Wait, what’s this? I'm tackling the playoffs? SAY WHAT?!
Before I begin, I must apologise to the Bath Killer Bees. On the final RP Poll, I posted the stupidest comment of all time on BKB's blurb – “Wait, what’s that? Their first game is against Loughborough...Oh, well, at least they had a good regular season!” Well, aren't I an idiot? BKB proved me (and the rest of the world) wrong, as they upset the Aces to advance to the next round.
I would also like to point out that instead of moaning/criticising the rankings, Bath let their football do the talking. I’d hate to have been a person associated with one of the losing teams who moaned complained about last weeks rankings...
Now, it’s time for the list!
1. Birmingham Lions
The number one team on this list continued their march to another national championship final with a 51-0 victory over Leeds Carnegie. The good news for the Lions is that they survive for another week. The bad news is that the Lions now face a ridiculously long trip up to Stirling to take on the undefeated Clansmen. Things may end up being worse if Tristan Varney is indeed injured and out for a long period of time.
2. Hertfordshire Hurricanes
No game for the ‘Canes as their #1 seeding in the playoffs meant they were on a bye last weekend. Last year’s champions will begin the defence of their title against the Sheffield Sabres who knocked off UWE at the weekend. With a 19 game winning streak that dates back to last season, many expect to see the ‘Canes on this list next week! (But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet!)
3. Derby Braves
Similar to the ‘Canes, Derby were on a bye due to their playoff seeding. The Braves will begin their inaugural national championship playoff campaign with a home game vs. the on fire Portsmouth Destroyers. If the Braves are going to find a way to win that game, they’ll need their O to be firing on all cylinders against a defence that only conceded an average of six points per game.
4. Stirling Clansmen
Let’s make it a hat trick of teams who’ve been on a bye at the weekend, as the Clansmen remain in the number four spot. With home field advantage, an offence who could have posted more than 431 points had they actually had games in the second half of the season, and a chance to prove to everyone that the Saltire conference isn't a walkover, the Clansmen should feel confident heading into this weekend’s game against the Birmingham Lions. Let’s just hope that the lack of games in 2013 doesn’t come back to bite them!
P.s. this game is going to be amazing!
5. Bath Killer Bees
Wowzers! Talk about an upset! In case you haven’t heard (no, the bird isn’t the word), the Killer Bees came back from 13-2 down to knock off the Loughborough Aces, who many consider to be the third best team in the country, and advance to the next round of the playoffs. With Hull next up for Bath, I wouldn't be surprised if they won this one and made it to the semi finals. Wonder how many thought that would happen when the Bees lost to the Sabres in last season’s challenge trophy final?!
6. Hull Sharks
Speaking of the Sharks, Hull drop to number six following the Killer Bees win at the weekend and the fact the Sharks were on a bye. Now, after almost having their perfect season ruined by a lowly team in their conference, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sharks were out to make a statement in this week’s game. It should be a cracker!
7. Sheffield Sabres
How did the Killer Bees get their vengeance on the Sabres after last season’s trophy defeat? They just defeated Loughborough meaning the Sabres will now have to travel to Hertfordshire to take on the Hurricanes following their mauling of UWE. Any other year, I’d say it’s been a great season for the Sabres and enjoy their off-season, but after last week’s results, I don’t know what to say anymore...I don’t even know if the grass is green and the sky is blue.
8. Portsmouth Destroyers
The Destroyers find themselves as the lowest ranked national championship team heading into the quarter finals after their victory over the Cougars at the weekend. But, before everyone jumps on my back, being the lowest ranked team isn’t a bad thing. It now gives you the underdog tag and means you can prove everyone wrong! Therefore, due to my motivation, the Braves are now put on upset alert as they Destroyers will want to prove me wrong! If this works, I need to change my career path and become the next Mr. Motivator (without the dodgy clothing!)
9. Southampton Stags
The first challenge trophy team to make an appearance on this week’s poll is the Southampton Stags who were on a bye last weekend. With plenty of time to rest up (Stags haven’t had a game for two plus weeks), Southampton should be fit and ready to go for their game against the Tyrants. With home field advantage, I’d be surprised if the Stags didn’t come away with the ‘W’ this weekend!
10. BNU Buccaneers
One of the big movers from the weekend’s results is the BNU Buccaneers who came from behind to defeat the Gloucester Gladiators, earning their first ever playoff win in the process. For winning their first playoff game, the Buccaneers are now rewarded with a long-ass trip to Glasgow to take on the Tigers! At least their AU has been kind enough to pay for the whole team to stay in a hotel the night before their game next Sunday.
11. Warwick Wolves
No game for the Wolves as the team were on a bye at the weekend. Now it’s back to business for the Midlands team as their attention turns to the Leeds Celtics. For much of the season, the Wolves have been scrutinised for their less than impressive schedule, meaning this weekend will finally give the team an opportunity to prove they’re as good as their record suggests. Should they lose though, the Wolves will just be another team who made the post season due to an easy schedule!
12. NTU Renegades
Remember last week when I said I predicted the Millergades to win the challenge trophy? Yeah, that pick doesn’t look so bad after watching NTU’s beat down on the UEA Pirates. With Danny Miller tearing opposing defences up, and a defence who seemed to have their own gravitational pull judging by the number of picks they had at the weekend, NTU still remain my firm favourites to win it all!
13. Manchester Tyrants
I only thought it was Bradford who loved overtime games, but clearly I was mistaken, as it seems all Northern teams love overtime! First off, whoever decided to make the two point call, bravo! You have some huge cojones! Season’s on the line and you make that call. If it’s good, you’re a hero. If it fails, you’re a scapegoat. Well, fortunately for este hombre, the call paid off and he’s a hero for another week! Secondly, the Tyrants now have to come back down to Earth as they face the long trip to Southampton to take on the Stags. Quite the daunting task!
14. Cambridge Pythons
This weekend will be a memorable game for yours truly. It will be the weekend when #TeamPHD takes on the Millergades in the battle of the RP nicknames, so proud! Despite a miserable loss to Westminster, #TeamPHD were on a bye week at the weekend meaning they should be healed and ready for the first playoff game in team history. It’ll be a tough one, but a little birdie tells me they’re up for it! Either that or they’re looking forward to show piecing their talents on InkSpot Media
P.s. We/I/all of Britball requests that Mr Burden of InkSpot Media uses #TeamPHD instead of Cambridge Pythons on his video!
15. Leeds Celtics
What a surprise, the Celtics won...That’s no disrespect to the Celtics, but everyone with a basic understanding of football could have guessed that the 5-3 Celtics were going to beat the 2-4-2 Edinburgh Predators (no one should blame Edinburgh or Scotland itself for this situation, they don’t make the rules/decisions). The Celtics will find themselves coming up against tougher opposition at the weekend when the team travels south to take on the one-loss Warwick Wolves. With a lot of confidence under their belt after their win last weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if the Celtics left the Midlands with a place in the semi finals locked up.
16. Glasgow Tigers
The final team on my poll is the #1 seed in the challenge trophy – the Glasgow Tigers. Despite their number one seed and home field advantage, I still don’t see the Tigers as the favourites for this weekend’s game against BNU, probably because the Tigers forfeited their last game in the third quarter, and the Bucs are flying high with confidence and won’t be affected by the long travel on the day. Either way, the stage is now set for the Tigers to prove me wrong and remain on my poll for another week! If they want any belief this week, just remember that the Double Wing doesn't win you a championship...