A meagre crowd of just 18,000 turned up at Puddle Dock to see the Western Conference title challenging Mugaz take on the winless Mercenaries in what was expected to be a one-sided affair. With only 3 TDs scored so far this season and 21 conceded it is clear that the Mercenaries are the weakest team in the competition this season. Their only point of the season came at home to the Savages in a thrilling 2-2 draw. The Mugaz for their part were also involved in a 2-2 draw earlier in the season against the Wildmen but have also racked up 3 wins in an impressive season that could still see them reach the playoffs.
The Mugaz are not known as being a quick-strike team but against the Mercenaries, they showed it could be done. It was the away side that received possession. As seems customary to all Mercenaries drives, Alec von Tasslebine the Human Thrower was the man to field the kick-off and immediately pass out to Splinter the Gutter Runner. Von Tasslebine couldn't complete the pass and the iniative was completely lost before the Mercenaries players had a chance to get their drive going. The Mugaz displayed an aggressive defensive formation and took advantage of von Tasslebine's error. Dark Elf Thrower Arda picked up the loose ball and showed everyone in attendance exactly how the passing game should work with a long pass out to Norse Catcher Sami "The Hoop". From that point, the Mugaz never looked back. The Mercenaries have an incredibly leaky defense and they never looked like having a chance to stop Sami. The Norseman ran unchallenged through the Mercenaries backfield for his first score of the campaign. It's always nice for a player to break their scoring duck even if it does come in week 6 of the season.
Opening the scoring with a quick counter-attack touchdown should have calmed the nerves of the home side but the unpredictability of the Mercenaries can have a scoring upside even against the best of defenses as the Mutineers will testify. The same kick-off routine was played out by the away team with Alec von Tasslebine taking the ball and passing to Splinter. This time the pass was on target and the Skaven was off and running. A successful blitz and two dodges saw him burst free down the right flank and head for the end zone. Just as against the Mutineers, the Mugaz had players deep enough to stop Splinter in mid-rush. Norse Thrower Aaaarne "The Launcher" was on hand to tackle Splinter and seemingly end the danger. Just as against the Mutineers, the danger hadn't passed. Arda stepped in to take control but could not grab hold of the ball instead it stayed on the floor right next to Splinter. The Gutter Runner saw his opportunity, got up, grabbed the ball under pressure from Arda, dodged away and it was 1-1. For all the Mercenaries inability to defend or mount a coherent drive, they had scored and the game was level.
The fact that the Mercenaries could not defend at all meant that was the last time in the game that the sides were level. Arda received the ensuing kick-off and passed to Sami "The Hoop". Once again the Norse Catcher was able to run unchallenged through Mercenaries territory with embarassing ease. Having not scored all season, Sami now had two touchdowns in a single game. There was no need for subtle tactics or individual play to get round the Mercenaries defense, they didn't offer a genuine challenge to the onrushing Sami with only Alec von Tasslebine attempting a tackle and nobody managing to lay a tackle zone on the Norseman.
There was no more scoring in the first half so it ended 2-1 with the Mugaz due to receive at the start of the second half. A one-sided affair still left the Mercenaries in touch, they were down by the same score against the Savages in their only draw of the season. Still, the Mugaz are a far better side than the Savages were in the Mercenaries week 3 encounter and they showed it in the second half.
The Mugaz blocking was beginning to take its toll and continued to do so at the beginning of the second period. Throughout the second half, the Mercenaries medical staff were desperately patching up players to rotate back into the game. One ray of hope was the Badly Hurting of Mugaz Lineman Fookalite by Mercenaries Black Orc Krump Forznit. The Mugaz more than responded in kind. Mumraaah faced off against his line of scrimmage opponent, Viryvan von Sted and knew the time was right for suffering. Viryvan's career had been short and unsucessful even by Mercenaries standards. He was hopeless overmatched against the might of the fearsome Mummy Blocker. No Humans had been killed in the league but this was about to change. Mumraaah looked deep into Viryvan's soul and saw despair. The embalmed right hand swung out and clasped the Lineman around his neck. With play going on apace all around, the two were locked in a struggle that was life or death for Viryvan. Mumraaah chose death. He squeezed the exposed neck, crushing bones and flesh. Viryvan couldn't breathe and he must have known that it was over. Mumraaah paused momentarily before dropping the lifeless carcass to the floor and looking for his next victim.
In the backfield, Norse Catcher Sami "The Hoop" was again finding easy progress through the Mercenaries ranks. Arda had found him with a quick pass and it seemed as though there was no stopping the Norseman. Gutter Runner Splinter made a vain attempt to stop the inevitable but everything was falling apart for the away team. Sami scored his third to wrap up the hat-trick, only the third in the league after Speedy McSpeedy for the Wildmen against the Savages and Salina Black for the Dolts against the same Mercenaries.
3-1 up and having inflicted a fatality, this was a dominant performance from the Mugaz. The Mercenaries were running out of fit players to put on the field. The home side could seemingly score at will. The man selected was Lineman Luciferase. The ball was kicked deep into Mercenaries territory so the Mugaz raced all out to get it before the few Mercenaries could delay them. Alec von Tasslebine was the only player from the away side to show any interest on the ball but he could not hang onto it when faced with an all-out blitz. At the second attempt, Luciferase collected the ball and ran in the easy score, his first for the Mugaz to make this the biggest win for the Mugaz in league play. The 4-1 win was without too much difficulty once the equaliser had come and gone. The fatality had but a violent shine on the game but it was a heavily one-sided affair, the Mercenaries were not in the same class as their opponents and will need a serious rethink for the rest of the season.
MVPS: Fookalite, Alec von Tasslebine
Sami "The Hoop": 3 TDs, 3 Rushes for 44 yards, 3 Receptions for 13 yards, 1 Fall
Mumraaah: 1 Fatality, 2 CAS, 12 Blocks, 10 Downs
Arda: 1 TD, 1 Rush for 1 yard, 3 Completions for 13 yards, 1 Fumble