Thursday, 25 April 2013

Premiership South Power Rankings

Note - With only two teams playing in the Prem North, we won't be releasing a power ranking until next week.

1. London Blitz
While the Blitz are yet to play a home game, they have kicked off their EFAF cup campaign and in horrendous field conditions (rain and mud), they narrowly defeated the Copenhagen Towers who they will face off against again this Saturday. 

There were some notable players missing from the Blitz line up, obviously the two Bradley brothers absence was noted on both sides of the ball (although the addition of Marcus Thouant, a French national team linebacker did help ease the blow somewhat), as well as the absence of Gareth Dauley, Pete Sochart and Clive Palumbo on the offensive side of the ball, and Aaron-Sanders Percival and Martin Ray on the defensive side of the ball.

The Blitz won’t get underway until the 5th of May against the Aztecs, but that game should be a yardstick for the final rematch in August.

2. London Warriors
The Warriors kicked off their season to a great start with a 52-12 win over the Aztecs. The Aztecs can be seen as either the 4th or 5th best team in the country (I’m assuming the two London teams are top, with EKP third, and between Olympians and Aztecs vying 4th and 5th). 

Two things to note. Scoring 52 in your first game, against tough opposition is impressive for an offence (ok so, they didn't score all of them, there was a pick 6). However, we expect the Warriors D to keep the points conceded column down, and letting in two passing touchdowns could be something to be concerned about. Will have to wait and see how next weekend’s game pans out against the O’s.

3. London Olympians
The Olympians preseason is almost at an end when they travel to the ‘Snake Pit’ in Boston Manor this coming Sunday. With confidence oozing from the O’s camp in the every press release they churn out, you wonder if they have been put in a situation where their season hangs in the balance at the very first game of the season. 

You can prepare all you like, but nothing quite compares to taking the field in anger and the Warriors, with a game under their belt, will be ahead in that department. Not that there are many games this weekend, but this is definitely game of the week.

4. Bristol Aztecs
Perhaps too much hype has been made of the additions to the Aztecs. Yes, they added a Quarterback who throw for two touchdowns against the Warriors, as well as a Wide Receiver who caught both of those touchdowns, however that quarterback threw four picks, one a pick six, and was also sacked numerous times. 

The return of Kenny Saro also looked to add an extra dimension, but barring a long run that was only stopped being made into a TD by a great chase down tackle, he made very little impact. Perhaps the most telling part of the Aztecs performance was them reverting to a two Quarterback (doubleProctor, Proctorcat, WildProctor...) wild cat set in the latter stages, not showing much faith in their new Quarterback.

For now I think the Aztecs need to focus on the O’s as their main contender to try and secure 3rd in the division, and will also be wary of the resurgent Thunder. They will be watching with keen eyes at Boston Manor this Sunday.

5. Sussex Thunder
As I’m sure the champion factor will help the Saxons this season, I think the Thunder might look to make a few upsets with good recruitment and momentum on their side, and luckily for them their first two games see them pitted against the two bottom teams in our power rankings, the Cardinals and SWW.

6. Cambridgeshire Cats
Who expected the Cats to absolutely hammer the Cardinals! Combining the two games from the premiership south this weekend and the previous weekends game conclusions can be made. The Aztecs have not improved as much as we might have expected from the additions, and the Cardinals seem to have taken a slump again this year. Now an interesting question is whether the Cats are as good as a 49-0 suggests. By comparing both the scores you could say they should give Bristol a good run for their money which would make the mid-table battle in this conference interesting. Watch this space.

7. East Kent Mavericks
While scoring in friendlies/scrimmages is against the rules, we’ve heard reports at DC of the Mavericks playing one of the aforementioned against the Farnham Knights (who we think will go far this year in the NL). Unfortunately for the Mavericks it appears the outcome was in the Knights favour, perhaps not a great sign of things to come in the premiership. However, that aside, the Mavericks kick off against the SWW in two weeks so perhaps we shall stand corrected then.

8. Berkshire Renegades
The Renegades camp is one of the quietest around, with very little news circulating about them or their players. They are also the latest to kick off their season, having to wait until 12/5 before their first game against the Aztecs. In the mean time we shall keep our ear to the ground.

9. Peterborough Saxons
Could a division 2 team really hold their weight in the premiership? Probably not if it was last year’s premiership, but judging by the beating the Cardinals took at the hands of the Cats, I’d say that Ipswich are in the Saxons sights as a victim, as will be our next team in the rankings the SWW.

10. South Wales Warriors
The Warriors must be kicking themselves for not being able to hang on to Thomas/Cutlan, who crossed the bridge into Bristol. They have also lost their Great Britain offensive lineman Ben Watkins to European endeavors  so do not currently stand in a great position to make waves in the division. Stranger things have happened though.

11. Ipswich Cardinals 
Sorry Ipswich but we yet again find you at the bottom of our power rankings. A beating to the Aztecs was expected, but losing to the Cats in such a fashion was very much less expected. It seems they might have lost some of their more experienced players, and will need to fight real hard this year for their first win if they are going to obtain one. We could soon be reverting back to the comedy video of the week in this spot.

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