Friday, 19 April 2013

BUAFL Finals Predictions

After a looooooooonnnnnnngggggggg wait, the BUAFL finals are finally upon us. This means that our writers final BUAFL predictions are in, and for an extra bonus, we asked each individual to list why they went with their respective picks. 



Southampton vs. NTU

Simon
“NTU have been solid throughout the season, combining explosive offense and stingy defense to great effect. I choose them here purely on consistency. Southampton have probably been one of the least consistent playoff teams, but seem to be in good form coming into the final. How they handle Danny Miller's dual threat  will be key - if they contain him, the Stags will probably be victorious. I still have NTU to edge another close final, by two scores.”   
       
Willy
"Not gonna lie: I'm a fan of the Millergades. Not just the kits, but the openness of the weekly game tapes, and the sheer joy you can see this team take in playing the sport as you watch them each week.

Plus, yeah, i really do love the fact their kit is pink.

Only putting 12 on Glasgow has me concerned as they prepare to face a Stags team that has some serious heritage on the big stage: never having lost in a finals game.

If the Stags can find the offensive momentum they've had in the past few games it's going to be tough for this battered and bruised NTU offence to keep pace.

Then again, as shown by Brighton and Pompey in the regular season, shutting down the Stags is very doable.
Two good Defencess; I wouldn't be surprised if 3 scores wins it."     
        
Stupack
“The statistics heavily favour Southampton in the CT final, and I agree with them. NTU rely too heavily on Danny Miller and the Stags defence should be strong enough to shut him down. Very close, but Southampton to win.”

Rich
“Personally, I went with NTU. I picked them before the playoffs began and I shall stick to my guns and keep them as my new CT champions. Expect NTU to rely heavily on Millersauras Rex”       

Piachaud
“If we look at injuries, Southampton have been mightily unlucky this year, losing their starting Quarterback Dana Neale against Brighton, as well as 2 starting Offensive Linemen, their top Wide Receiver and starting Running Back to injuries post Christmas. Who knows what kind of form they will return in for the final, as it is after all, a final. If you were to tell me that NTU had lost say, Danny Miller, Marcus Boswell, Alec Butcher and Rob Cartwright, then i might be inclined to say they might not do as well.

 I digress, on to the game in hand and the players playing. Miller is undoubtedly the heart and soul of NTU and if Southampton's fast defence can stop him, they will win. The only thing that scares me about Southampton is whether they can score enough points to stay in a game that turns into a shoot out, and i don't think they have the offensive production to do. That considered, i'm going to go with my alma mater and still say Southampton in a low scoring affair.”

Neale
“I am somewhat biased, taking part in this game for Southampton and what not, so it won’t come as a surprise to say I think the Stags will come through victorious. I’d prefer to leave it at that so not to give NTU any bulletin board material. We are aware of NTUs strength and realise that if they were not in the MAC, they would certainly be in the championship playoffs.”

Luke
“NTU are my new favorite team.  I'd normally support a conference rival but I'll be wearing pink on Saturday and hoping that greasy haired chubby QB will get the job done. Go win some handegg trophies Danny boy!”               
                                                                                                           
Jon
"Both these teams have had issues with the healthiness of their roster during the season, but the extra rest granted by the postponement should see both sides come in with a clean bill of health.

I think the most important match up will be the Stags fast, strong tackling defence trying to contain Danny Miller on offence. If they can stop the slicked back sensation and their offence can click back into high gear they will be in with more than a chance to defeat the pink nation."

Gibbs
“I picked against them last time in something of a knee-jerk reaction to their rumored injury woes. It turned out to not be as bad as I feared, and I like them to cap their impressive season with another win. Southampton should run them close, but ultimately Miller, Patches and co. will grab the trophy.”

