Saturday, 4 February 2012

BUAFL Predictions Rivalry Week Special: Northern

Leeds Carnegie @ Leeds Celtics
With Carnegie winning in a close affair last year, the Celtics will be looking for retribution. The Celtics have a varied offence, which is a complete contrast to Carnegie’s one dimensional flexbone. When it comes to defence, the met boys are head and shoulders above their cross city rivals. Watch out for Jon Hurley and Danny Wardell spearheading a well drilled Carnegie linebacker core which as well as reading and reacting to the run quickly, can also cover any deep passes thrown their way.

If Leeds Celtics want to win this one, they will have to find a way to score on one of the toughest defences in the country. This will be a serious challenge for an offence that failed to score on both Hallam and Bradford.
Carnegie in a 21 point shut-out

Huddersfield Hawks @ Bradford Bears
At first glance at the league table, Bradford look the better team. However on paper, Huddersfield have had a much tougher schedule and managed to keep Hull to only 6 points whilst the Bears haemorrhaged 36. Add in to this that Bradford’s top scorer Nomsey Para-Mallam is out injured and the scales start tipping in favour of the Hawks.

Huddersfield will have learnt a lot from their tough opening games and with the Bears coaching staff being almost entirely ex-hawks, both sides will have something to prove. The Hawks will be looking to Tom Foulds or Andy Blunt to step up and start the scoring for the season whilst the Bears will be looking for rookie quarterback Chris Moore to step up and fill Para-Mallam’s void.
Bears by 14

Sheffield Sabres @ Hallam Warriors
Game of the week is the Steel Bowl, with both teams undefeated at 4-0 something has to give this weekend at Bawtry Road and this fixture could decide the Northern Conference. Both teams have strong defences and high scoring offences, but the Sabres defence will have to contain Warriors running back Danny Pyle, who leads the BUAFL league with over 1,000 yards rushing already this season in just four games. If he is able to reach the second level, it could be a long day for Tim Mullinar and his men.  

With QB Dan Jones back under centre, after suffering a shoulder injury against Lancaster, the Sabres will hope they 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.

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 a year is a long time in BUAFL football and the Sabres 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.

LJM Fury @ Staffordshire Stallions
Last week the Stallions (1-3) recorded their first win of the season by a single score against MMU Eagles, who currently occupy the bottom of the Northern Conference’s. This week the Midlands club face another foe from the North, the also winless Liverpool Fury, who despite being 0-3 have registered strong defensive performances against both Nottingham and York, losing on both occasions by a single score.

The Stallions by contrast have had a tough opening schedule, facing three of the top four teams in the Midland Athletic Conference – Birmingham, Loughborough and Derby and conceding 176 points in those three games.

The teams look very evenly matched and on paper it seems hard to pick a winner, the Fury’s strong defensive showing against the likes of Carnegie may give them the edge, but neither sides have high scoring offenses, so one score could be the difference. For me the Fury haven’t show the ability to break the whitewash often enough this season and so Staffs should sneak the win.
Close, low scoring battle - Stallions by a score 

1 comment:

  1. A mention that lancaster vs york was canceled would be nice.


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