  Had the ball been snapped out of the endzone, Tedmanson would have punted the resultant freekick and pinned the Chiefs deep in their own half, trailing by 11. Instead suddenly the Chiefs were 1play from winning the game; I’m hopeful of seeing an intentional safety by season’s end.

More again next week.  Can the Chiefs find their offensive mojo against the Spartans.  With some positives to take from their first game, can the Eagles defeat our state champions?  Same bat time, Same bat channel  (High Noon @ Port Adelaide Rugby Club)

The views in 4th and Goal reflect the views of Stuart Flint and do not represent Gridiron SA


Can you kick it?

Southern District Oilers 13-7 Chiefs


Team 1 2 3 4 T Outcome
Chiefs 0 0 0 7 7 Loss
Oilers 5 8 0 0 13 Win

The Oilers are on a roll, the Chiefs are lamenting errors at critical points within the contest.

Tedmanson started hot, generating 13 points in the first (dropping a dime to Hoey) although was hot and cold, missing Caleb in the endzone, resulting in a Meyers INT.

The Chiefs struggled early, a sack for negative 30 yards and a poor snap for a safety being their opening plays of the 2018 season.

After kicking an early field goal, the Oilers missed two further attempts as their offense stalled, giving the Chiefs a chance. A poor snap from the Oilers resulted in a Chiefs defensive TD, was an upset on the horizon?

It was not to be, as the clock ran out, the Oilers pick up where the left off last season.

The Chiefs have introduced a new QB and should improve as the season continues.


OILERS: Tedmanson 1 passing. Hoey 1 receiving. FG


Spartans fly by Eagles

Spartans 20-0 UniSA Eagles


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

The 2018 season opener took a while to get going, the first half looking sloppy with multiple turnovers (Crummey 3 INT’s). Surprise QB De Francesca opening the scoring.

With multiple outs for week one, the Eagles struggled to move the ball efficiently. They’ll have to find ways to apply scoreboard pressure, or a long season awaits.

The Spartans surprised, lining up primarily in the spread, with a larger focus on the pass than we’ve recently seen. Van Pamelen throwing for a score all but ending the Eagles chances.

Can the Eagles generate points next week against the premiers?

Are the Spartans shifting from their traditional power run, and whom is their starting QB?


SPARTANS: De Francesca 1 rushing. Van Pamelen 1 passing. Formentera 1 receiving.



It’s been 30 years since the South City Chiefs were formed and have since had a strong history of winning and developing players. Eleven Chiefs represented this state in the recent Australian Gridiron League.  Recent campaigns have seen the Chiefs fall to eventual winners Hogs, including last year’s semi-final defeat.

Nicholas Caputo threw for 21 TDs and only 8 Interceptions, leading the best aerial assault in last season’s competition. On the end of those TDs were Andrew Benjamin and Alex Thorpe, with the former finding the endzone 9 times and accumulating 400 yards.

Whilst the passing game out-shone the rushing attack, Hamish Robbins averaged a stellar 6.4 yards on 98 carries. Sam Meyers led the league in interceptions providing six takeaways for the Chiefs defensive unit.

It’s a year of change for the Chiefs with key offensive and defensive players taking up coaching roles. QB Caputo has become the QB and Receivers coach (as well as Assistant Offensive Coordinator), whilst John Francisco is now Defensive Coordinator.

Success this term, will rely on the returning seniors providing solid leadership to a large rookie class, with half of the starters on day one expected to be rookies. As such, the Chiefs will begin to see the fruits of their investment in the junior program.

Coach Drew Akin signaled an intention to improve in the ability of his side in stopping the run after ranking 4th in the league in rush defense last year. Akin also credited the club and the new additions for “the best preseason they have had in the last 4-5 years.” The first game of the season for the Chiefs is on Saturday at 3pm when they face the Oilers, who the Chiefs split wins with last year and so provides an intriguing first test for Akin’s side.



The UniSA Eagles are a family-oriented club with a rich history since beginning life in the 2nd year of the Gridiron SA competition. The club is in the process of rebuilding and is putting a focus on culture including coaches that care about every player’s development and commitment on the field.