Hertfordshire vs. Birmingham

Simon
“Having seen Herts first hand in the semis, they are dangerous in all three phases of the game and any Birmingham mistakes will be swiftly punished. Their run defense struggled at times, and Conroy will find yardage here. But without Tristan Varney, can the Lions overcome the Canes? I don't think so. This will be a tight game, but I see the "Quest For Six" being a successful one by one or two scores.”        
                                                                                                           
Willy
"Ok, let's be honest: I sorely underestimated the Lions in my prediction versus Derby! Or, to be more truthful, forgot just how badly their form of football can be effected by adverse weather conditions, and thus read too much into their struggles in Stirling. They were clearly out to prove a point last Sunday and did so in style, demolishing their former conference rivals to reach their fifth championship game in a row! Even Varney-less, these Lions are a beast with bite... But they're about to come up against a 'Canes team that's totally blown their opposition away all season long!

The returning national champions haven't had anything even resembling a close game all year, but they proved last year they're just as capable of playing through adversity as they are in breezing through 50+ point whitewashes.

While I wholly expect Conroy & co to give the 'Canes one helluva a tough game, you surely have to back the team with all their 'stars' intact? I'd -like- the Lions to win it, for personal reasons... But I can't see how this Hurricanes team is in any way weaker than the one that lifted the trophy 12 months ago.

Rinse and repeat of last year: Cane's pull through to victory in the second half.

p.s. Shout-out to Lion's 'Rookie' left tackle James Bell: Loving seeing a Plymouth Blitz alum in a national final!"                                       
                                                                                             
Stupack
“It's a tough one but I'm going for Birmingham for the championship. I don't see them losing three in a row, and they completely destroyed Derby. Without Varney it'll be tough, but they're more than capable.”    
                                                                                                                 
Rich
“I can't see Birmingham losing three straight finals. Hertfordshire are a solid unit, but Birmingham seem to have that fire in their belly to claim "their" crown back. Yes, Tristan Varney is a loss at QB, but Glover isn't a pushover. Remember he has made four previous finals with the Lancashire Wolverine Colts and the Birmingham Lions.”   
                                                                                                                     
Piachaud
“This game would be harder to call if there wasn't one factor hanging over its head. The loss of Tristan to the Lions is going to really push back their offensive production. No slight on Jonny Glover, as i am sure he is more than prepared to lead the team out, but he's not the calibre Tristian is/was. Birmingham have had the much tougher road through the playoffs, and while still winning counts for something, and experience against tough teams does too, injuries also start to pick up. Herts have pretty much breezed this whole season, and while the final brings all kinds of new factors, I think the class in their organisation will reign supreme and bring them a 6th title.”

Neale
“I have no reason to think Birmingham have gotten considerably better than Herts since they last met in the final. With Joe Thompson leading the offence and Dominic Gould making plays all over the field for the defence. I still saw Herts repeating, even with Varney in play.”                                                                  
                                                          
Luke
“As defending champions they've done nothing this year to say they won't repeat.  They've dismissed every team they've come against very convincingly and to not have them as #1 in this game would be unfair to Herts. With Varney playing Birmingham would probably be neck and neck, but he isn't so I'm going with Herts winning a tight one.”                   

Jon
You'll notice a theme occuring here...

If Varney had been available to play I would have had this game down as a very close one to call, but still given it to the current National Champions. However with Varney nursing a knee injury I think a Herts team that is returning pretty much their entire squad from last year will continue their imperious form in the final.

One unit that really could have a lot to say is the Birmingham defence. Often overlooked in favour of their high octane, Madden scoring offence the Birmingham defence 

Gibbs

“Having Varney ruled out solidifies what was already advantage Hurricanes. Whilst these are without doubt the two best uni sides the country has to offer, I can't see Brum having enough firepower to keep pace with the 'Canes.”                       


3 comments:

  1. Personally, I don’t think that the Lions rely on Varney for a win, yes it may help but all their senior players are experienced enough and can carrier themselves on the grid iron. With it being many of the seniors final year playing, I think people have underestimated the fire and determination that each of them hold to lift that trophy again. None of them will accept not lifting the trophy for three years in a row and I think on Saturday the lions will show something special out there to prove just how much being knocked down has bought them closer together and made them a stronger more ambitious team.

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  2. One man no matter how good does not make a team .... a match dominated by Defence ....the power has now returned ...Thank you Stupack and Rich for taking the wider perspective and predicting a Birmingham win.

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  3. Rich, Stupack. Well done on predicting the Bulls to win!

    ReplyDelete

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