Thursday, 23 February 2012

BUAFL Week 11 Predictions: SWAC

 A MAMMOTH effort by our SWAC writer in a full schedule for the SWAC this week.

Plymouth Blitz @ Exeter Demons
The DEVON Derby part two is now HUGE. If Exeter win and then go on to beat Bath Killer Bees they will have 2 losses and the tie break on both Cardiff and UWE will mean they and not the loser of the SWACbowl will go to the play offs as runner up in the conference. Coach Kirby has done a great job in getting the Demons into this position in his first season as HC in BUAFL. The single wing offence with all the pace in the squad has taken all the headlines with Finn, Amiss and Budge standing out, but it has been the improving defence which has allowed the upset wins to be a reality.

At this time of the year desire and who can execute under pressure become the currency for success and as of today the Blitz have shown they can produce when the pressure presses down on your technique. The Blitz defence led by Stafford and Sumola forced a shut out on Wednesday being especially tough in the red zone against the Killer bees, but I do think the Demons will score in this one and that will push the emphasis back onto the Plymouth offense and rushers Howlett and Lattimer to keep up the pace. Last time out Plymouth won through and my guess is the intensity will go up a notch or two from that game in Plymouth. The play offs are on the line for both these teams which is something neither is used to so anything could happen!
Plymouth by one score.

Cardiff Cobras @ UWE Bullets
If the Devon derby is new school, Cobras v Bullets is good old fashion rough stuff with too old proud programmes facing off with the winner taking the title and the loser prays the Blitz beat the Demons.
Both teams are full of veterans, for the Cobras recently selected to the GB squad OC Gareth Thomas will conjure up a storm of power offense led by running backs Alex Brew and Ben Fowle following the devastating blocking of Scott Bebbington and Chris Caldwell.

The defence has DL Larry Hunt and Ollie Blocker causing chaos to blocking schemes while line backers Ollie Devon and Ryan Davies fly around stuffing the run. Second year cornerback Tom List has become an interception specialist with 4 in 5 games.

The Bullets offense is led by rookie QB JJ Davies who has 7 Td’s so far this year, with a cast of experienced veterans all around him. Hard running Sam Atakorah and the speedy Jamiel Tinto are averaging 6.5 yards per carry between them, but it is on defense where the Bullets have really excelled, featuring record breaking sack merchant Idrissa Fornah, ex Aber star Ben Cooper, GB senior squad member MLB Mark Sanchez (not that one!) and ex Cobras (yes that is right and what a day for him!!)  John Bateman at OLB.

John was a stalwart of Cobras football while an undergrad and it is shrewd move by Coach Dyke to recruit a past star from the Cobras to over turn that 1 point loss from last year.

These games are usually very tight, the 2010 game was decided by a kick off return and a 2 yard line stand by the Bullets and last year by an pick 6 and a 2 PAT stop by the Cobras. If the Cobras can run on the UWE defence they will triumph, however that is not easy and the Bullets d will be at their very best.  
On the their home patch the Bullets will find a way to win by VERY few!!

Swansea Titans @ Bristol Barracuda
Both these teams will be desperate to reach parity this season. The Cuda have not been this vulnerable and are a team struggling to find the level of play they effortlessly found last year. While they have been better since the Christmas break they are a still a shadow of past teams.

Swansea are finding defence easier to play in this run orientated conference and they do have size. However they do lack speed and struggle to turn promising drives into points on offense. OC Richard Ledger will be working hard to find ways through the Cuda defence.
Swansea by 2 scores

Gloucester Gladiators @ Westminster Dragons
Two cellar dwellers from rival conferences match up this week with Gloucester travelling to Westminster. Neither team will be troubling the play offs nor Trophy, but pride for relatively new teams will be at stake and lets face it this is probably Gloucester’s best chance of a win this year.

