It now means catch-up games will play a defining role in the final post-season make-up of teams.
Grand final draw
The rematch between defending champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Northern Tigers at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday night had its chances but a 0-0 draw sent fans home still searching for a true victor. The clubs drew in their opening match, leaving it to a possible finals encounter to settle the affair.
Bonnyrigg coach Blagoja Kulevski said the tough matches could only help his players.
?We missed many chances, but so did the other team, and nobody could find a goal in the end. That is part of the game. Sometimes there is no clear winner,? he said. ?I knew they would give us a hard time, and I still think the Northern Tigers is one of the better teams in the league.?
?But my players are also improving, and every game is hard because every other team tries 100 per cent against us. We are missing a good player in Goran Subara [talking to clubs in Slovenia] and we are a little bit shaky as a result. We should have the best 11 players back soon and we will be much better. It?s good to have the tough games.?
Rage, Uni in ripper
However it began, Granville Rage and Sydney University continued their State of Origin like relationship, with the two gladiators unable to break their gripping history following a 3-3 thriller at Garside Park on Saturday night. Football fans were treated to an epic journey as Granville came back three times to snare a share of the points and sneak into the top-five.
Uni stunned the Granville crowd when promoted under-20 player Steve Gaudiso struck home in the ninth minute of play to give the lowly ranked visitors an early 1-0 lead. The Rage returned fire when their own youngster, Leo Pirrello flicked on a corner at the near post to level the scores at 1-1, just on the half-hour mark.
But their joy was short-lived when Gaudiso scored his second league goal a minute after the restart to restore Uni?s advantage. A Fred Umlil header at the back post, steering home a Granville free kick, made for a second equaliser minutes before half-time and both coaches knew they were involved in a real arm-wrestle of a match.
The second half was a little more measured as Granville and Uni looked for more technical ways to beat their opponent, and it was Uni player James Alcorn who broke the deadlock with a goal on 66 minutes to send Uni into the lead for a third time.
The Rage players sprang into action and sustained pressure eventuated into a 75th minute break from leading scorer Nenos Bobo, who chipped from 30 yards out to bring the scores level again at three goals apiece. Some poor finishing ensured the scores remained unchanged at the final whistle.
The 3-3 scoreline only added to an incredible three-year run between the Rage and Uni, which now amounts to 37 goals in eight matches ? roughly 4.5 goals every time they meet ? three wins each and two draws.
Granville coach Lee Sterrey said it was an amazing match to watch, let alone be involved in. ?All credit to Uni, they came out fast and hard. We put a lot of pressure on them and wanted to win at home, especially after a good result against the Tigers last weekend,? he said.
?We chased the game three times, but they were very hard to play against. Really, we should be winning games after scoring three goals at home, and we did have a few bad defensive lapses. We should have done a little better at the back.?
?But hats off to Uni. They are a far improved side from the first round, and have a lot of pace to work with. They certainly impressed me and had a real go. They will push a lot of sides.?
Sunday?s matches ?
Fifth-placed Fraser Park Dragons visited lowly Rockdale City Suns at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
And spoils were shared as the match ended at 1-1.
Goce Trpovski scored for the Suns but Fraser Park equalised ten minutes later through Roberto Di Meglio.
While finally Mount Druitt Town Rangers hosted Parramatta Eagles at Popondetta Park on Sunday afternoon and that match also finished at 1-1.
Rain wrecks matches
The rain ruined scheduled round 13 fixtures between neighbours Fairfield City Lions and Bossy Liverpool at Norford Park on Saturday evening, and the Central Coast Lightning versus St George Saints game at
Pluim Park later that night.
This week?s games
The NSW Super League heats up with round 14 action featuring: Top-five combatants St George and Liverpool at Belmore Sports Ground, and Rockdale meeting Fairfield at Norford Park, both games on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon has four fixtures, Mount Druitt at Fraser Park, Granville visits Parramatta, Central Coast against Northern Tigers at Mills Park, and Bonnyrigg travels to Sydney Uni.
-By Daniel De Nardi