Big V 2015: State Championship Men Report Cards (Finals Teams)

The Big V season has come to a close for 2015, with a champion crowned and five other sides eliminated from contention along the way. Did the finals teams live up to pre-season expectations or did they fall short of the mark?

Non-Finals Teams Report Cards


Corio Bay Stingrays

Record: 20-4 (second)

Post-Season Performance: 3-1 (champions)

After an interrupted pre-season and an average (by their standards) regular season, many wrote off the Stingrays heading into the finals despite holding the second seed. While a 20-4 record is nothing to sneeze at, top three rivals Waverley and Ringwood looked to be the more dangerous sides and a semi-finals exit was tipped for the perennial powerhouses. Instead, the Falcons and Hawks were both eliminated in the semis and the Stingrays claimed the title in a sweep. They twice had to fight back from late game deficits along the way – first to eliminate Waverley by three points and then to take the first game of the grand final series against McKinnon by two points – making their championship very well deserved and highlighting their ability to win in big game situations, which is something that will always prove invaluable for any side.

Grade: A

Credit: Big V Media


McKinnon Cougars

Record: 14-10 (fourth)

Post-Season Performance: 2-2 (runners-up)

The Cougars started the post-season as dark horses, capable of upsetting the top sides on their day and looming as a dangerous proposition in an elimination game. And that they did, coming back from the dead in the dying minutes in a semi-final at Ringwood to snatch a grand final spot on the back of Kale Harrison’s amazing 20 points in six minutes. Unfortunately for the Cougars, that result was reversed in game one of the grand final series against Corio Bay when they surrendered what looked a match-winning lead late in the game to fall at home before being swept aside in game two. Nonetheless, McKinnon’s second season in the Big V top flight was nothing short of a resounding success for the club as they exceeded expectations.

Grade: A

Credit: Big V Media


Ringwood Hawks

Record: 23-1 (first)

Post-Season Performance: 1-1 (semi-finals)

The Hawks looked near unbeatable all season long and with six minutes to go in the semi-final they were coasting into yet another grand final series with home court advantage. Of course, from that point on it all went horribly wrong for Ringwood and instead of parading the championship trophy right now they are left to wonder how they were forced to watch the grand final series from the grandstands. For the side that lost just two games all season long to miss the big dance is almost unheard of, particularly for a side with the recent finals experience of the Hawks, and the last six minutes against McKinnon is sure to haunt them all summer long.

Grade: B


Waverley Falcons

Record: 20-4 (third)

Post-Season Performance: 1-1 (semi-finals)

The Falcons bolstered their already strong roster over the off-season with tackling Corio Bay and Ringwood specifically in mind. As has been the case in recent seasons, the race for the top two was only ever open for three teams and, once again, it was the Falcons missing out, instead settling for the third seed. After comfortably accounting for Bulleen, the Falcons looked the better side and were minutes away from claiming a spot in the grand final before the Stingrays fought back to win by three points and end Waverley’s season early yet again. Any side which comes within minutes of a grand final has enjoyed a successful season, even if it is a familiar, albeit disappointing, story for the Falcons.

Grade: B

Credit: Big V Media


Hume City Broncos

Record: 13-11 (fifth)

Post-Season Performance: 0-1 (first round)

After a number of sub-par seasons, the Broncos bounced back in 2015 to make the playoffs and finish with a record above .500. A first round matchup with eventual grand finalists McKinnon meant saw them bundled out of the title race by 14 points in a disappointing end, however the season as a whole was a massive improvement on their 2014 campaign. Many wrote off the ageing Broncos pre-season and dismissed their chances of returning to the playoffs, but they silenced the naysayers, exceeded those expectations and gave their fans something to cheer about instead.

Grade: B

Credit: Big V Media


Bulleen Boomers

Record: 11-13 (sixth)

Post-Season Performance: 0-1 (first round)

The Boomers endured a tumultuous season, somehow falling into the playoffs despite an underwhelming back end of the season. Rumours of team fractures, ill-discipline and the sub-standard performances of their best players at times meant Bulleen were on the receiving end of some very disappointing losses. They were never in the contest against Waverley in the first-round of the playoffs, highlighting the sizeable difference between the Boomers and the top sides. However, they did still make the playoffs and that was about where they were expected to be after losing star guard Thadd Varmall but keeping most of their roster together.

Grade: C

To find your local club’s fixtures and results, and to keep up to date with all the league news and information over the season, head to www.bigv.com.au or click here.