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The Barbarians 2016 Season ended on a high with the team finishing 4th in the Gridiron Victoria Division II competition.
After finishing the season strong with a record of 6-6 the Barbarians had the task of trying to knock off a Pakenham Silverback outfit that were undefeated all season. The Silverback were the reigning champs in Division II and bolstered their squad with an American quarterback who dominated all year long. It wasn’t his passing that troubled teams, it was his ability to escape from pressure and get downfield by running away from defenders and getting easy yards.
In a hard fought out battle by the Barbarians, they were unable to convert on the scoreboard and the final whistle ends with the Silverbacks winners 58-6.
The Silverbacks defeated the Northern Raiders in the Division II Championship Game with a score of 43-8.
The Silverbacks have been promoted to the Division I competition for 2017 where the Warriors look forward to facing the new competition. (Berwick Miners relegated to Division II to replace the Pakenham Silverbacks).
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Former Warriors Gridiron Champion and current rookie Denver Bronco Adam Gotsis was in Melbourne for the week and was able to get down to watch his old Warriors Teammates defeat the Berwick Miners 68-6 in cold conditions in Melbourne.
Adam played 4 seasons with the Warriors before he took off to the states to begin his college career with Georgia Tech before then being drafted 63rd overall (2nd Round) by the Denver Broncos in the 2016 NFL National Draft.
Adam surprised his old teammates as he arrived with his family and friends to watch them play. At half time he took a quick snap with some of the team before posting to Instagram “Come a long way but haven’t forgot where it all began!”
Adam is in Melbourne finalising Visa details before he heads back to Colorado to continue rehabbing his knee.
Asked about his experience with the team so far Adam explained “It’s unreal. The veterans just want to help the rookies. I sit next to D-Ware (DeMarcus Ware) and he just always helping the Rookies”.
Adam is hoping to be able to cleared before training camp which begins for Broncos Rookies on 24th July whilst the Veterans report on 27th July.
Training camp will be held at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre.
The Warriors would like to wish Adam all the best with this recovery and also when he competes at his first ever NFL training camp!
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Week 3 saw a double header in Endeavour Hills with the Barbarians taking on the Melton Wolves in their first ever encounter.
In a scrappy game the Barbarians looked to take control of the game on the ground led by Running Back’s Matt Nemec and Johny Chen moving the chains behind a young and improving offensive line. Both backs looked to be able to gain at least 4 yards a carry with Johny Chen eventually finding space for a 20 yard touchdown run. QB Sean Roche was able to find WR Andrew Davis in the middle of the endzone for the 2PT conversion.
The Barbarians Defense were looking for a much better performance to what they showed in Week 2 and they came out firing being able to stop the Wolves with 3 and Outs the majority of the day. Rookie DL Daniel Petrov applied pressure all day up front and veteran Linebackers Phil Gilbert & Daniel Sanderson were able to stuff any runs up the middle.
Although there was some great play from both sides of the ball, there were still plenty of mental errors occurring and enough so that the Wolves were able to capitalise with some first downs and visibly grew with confidence as the game wore on. Barbarians entered the Half Time break 8-0 over the Wolves.
The Barbarians started the 2nd half well with CB Peter Lemalu able to intercept a deep pass returning the ball back into Wolves territory. With the Offense driving, they moved the ball all the way into the redzone but on 4th down with only inches until the endzone were not able to convert.
The Barbarians defense still high on the interception previously were able to leave their mark by tackling the ball carrier in their own endzone for a safety bringing the score to 10-0.
The Barbarians and Wolves would then go series for series with turnovers on both sides and the final score would remain 10-0.
The Warriors then were able to hit the field against the Berwick Miners who had been struggling of late. In what many expected to be a comfortable victory, the Warriors fumbled their opening kick off return giving the Miners great field position early in the first but fortunately for the Warriors, the defense stood tall and returned the ball back to the Warriors who would see RB Luke Jackson run the ball at will and score a touchdown 2 minutes into the first quarter.
From there the flood gates would open with touchdowns to Jackson, Glover, De Niese & Breuer.
The final score was Warriors easily accounting for the Miners 68-6.
Next week sees the Barbarians tackle the Gippsland Gladiators in Officer (3PM Kick Off) and the Warriors taking on the Western Crusaders in Footscray.