It was a blockbuster when two of Gridiron West’s undefeated sides squared off on the weekend. Both sides were keen to continue their perfect start to the season, but it was another landslide win to the Saints, who overcame the Steelers 56-0 thanks to an avalanche of scoring in the first quarter.
A strong showing from the defence put the offence in the ideal position to capitalise on their hard work, with a quick drive down the field by in-form running back Doug Stewart for six points.
After an unsuccessful drive, the Steelers elected to punt but Tommy Dunn had other plans, bursting through the punt protection to tackle the punter before he was able to get the kick away, putting the Saints just 15 yards out from the red zone.
Quarterback Gerogio Bryant did what he does best and made the defence look silly as he ran in the touchdown, which was successfully converted by Ayden Wood-Stribley, who made a diving catch which would have made Ricky Ponting proud.
The onslaught continued, with the defence refusing to give the Steelers anything and the offence capitalising, with Bryant finding the emerging Luke Hegney and ever-reliable Daniel Strickland.
In the endzone, rookie Leroy Tshabangu, not to be outdone by Dunn on special teams, came up with a massive fumble recovery, putting the Saints 20 yards out, which was converted with a perfectly weighted pass finding Strickland in the endzone.
The defence continued to pile on the pressure, with Mike Holbrook running riot on the d-line, allowing some big plays, resulting in the latter intercepting a pass and steamrolling his way back to the 30.
The Saints offence continued to make the most of their opportunities, with Bryant finding Simon Natoli on consecutive occasions to secure 20 yards.
But the rookie tight end fell agonisingly close of his first career touchdown, allowing teammate Angelo Di Carlo to take a strong grab in the end zone to register a career-first score just moments later.
The Steelers lifted at the start of the second half, managing to string together a series of first downs but it was usual suspect Dunn who had the last laugh, picking off a wayward Steelers pass, forcing the turnover and allowing Strickland to strike again.
The competition was ripe between Dunn and Tshabangu, with Tshabangu saying anything you can do I can do better, replicating Dunn’s feats on the next series of play in what was a career-first interception for the rookie corner, resulting in a long pass to veteran Gareth Weinbrecht, who opened his account for the season. The Saints take on the Perth Blitz this Friday night.
Angelo Di Carlo