Danube Dragons 28 – Prague Black Panthers 25
Having witnessed the Black Panthers push the reigning champions to the brink the previous week, one could been forgiven for thinking that the odds were in the favour of the home team, as they welcomed the 1-2 Dragons to Prague. But the AFL is a fickle league, and through a combination of errors and defensive breakdowns, the Black Panthers undid a lot of their good work in the previous weeks, and let a rival take up and advantageous position in the playoff race.
The crux of the problem for the Black Panthers, was their inability to shut down Thomas Haider on the outside, who time and again found himself with too much time and space to operate, leading to plenty of big receptions, leading to 121 receiving yards and two touchdowns when all was said and done. To compound this issue, poor gap management by the Black Panther front seven allowed Cary Grossart to break the pocket on multiple occasions to vital drives alive.
The Dragons defence deserve a lot of credit, because whilst they were not able to completely neutralise Kyle Newhall-Caballero or his favourite receiver, Wolesky, they did force plenty of errors from the Black Panther offence, leading to some unfavourable down and distances that became too much for the home team to convert. The second half was where the Dragons really shone on the defensive side of the football, holding the Black Panthers to only a field goal up until their last minute touchdown, during which time, the Dragons offence was able to capitalise and put enough daylight between the teams, that the Black Panthers couldn’t muster the late game heroics to pull out the victory.