The Lincolnshire Bombers started well, pushing Shropshire all the way until the fourth quarter, in their first game but then got destroyed last week by Manchester after their quarterback went down injured.
They’ll be looking to bounce back against Chester for sure, but the Romans will be looking to get off to a good start. Chester went to the playoffs last year and they’ll be hoping for the same this year but the division has gotten much tougher!
The Romans have developed well over the Summer, with some impressive rookies coming through and many second-year players having impressed in pre-season. The Bombers will push them but Chester will probably be too much in this one.
Prediction: Chester Romans to win by 2 scores
Crewe Railroaders vs. Staffordshire Surge
The Railroaders impressed last week, pushing the Leicester Falcons all the way before succumbing to a narrow loss. Crewe have clearly been busy this offseason.
The Stallions meanwhile held the Revolution to 26 points whilst scoring 12 of their own. Whilst this doesn’t look that impressive it is an improvement on what the Stallions would have achieved last year. Here’s hoping they continue to develop and improve on results this year.
This’ll be a battle of a game but Crewe probably have too much for the Stallions.
Prediction: Crewe Railroaders to win by 1 score
Manchester Titans vs. Leicester Falcons
We’re treated to a mammoth clash early in the season! Two of the favourites in the National Division Central will clash this weekend!
The Titans laid waste to the Lincolnshire Bombers last weekend whilst the Falcons just squeezed past the Railroaders. But to really judge where these two teams are at we need to see them face off against one another.
The Falcons have lost players and coaches since their Premiership days but still maintain some of that experience. Meanwhile the Titans are now led by Britball legend Nigel Dias, and have a big squad, packed with a mix of youth and experience. If you can get to Manchester this weekend do so, this game’ll be a cracker!
Prediction: Manchester Titans to win by 1 score
The Tigers beat the Hurricanes twice last year as they pushed for a playoff spot, winning 34-20 at home and 18-14 away.
Both teams will want to improve on last year with the Hurricanes slightly disappointing and the Tigers missing out on the playoffs. Dundee looked handy in a preseason scrimmage with the Premiership’s West Coast Trojans but they’ll struggle against the Glasgow side that did the double on them last season.
Prediction: Glasgow Tigers to win by 2 scores
National South Central
Essex Spartans vs. Kent Exiles
The 0-1 Spartans look to get their season back on track when they host the Kent Exiles in their first home game of the season. And following their 6-0 loss to the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders two weeks ago, the Spartans can’t afford to lose any more games in a conference that also features Watford, Colchester and the Milton Keynes Pathfinders.
Despite this being their first game of the season, the Exiles should be fairly confident heading into this one. In their meeting against the Spartans last season, Kent came out of both games as the victors on their way to a 3-7 season.
Prediction: It’ll be close, really close. Exiles to edge it by 3.
Watford Cheetahs vs. Maidstone Pumas
The Cheetahs got off to the best possible start last weekend when they pulled off the upset and defeated the Milton Keynes Pathfinders 26-22.
Is this a sign of improvement from the Cheetahs or have the Pathfinders lost some players from their 8-2 season last year? If it’s the former, then the Cheetahs are definitely in with a shot of stealing a playoff spot come the end of this season.
We’re quite surprised that ‘UK Gridiron Memes’ haven’t posted anything about the Pumas loss last weekend as the Pumas were one of their many targets during the off-season. But let’s be honest, when you lost 52-0 in your opening game of the season, questions need to be asked about how spent your off/pre-season planning for the New Year. Let’s hope Maidstone can restore some pride this weekend.
Prediction: Cheetahs by 21.
Bristol Apache vs. Swindon Storm
The clear game of the week down south in the National League is a game that we thought would be a battle for the wooden spoon. However, two weeks into the season and the Apache and Storm are both sitting 1-0 following victories over the Bournemouth Bobcats.
New Head Coach, new results on the scoreboard for the Apache as they began their season with a comfortable two score victory over the Bobcats to start 1-0 for the first time in the team’s history. With a wealth of experience in Bristol, as well as a deep talent pool, this may be the season the Apache show their true potential and end up being one of the teams to watch in the National League.
We doubted that they’d secure the victory in their first game, but the Storm proved us wrong as they ran out 7-0 victors against Bournemouth. With that first ‘W’ under their belt, the Storm will start to settle into their season and will no longer be treated as ‘the associate team’. Teams will now have to start paying attention to Steve Bennett’s boys!
Prediction: Apache to steal this one. Bristol by 7.