Thursday, 2 February 2012

BUAFL Predictions - Rivalry edition!: SEC

RIVALRY WEEK! We start at the SEC and will work our way up!

Canterbury Chargers @ Kent Falcons
The battle for Canterbury is played out this weekend, and one thing must be said about inter-town rivalry games is how nice is it for the away team to save on that money, effectively getting 3 away games. Teams all feel the pinch and that little added bonus makes it all the nicer.

Now in true rivalry fashion, I have decided to go for an academic snobbery, as well as football snobbery. So let’s take a look, the Guardian league tables put Kent as 23/119 and Canterbury as 107/119. So I think it’s fair to say Kent win that one.

On to the stuff that really matters, because frankly when did a degree do anything for any one now days?

Canterbury stand at 2-2 after the first half of the season, with only 1 more point scored than conceded, 97-96. Their two wins came against ARU, who, if you read this blog enough, you may realise are not very good. The second win comes against conference new boys Westminster Dragons. So the offence can put up points on bad teams. A 21-12 loss to a disappointing (for the time they have been around) Brighton team, is perhaps the most telling result. It seems like the Chargers are destined for mid-table mediocrity.

Kent are somewhat of a mystery to me, perhaps as I have not been following the SEC for too many years, I have missed a trick, or the fact that I only ever really focus on Herts in this conference. It seems though that the Falcons are a real contender this year, being able to put up some big points on teams. It was only a couple of years ago that ARU recorded one of their few wins against this team! While the team may be gearing up towards a big game against Herts, a telling result from this year was the 13-8 win over Brighton. Perhaps this game will be closer than the records suggest?

Rivalry games are a different animal when it comes down to game day. There is always one team tipped to win, and that team arrives with too much confidence and starts out slow, letting in a few scores. Not being a psychologist I can’t tell you anything about the possible ins and out as to why this happens, but it does really seem to be a trend. There have even been the rare occasions when the underdog comes through to win; I’m thinking the Stags Redhawks game from last year! I don’t think this will happen in this fixture this year, although I think it will be closer than the records might suggest.
Kent win by two scores

SEC: Brighton Tsunami @ LSBU Spartans
Brighton have had some close games this year, narrow losses to Kent, and UEA, and a narrow win against Canterbury place them firmly in mid-top of the table. This also gives them the second best defence in the SEC, even ahead of Kent, although we shall see how this defence holds up against Kent and Herts.

LSBU have got some talent in their roster, with help coming at coaching and playing level from the Blitz and Warriors programmes. It can’t be overlooked that they were overpowered by Kent, but also won against UEA. Leaky defence might be a problem here, but do Brighton have the offence to make them pay?

A close game, but ultimately decided by the team who can stop the opponents offence. I think brighton will edge it.
Brighton by a TD

Anglia Ruskin Phantoms @ Essex Blades
Can we class this as a rivalry game? Essex play in Colchester, and ARU play in Chelmsford, they both begin with C? Oooo go on then! Essex rank 39/119 and ARU 91/119. So in academic terms, we can say that ARU are roughly 3 times worse than Essex. In football terms, I don’t think the same thing could be said… fill in the blanks.

ARU play a shotgun, run first (only) offence, and a defence which puts pressure on the run but exposes some of the passing zones in doing so. It is widely considered that ARU are one of the worst (ok, the worst) team in the league, and their forfeit against Southampton hasn’t really helped their cause, but good on Coach Saint for standing up for his team in a controlled and sensible manner.

Essex run a spread, misdirection, counter/sweep, offence. They have some really tall receivers and an even taller QB. The running game works well given vertical space. If you can stop the run, you stop their game.
Ok, this is the rivalry addition, but in my mind, this isn’t really a rivalry. ARU haven’t ever come close to beating the Blades.
Blades by 5 TDs

Greenwich Mariners @ Cambridge Pythons
Greenwich seem to be a breeding ground for up and coming coaches, to think that Coach Callan, moved up through the Mariners ranks, on to the Blitz, and finally is now the HC of the GB Adult team. What’s next for him? The Indianapolis Colts? That would be a step down though.

Greenwich sit at 2-2 so far this year, they scored on Kent, but couldn’t stop Kent scoring. A really close loss with Essex and wins against KCL and Brighton.

The Pythons are one of the two new comers in the SEC, sitting at 1-3, only beating ARU, which, to be fair, my nan could do. They lost convincingly to KCL and Essex (although put a score up against Essex late in the game). Something I have pointed out before is the size of the squad may be affecting the team, as the half time scores have only been 1 or 2 scores in the other teams favour (for their losses). If they can remedy this next year with some big recruitment I think they could look at competing.

Not this game though.
Greenwich by 3 TDs

KCL Regents @ Westminster Dragons
Westminster are the other newbies on the block and are faring very similarly to the Pythons, beating one of the league’s worst teams, but hey you can only beat what’s in front of you.
KCL seems to be getting stronger throughout the year, gradually getting their offence in sync, and scoring points. They went into Christmas on a high, beating the Pythons convincingly. They will look to burst into the New Year with another win.
KCL by 2 TDs


  1. Greenwich are 2-2, beat brighton 19-0

  2. Not really the cause for a rivalry, but both ARU and Essex were started up by Andrew Laing. Both teams also have several players at the Essex Spartans which might stir up the competitive juices.

  3. you've mentioned the points scored/allowed by the Canterbury Chargers, but did you not note 63 of them came from the perennial powerhouse of hertfordshire? if you ignore that theyre only letting in roughly 15 a game.

  4. why is the victory over brighton for greenwich mariners not recorded?!?!?! there is even a match report on brightons website?

  5. Because it's not on the BUAFL site, which is why we missed it. It's been added now.


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