The Eagles ended last year on a high with an unlikely defeat of the Hogs, two weeks prior to their opponents winning the Gridiron SA title. However, it was a rare positive in a season including 7 losses and a tie from its ten games.

The Eagles had the most porous defense in the league giving up 33 points per game whilst the offense, that shone in periods couldn’t find the consistency quarter to quarter. Coach, Damian Garcia is targeting an improvement in 2018 through not only consistency but improving the diversity of the offence, ensuring they present multiple threats to defenses.

Last year’s QB Sam Crummey (10 TDs, 11 Ints) and leading back Ian Naulty (752 Yds) are back in the fold as are leading receivers Steven Draper and Sebastian Burford-Gorst who both hit pay dirt five times.

Jarrad Van der Weijngaart, who led the Eagles with 4.5 Sacks moves to the offensive line with Josh Djaic, a second-year player stepping in as a threat in the pass-rush. Josh has had state team trials and could be one to watch.

The Eagles have plenty of rookie players, and some returning vets, who may take some time to integrate with the rest of the line-up and so expect the Eagles to make improvements week to week. Captains for the season include long term veteran Jesse Wyten, Oakley Abela, Leroy Wyten and first-year captain Sam Crummey.

The season couldn’t begin with harder opponents with the grand finalists first-up. Whilst a third state title appears unlikely, it is hoped that the Eagles will be competitive week-to-week and have a record closer to .500




It has been a long wait South Australians but finally FOOTBALL is just around the corner.  Saturday afternoon’s in Spring can mean only one thing…. GRIDIRON SA’s Senior Season is BACK!! Our favourite teams will lock horns over the coming weeks in a bid to become SA’s champions!…. oh, and the NFL and College Football is back if you like those prima-donna’s

So, whether you’re a friend, family or follower of the HOGS, SPARTANS, EAGLES, OILERS or CHIEFS or an impartial gridiron fan in this fantastic city, Gridiron SA is delighted to welcome you to the 2018 campaign. Block your calendar’s out for Saturday’s for the next four months so you can get down to the Port Adelaide Rugby Club to see our thrilling sport first hand.

For those just beginning following the sport locally, or those who may not have joined us in a while, 2017 ended in thrilling fashion with the Hogs winning the Great Southern Bowl for the fifth straight year downing the Spartans, who had dominated the regular season, 14-7 in Overtime. The 2018 Australian Gridiron League allowed our state’s best to benefit from the challenge of the best from Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Keep interacting with our social media sites to keep abreast of the action. As well as the regular Saturday contests, on the horizon we have the traditional Friday grand-final replay (28th Sep), where the Spartans will seek their first revenge (the day prior to the AFL grand final). The Great Southern Bowl 2018, on Saturday 15th December, will be the culmination of the season, celebrated with the Hall of Fame and All-Star dinner in early 2019. The juniors who get a chance at senior level will have extra motivation, as our states youth battle to earn selection in Patrick Carroll’s Shark Pup squad for the 2019 Australian (Junior) Gridiron League.

Keep an eye out for our 2018 team-by-team preview plus interviews, game reports and don’t forget our season starts this Saturday with Eagles v Spartans (12pm) and Chiefs v Oilers (3pm).

HOF Ring 18



The Gridiron SA community enjoyed a fantastic night of celebration as we honoured our 2018 hall of fame inductees and All-Star award winners.

Well over 100 people came together at the Rob Roy Hotel, to celebrate the best of Gridiron SA. Photos from the evening are now on Facebook.