The Dragons have a win under their belts and are at home so will probably win this one. Add that to how poor the Gladiators are and this should be an easy prediction, however the SWAC is a real tough division this year and even though the Glads lost badly to another poor team in Bath Spa they may put up a fight in this one.
Dragons by 2 scores

Bath Spa Bulldogs @ Bath Killer Bees (from wk 8)
Bath Killer Bees will be desperately disappointed in losing to Plymouth on Wednesday, but their season is not over yet and a resounding thumping of their cross city rivals will be in order to set them up for the do or die clash v the Demons.

Their running game managed to move the ball versus a powerful Blitz defence but they were not able to punch it in when they did manage to reach the red zone. Spa will not be able to keep them out. Bath Spa have been better this year, but are just not developing as fast as the middle of the SWAC. The SWAC is a really tough conference for new teams.  I just don’t see the Bulldogs moving the ball on Owen, Reilly, Cheung and co.
Bath Killer Bees by 2-3 scores


  1. What about Aberystwyth v Bangor? I know Bangor aren't in SWAC but are we not doing inter-conference game predictions?

  2. I'm guessing it is going to be released with the Northern conference ( has it under the northern fixtures first).

  3. Well I think I can sum up the Bangor vs Tarannau at Aberystwyth. Aber kick of a nearside kick and recover but then this is the closest they will ever be to the oposition endzone. Bangor defence retrieve the ball 3-6 then the offence send the ball high for a 40yard gain and after a 6 minute drive score the first points and take the kick to make the result 7-0 after a shakey restart bangor retrieve the ball and make a second great drive only to be stopped and turned over 3 yards out. Aber then struggle with poor field position and are forced to punt. In the last few second of the quarter Bangor make a run down the centre and score under the goosenecks. After an unsuccessful PATD the score is 13-0 at the end of the quarter after many long drawn out defensive struggles Aber finally gain good field position and look as if they can score but a incomplete pass in the endzone brings aber back to the 10 yard line bangor ball. Bangor after struggling to find a route through the centre go wide and score their 3rd score of the game end of half, Bangor 19 Aber 0. The Aber side at home didn't give up though and kept fighting until the end. Holding alot of posession ad keeping the ball in hand well. Although not being able to convert possession into points. Bangor ball and a fresh quarterback on the field Bangor go long and complete for a 30 yard pass and a further 30 yard run get denied the score on the line but 1st and goal is good in any coaches book. After a nail bitting 3 unsuccessful drives Bangor go for it on the 4th and decide to take their previously poor inside run game to trot over the line unapposed due to good O line drills. Bangor take the kick and complete bringing the score to 26-0. Game restarts but is slow as the brutality of the game takes its toll on both sides in this tough contest 4th quarter begins and Tarannau fight back with a vengence spending 5 game minutes inside the bangor 20 yards line after an terrific drive. But with the game drawing to a close Aber couldn't gain those precious points to save face on a fantastic Varsity competition. With the time check reading only 43 soconds left on the clock Aber defence call a timeout this gives Bangor time to collect and prepare their last few plays. and when the clock restarts Bangor have two successful drives and then with 20 seconds left find a gap to the homeside crowd runs into the endzone to bring the game to an end 32-0 Bangor decide to go for the PATD and a quick pass over the top results in the end of the game final score 34-0 to Bangor although It was a close battle that the score doesn't reflect. MOTM is Sam "Chilli" Finch for managing to tackle the quaterback before he passed the ball... In fact before he snapped the ball... Chilli they took a knee! What? They took a knee! So it wasn't a sack then?..?.. No chilli it wasn't a sack....

    1. Ok that was soppost to be a short comment on how I thought the match would go... ooops

      Obviously it is fiction and I take no bias to any team mentioned above.... "Cough" "Cough" =]
      (and this hasn't happened btw) well not until sunday in sunny Aberystwyth by the sea =]
      But Both teams are ready to go and its gonna be gooood

  4. Plymouth on back of 5 game win streak have gone from perennial whipping boys to contenders.

    exeter have come a long way in short time but there offence is so 1 dimensional.

    seal the outside and they are stuffed. but they are well coached so I believe it come down to if exeter can stop Plymouths power running game.


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