Clyde Valley Blackhawks vs. Glasgow Tigers
The Blackhawks would be flying high after their 26-0 demolition of the Edinburgh Wolves a few weeks ago was it not for the close defeat by the Gateshead Senators the week after.
However a close defeat by a team that by all accounts should be in the Premiership North this year (they requested to be lowered to the National Division) is nothing shameful and the Blackhawks should put the defeat behind them and bounce back.
The Tigers on the other hand set their mark with a dominating 36-19 opening game win over the Dundee Hurricanes. Quarterback Matt McCusker and receiver Dean Jardine will have to be closely marked as they teamed up for three touchdowns through the air on the day.
This has the potential to be a shootout in Scotland.
Clyde Valley Blackhawks to win by one scoreDundee Hurricanes vs. Edinburgh Wolves
If the game above is a battle of two triumphant teams then this is the opposite. The Wolves were on the back of the 26-0 drubbing by the Blackhawks (and the Blackhawks even had the cheek to leave the away changing rooms a little untidy…) whilst the Hurricanes were beaten 36-19 by Glasgow.
Edinburgh certainly seemed to have regressed from the team that dominated the North last year, or was it early season jitters? We’ll see in this game, but their defence should be enough to keep Dundee from scoring too many points.
The question is what is the Wolves offence capable of doing on the day?
Edinburgh Wolves to win by two scores
Leicester Falcons vs. Chester Romans
We at DC Towers said that Leicester’s game against Manchester last weekend was the one to watch in order to gauge how the absence of some of their Premier League players and coaches has affected them. Let’s be honest, they haven’t come off well. A 60-0 massacre makes them look like a shadow of the team they were last year.
The Chester Romans meanwhile have strengthened a lot this offseason. Their playoff appearance last year has told them where they need to go in order to improve, and lots of their rookies from last year have gained a lot of experience. Many people have written the Romans off with the likes of Shropshire and Manchester in the division but, like I called at the start of last year, they could be dark horses to make the playoffs again.
Chester Romans to win by two scores
Shropshire Revolution vs. Merseyside Nighthawks
This is an interesting matchup to predict. The corresponding fixture last year resulted in a 37-34 shootout in favour of the home side but both teams were in the old Division One last year.
The Revolution looked like a promising team last year on the numerous occasions that I saw them, not quite ready for Division One but really not far away. This year I’m not entirely convinced they’ve improved. They’re 2&0 but wins over Staffordshire and Crewe were not as impressive as we thought.
However Shropshire have shown themselves to be the kind of team that grinds out wins. Maybe that is what they will do all season.
Merseyside on the other hand went 1 and 9 last year, beat Coventry on the final day of the season to avoid an 0 and 10 record. But they played above their results at times, coming close in many of their games with a team largely made up of rookies. With a season under their belts they could surprise a lot of teams this year, maybe even starting with Shropshire.
Shropshire Revolution to win by 1 score
National South Central
Colchester Gladiators vs. Kent Exiles
The Colchester Gladiators finally get their season underway when they host the Kent Exiles.
Last season was an up and down year for the Gladiators. The team finished with a 5-5 record despite averaging 27.6 points per game (second best in their conference). The downfall for the team was that their defence were also leaking in the points, as they conceded 22.3 points per game (second worst in their conference).
If the Gladiators defence can find a way of stopping their opposition’s offence, Colchester may find themselves in the playoffs at the end of the season.
The Exiles got off to the perfect start when they defeated the Essex Spartans in the “Battle of the Bridge”. And the Exiles will be hoping to continue that good start as they take on another team from the county of Essex.
For the Exiles to win this one, they’ll need to rely on the experiences they gained from playing in last season’s Division One South conference which featured a lot of high scoring teams.
Going with the upset! Gladiators to squeak by and win by 7
Essex Spartans vs. Milton Keynes Pathfinders
When the fixtures first came out, we didn’t expect this one to be a game featuring two winless teams, but three weeks into the season and the National South Central has already provided a few shocks this season.
Following their loss to the Kent Exiles, this is a must win game for the Spartans. An 0-3 record this early in the season will all but end their hopes of progressing to the playoffs at the end of the year. With only 12 points to their name after two games, the chances of victory may be slimmer than most are expecting.
After we rated the Pathfinders so high in our rankings, MKP went on to lose their first game of the season to the Watford Cheetahs (a team they did the double over last season). Now, if the Pathfinders are unable to win this game, they’ll drop to a 0-2 record and will join the Maidstone Pumas at the foot of the table.
Away win. Milton Keynes by 10
Solent Thrashers vs. Farnham Knights
Our National League game of the week features two teams that are in the top five of the National League Power Rankings, as the Solent Thrashers host the Farnham Knights.
The Hampshire Thrashers are gone and now it’s time for the newly named Solent Thrashers to show everyone what they’re about (probably the same as before just with a new name)(Ed: Genius comment, pure gold...). However, the Thrashers will be hoping that their offence performs better than they did last season. Averaging a miserable 9.2 points per game saw the Thrashers finish the season 3-7 in a conference that had five teams pass the 200 “points for” mark.
After a year out, the Knights return to action in the National League South. Not much noise has been made about these Knights, but we’re sure that they’ll show off their wealth of Premiership experience as they look to take the National League crown. A comprehensive victory over the Thrashers would show that the Knights are back to take down all that challenge them.
Knights by 17