Hall of fame

Doc Sabine

Greg & Kim Garin

Geoff Alderson

Simon Pollitt

Matthew Cataudo

David Turner

Martin Carlton

Paul Welsh

Jacob Moroney

Matthew Santoro

Brad Jackson

Darren Merritt

Brett Gilbert

Damien Wilmott

George Williams


All Stars 2016

QB Josh Welbourn

RB Ian Naulty

RB Aaron Nassaris

FB Damian Volar

WR Zach Bartlett

WR Sam Meyers

WR Hugo Peddler

OL Oakley Abela

OL Hugh Stevens

OL Andrew Stevens

OL Alex Barone

OL Tom Rose


DL John Wilson

DL Damian Volar

DL Alex Barone

DL James Brasser

LB Ryan Ottens

LB Brodie Jachmann-Evans

LB Matt Nunn

LB Josh Francisco

C Henry Olsen

C Simon Forby

S Brad Vegera

S Andrew Proctor


R Aaron Nassaris

P Michael Tedmanson

K Hugo Peddler


COACH: Andrew Stevens



OFFENSIVE MVP: Aaron Nassaris



All Stars 2017

QB Nick Caputo

RB Ian Naulty

FB Damian Volar

WR Andre Benjamin

WR Jaden Valles

WR Alex Thorpe

WR Sebastian Burford

OL Jake Lamming
OL Scott Muldoon

OL Hugh Stevens

OL Andrew Stevens

OL Dan Tarode


DL Jaden Valles

DL Damian Volar

DL Scott Muldoon

DL Jonathan Behrend

LB Matt Nunn

LB Ryan Ottens

LB Tyler Ridington

S Brad Vegera

S Pelle De Francesca

C Ryan Hassall

C Sam Meyers


P Michael Tedmanson

R Ian Naulty


COACH: Andrew Stevens

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Sebastian Burford





Gridiron SA 2018 Hall of Fame & All Star Dinner

Tickets on sale now

Join us February 10th, as we enshrine 14 new members into the Gridiron SA Hall of Fame.

This evening will also showcase the 2016 and 2017 season All Star Awards.

Collaborating with the award winning Rob Roy Hotel, the evening will be a feast for the senses. Enjoy a three course gourmet dinner, complimented by a comprehensive drinks package.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to be part of the Gridiron SA Hall of Fame history, and support your club nominees, as well as your state. Places are strictly limited.

Secure your tickets now: Gridiron SA 2018 Hall of Fame & All Star Dinner Tickets



Great Southern Bowl runs overtime!

Hogs 14-7 Spartans


Team 1 2 3 4 OT T Outcome
Hogs 0 0 0 7 7 14 Win
Spartans 0 0 7 0 0 7 Loss

The Spartans came into the Great Southern Bowl undefeated, the Razorbacks limped into the game at 5 and 5, with many believing the prelim was won due to the Chiefs loss of Caputo in the first half. But bowl games are different, and experience counts. The hogs playing their 5th straight and the Spartans their first in over a decade.

The Spartans made mistake early, giving the Hogs a red zone position early in the first. Builder playing only his 5th game was off the mark and threw an interception inside the 10, bailing out the Spartans.

The remainder of the half was back and forth with multiple penalties, with neither offence being able to move the ball with any efficiency.

The Hogs lack of offense was somewhat expected, but the Spartans inability to throw the ball greatly assisted Adelaide University, as they essentially sold out to defend the run and dared the Spartans to pass. The Spartans have been the premier running team all season, destroying opponents with a punishing rushing attack, but today their one-dimensional attack was their undoing. The hogs dared them to throw and they were unable to answer the challenge.

The Spartans scored early after the major break, Ottens breaking through for the TD. But momentum never seemed to swing their way, their inability to capitalise on errors and leave the Hogs hanging around was pivotal, the Hogs experience meant they were never rattled.

As the 4th arrived, builder had the wind at his back and started to string together completions, eventually capitalizing with a rushing TD and the game was tied at 7. The Spartans continued to run at the Hogs D, never taking to the air. The Hogs had a chance to win the game in regular time, but the Spartans D held strong, again intercepting Builder with under two minutes to play.


The Spartans won the toss, and strangely elected to defend. The Hogs took advantage! Starting from the 25 the hogs quickly found themselves facing 4th and 6, Builder threw over the middle, converting by the smallest of margins. Shortly thereafter the Spartans jumped offside, giving Builder a free play, he wasted little time connecting with Olsson for the TD.

The Spartans now feeling the pressure of having to match the Hogs TD in order to force a second period of overtime. Continually unable to take advantage of the Hogs defensive structure with the pass, the Spartans ran into the teeth of a defence hell bent on stopping the run. Facing 4th and 1, the Hogs stuffed the Spartans winning their 5th straight Great Southern Bowl.


Razorbacks: Builder 1 rushing and 1 passing, Olsson 1 receiving.
Spartans: Ottens 1 rushing.