Tuesday, 7 May 2013

AFL Week 6 Review

Unfortunately the weekends first game which was slated to be between the Danube Dragons and AFC Rangers was cancelled due to unplayable pitch conditions, so there's only two reviews to bring you today.

Swarco Raiders 42 - Prague Black Panthers 0

Andrew Shoop had a rough day against the Raider's pass rush.
© Florian Schellhorn from www.footballpics.info
I predicted this game to be a closer affair due to the Swarco Raiders recent struggles, but it turned out that the beleaguered Prague Black Panthers were blown away by the arm of Kyle Callahan and never put up a fight.

Conditions were wet and sloppy in Tivoli on Saturday and this favoured the home team who had the much stronger running game behind Hofbauer and newcomer Jaycen Taylor Spears who had a combined 141 yards on 19 carries against the hapless Black Panther defence. The lack of Black Panther run game, which I have mentioned in previous articles, really hurt them on the day as they were never able to sustain any drives and thus put a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Andrew Shoop. Unfortunately this pressure, combined with the strong Raider pass rush, meant that neither Shoop nor the Black Panther offence was very effective on the day.

New man Jaycen Taylor Spears had a big first game in black.
© Florian Schellhorn from www.footballpics.info

Four of the five Raider touchdowns came from the arm of Kyle Callahan, who's offensive line did an excellent job in stuffing the Black Panther pass rush and allowing their quarterback as much time as possible to find his touchdown targets in Willi, Ebner, Taylor Spears and Unterrainer. Taylor Spears added the only non-Callahan score on the day with a 78 yard punt return and appears to be a man to keep an eye on in future Raider games.

Player of the Game: Kyle Callahan, Quarterback #6. Four touchdowns, 276 yards and another win under his belt in the AFL.

Prediction: I called the correct team but I was way off on the score as the Black Panthers didn't even register any points.

Raiffeisen Vikings 24 - JCL Graz Giants 20

© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography

The weekend's premiere matchup did not fail to deliver in what was a very tightly contested affair as well as nearly being the AFL's first big upset of the season.

I mentioned in the preview article that the play of Alex Good was going to have a big impact on the game and in the end I couldn't haven been more right. The quarterback had 87 yards rushing as well as 171 passing with three touchdowns and really caused the Raiffeisen Vikings defence some major trouble. The Graz Giants offence have really gelled and figured things out and this performance will have the league on notice for the future.

Alex Good was a constant threat within the Giant's read offence.
© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography

What made this contest so great was how close the score was throughout the entire game and the lead changing hands on multiple occasions. The game was only settled on a late Good interception inside the Viking 10 meter line, but it could easily have gone the other way and gave the Giants the win instead.

The scoring on the day came down to a duel between the two quarterbacks as Good went stride for stride with Vikings star Christopher Gross and both signal callers pulled out some outstanding throws on the day, clearly elevating their play for the magnitude of the game. The prettiest pass of the day came on a 41 yard Good hook up with Philipp Sommer which was perfectly weighted and placed over the defensive backs shoulder to land into the open arms of Sommer on the goaline to take the score to 13-7.

The difference towards the end of the game was the Vikings ability to adjust on offence and defence in order to cope with the better than expected Giants pass defence as well as the constant threat of Good on offence. These adjustments lead to a 10-0 scoreline in the third quarter which gave the Vikings the lead before a final 31 yard grab by Stefan Holzinger late in the fourth quarter sealed the deal.

Player of the Game: Michael Zweifel, Wide Reciever #7. A huge day from the wideout which saw him haul in 7 catches for 142 yards and 2 crucial touchdowns, both of which got his team going to open each half.

Michael Zweifel terrorised the Giants secondary to the tune of 142 yards.
© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography
Prediction: So I called the result and in writing said it would be closer than expected but my actual prediction didn't account for the Giants defence having such a good day. The Vikings showed their championship calibre with a win that could have easily gone the other way.

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