The Western Crusaders travelled to Tom Flood field in Bendigo in week 5, to take on the Geelong Buccaneers, apart of the “Goldfields Bowl” (between Bendigo and Ballarat) game and celebrations. The name “Tom Flood” seemed pretty appropriate at the time, the game was played after several days of heavy rain. The field in Bendigo actually held up very well considering, giving the large local crowd something great to watch.
The conditions left a lot to be desired as the heavy rain made it very hard for both Offenses to move the ball until Tyson Garnham #36, came up with a great sideline run and got the Crusaders offense into striking distance, only a few yards out from the endzone. The Crusaders then scored a couple of plays later, thanks to the power running of big Fullback Damien Griffin #20.
The Crusaders really dominated the Buccaneers in the first half, with the Defense coming up with several big plays and almost forcing a safety, but the Buccaneers were able to steer themselves out of further trouble.
The Crusaders went into the half 7-0 and full of confidence.
The rain eased and stopped in the third quater and it was the Buccaneers that took full advantage, making a big runnin and scoring early in the third quarter. After a Crusader turnover, the Buccaneers then were able to score again only a couple of minutes later. Injuries, mistakes, penalties and turnovers then crept into the Crusaders game and the Buccaneers were able to take full advantage of it. The game result was unfortunate for the Crusaders as the final scoreline did not reflect the intensity of the game, but the Buccaneers proved too strong and took out the game convincingly 29-7.