Wednesday, 22 February 2012

BUAFL Midweek Predictions

Predictions for the midweek games taking place today.

Northern


Sheffield Sabres @ Hallam Warriors – KO 7pm
The Steel Bowl is back on, but this time with a difference.
Bawtry road will be flood lit on Wednesday night for a first, certainly in Hallam’s history – a ‘night game’.
The team regularly train under artificial light, but Warriors Head Coach Richard Batty admits it is very different to training in natural light:


“Night games are different in that your perception of the ball and distances is a little bit different.
“Artificial light does make things different, but we train under the same lights, on the same field, with the same markings, so if there is an advantage I suppose it will be with us because we know what the lighting is like and we know what the ground is like in that environment.”


Both teams have strong defensive units, but the Sabres suffered their first loss of the season last weekend away at Carnegie (46-12), obviously smarting from that result, Head Coach Tim Mullinar and his men will be looking to get their season back on track against their cross town rivals.


The Sabres will be hoping QB Dan Jones can utilise his quick release and bring their receivers into the game with short timing patterns, supported by the Black and Gold’s strong running backs.
But the Sabres defence will have to contain Warriors running back Danny Pyle, who currently leads the BUAFL league with over 1,300 yards rushing in just five games. If he is allowed to break into the secondary, he could be the difference between the two teams.


Hallam will need to block better than they did in their win over the Tyrants (55-0), the team showed some rustiness from having not played faced an opponent in nearly 3 months, but did also rest key players in the second half with Wednesday in mind. Allowed rookies like RB Sam Adekanmbi, a chance to impress. The Warriors also looked dangerous throwing the ball with TE Mike Whitson finishing the day with 3 receptions for 40 yards.


The Sabres haven’t won this fixture for 4 years and don’t have a good recent record against the double wing losing 28-0 to BNU in preseason and by 58-0 in last year’s fixture at Bawtry Road, but they are certainly not a team to be underestimated. In short, it should be a much closer contest than in previous years.
Hallam by 20 points


SWAC 


Bath Killer Bees @ Plymouth Blitz
Big game in a big week for the SWAC! Cardiff @ UWE has long been on the radar but with the Demons, Blitz and Bees all still in the hunt for the play offs the three games between these teams are now huge. It all starts in Plymouth on Wednesday.

The Killer Bees have been very much under the radar this year, not quite getting the big scalp, but this is a long established programme which is competitive every year, they always play tough and this year is no exception led by MLB Alex Reilly and Safety Gordon Cheung they have continued the hard hitting defence tradition and in DE Tom Owen they have a pass rusher who takes some blocking, Plymouth’s tackles will need to be at their best.

The battle between BKB run defence and the duel threat of the Blitz running backs Rich Howlett and surging 3rd string to starter Olly Lattimer will be well worth the travel time to watch.

But that doesn’t mean the Blitz defense is a push over with mountainous nose tackle Ola Sumola anchoring the defence, allowing MLB Tom Stafford to flow to the play making big hits. The Bees running attack led by Bobby Nightingale, who is coming off a career day with 4 TDs against the Cuda and is a disciplined runner who usually find a hole, will be under pressure to repeat. The Blitz are a hard hitting, in your face team who ask questions of your desire and toughness.

Maybe it will be the passing games which make the difference and Bath definitely have a deep threat in Chris Jones 5th year player and team captain.

One thing for sure is that both teams know this is the season right now, a loss will mean the Play offs are gone and the Trophy will be subject to the tie breaker!  One of these five teams is going to miss out altogether and that kind of pressure can do strange things to execution. I expect Wednesday game to be a battle decided on one or two plays during the game, let’s hope those are good plays rather than errors.
In a tough one to call I will go for the home team Plymouth by 1 score.

SEC


LSBU vs Brighton
It seems like not a lot separates the mid table teams in the SEC at the moment. Both of these teams stand at 2-4, a record I don’t think either would have imagined looked at their schedules. With the surprise loss to the Pythons (who have since gone on to upset Kent) the Spartans must be reeling even more with a last minute, kick-off return for a TD loss to the Mariners! In what I have heard was a scrappy game, with great individual efforts but lack of team cohesion, the Spartans lost out.


Brighton have just come off a big defeat to the Canes, where they managed to score a TD, but I don’t know how much that says in games like these, considering the possibility that Canes rookies would have been on the field after the half. Although if they scored on them early with their first string out, kudos.


I see this being a game that may be defined by who can show up on the day considering it’s a mid week, a couple of key players out due to other commitments and it could go either way. One thing is for sure, the loser is out of the playoff picture for sure, although both teams have to have a lot of help to be back in it. The game being hosted in London definitely puts the Spartans at an advantage given player availability. I think it will be close, but Brighton will keep cool to win it.
Brighton by a TD in a tight, but scrappy game.

2 comments:

  1. [The Steel Bowl is back on, but this time with a difference.
    Bawtry road will be flood lit on Wednesday night for a first, certainly in Hallam’s history – a ‘night game’.
    The team regularly train under artificial light, but Warriors Head Coach Richard Batty admits it is very different to training in natural light]

    -Road
    - You've already mentioned its a night game before saying its a night game
    - How many time do you want to mention the word 'light'?

    [“Night games are different in that your perception of the ball and distances is a little bit different.
    “Artificial light does make things different, but we train under the same lights, on the same field, with the same markings, so if there is an advantage I suppose it will be with us because we know what the lighting is like and we know what the ground is like in that environment.” ]

    -Quote then directly underneath, another quote?

    This blog is a facking shambles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This blog is a facking shambles!"

      So is being a keyboard warrior hiding behind an Anonymous tagline...

      Delete

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