National League North
Glasgow Tigers vs. Gateshead Senators
Later than planned, our prediction between the Tigers and Senators has been added.
The surprise team in the National North Conference, the Tigers find themselves 2-0 and sitting atop of all in the North. With their confidence levels high, the Tigers will be hoping to extend their winning streak for another week.
Despite a small team this season, the Senators are showing that they a tough squad who can grind out close victories. Their 13-7 over the Clyde Valley Blackhawks showed this. If the Senators can travel well this week, they could claim the number one seed in their conference with a victory over the Tigers.
Senators and their tough D to win by a score.
DC Presidents vs. Edinburgh Wolves
The high profile Presidents are yet to start their campaign but their off season activities are impressive. Their squad has improved, bringing in players from around the North West, as have their coaching staff. Coach Ben Johnson and Coach Jonathan Rooney will team up again and add a lot of experience to the side.
Edinburgh meanwhile have had an untidy start to the season, losing to Clyde Valley 26-0 on the opener. But they got somewhat back on track with a victory over Dundee last week. Could that be the impetus to kick back on and aim for playoffs?
DC will be amongst the favourites, with Gateshead, for the division this year.
DC Presidents to win by 21
Clyde Valley Blackhawks vs. Dundee Hurricanes
The Blackhawks have unravelled somewhat after their blistering opening day 26-0 win over Edinburgh, losing two games on the bounce to Gateshead and the impressive Glasgow respectively.
Dundee meanwhile are bottom of the division, sitting on 0- 2 with 66 points against. However they've scored 35 and must focus on this to turn their season around otherwise it could be a long year.
National League Central
Staffordshire Surge vs. Crewe Railroaders
The 0-2 Railroaders head to Staffordshire to take on the Surge, who are somewhat recharged after a poor season last year. With one win under their belts, a 48-44 win in the reverse fixture at Crewe, and a narrow defeat at the hands of the Shropshire Revolution, Staffordshire look like a team that has improved a lot this year.
Crewe meanwhile lost in a shoot out against Leicester and of course were on the wrong side of the 48-44 result in the game with Staffordshire. They have the ability to rack up points (70 scored in two games and they've lost both!). Staffordshire are given the nod due to home advantage.
Staffordshire Surge to win by 7
Chester Romans vs. Manchester Titans
The game the National League has been waiting for! Last year the game was postponed due to the weather and a suitable date for the replay was never found. Chester made the playoffs by an extra tied game they held over the Titans and Manchester might feel they have a bit of revenge to hand out. This game may have some venom...
Both have played two games and both have two shutouts but more importantly both feature prominently on our Power Rankings. Manchester have racked up a massive 114 points to Chester's 77 but both have had incredibly impressive starts. This one is hard to call.
Manchester Titans to win by 14
National South Central
Watford Cheetahs vs. Bedfordshire Blue Raiders
The National South Central features one of the biggest games of the weekend when the 2-0 Watford Cheetahs take on the 2-0 Bedfordshire Blue Raiders in a top of the table clash.
Following an upset victory in their first game of the season and a comfortable win over the Maidstone Pumas, the Cheetahs are now setting their sights on their first playoff trip since 2005 (where they beat the London Blitz in the semi finals!). And with their offence already posting 72 points in two games, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Cheetahs pulled a victory out of the bag this weekend.
If you had to sum up the Bedfordshire season so far, it would look like this – two games, two wins, and two shutouts. Guess that new kit has done the team some wonders! However, things may change this weekend when the Blue Raiders play away from home for the first time this season. With it being three weeks since their last game, the Blue Raiders will be hoping that no signs of rust have kicked in yet.
This is a tough one to predict. We say...(*dramatic drum roll*)...Blue Raiders by a score!
Maidstone Pumas vs. Kent Exiles
Maidstone have played two games. They lost both of these games, scoring 0 points and conceding 98 in total. If they are hoping to win this weekend then they’ll need to find some points from somewhere! Oh, and stop the opposition from scoring.
The Exiles dropped to 1-1 for the season following their 22 point loss at the hands of the Colchester Gladiators last weekend. But Kent can put that behind them this weekend when they take on a team who have yet to register a score.
Another away win. Exiles by 25!
Milton Keynes Pathfinders vs. Colchester Gladiators
If you’re a defensive co-ordinator, look away now, because these two teams took part in some high scoring games last season!
Following a four point loss in their first game of the season, the Pathfinders got their first W of the season last weekend when they defeated the Essex Spartans 14-0. With their first win under the belt, confidence will be high within the MK ranks, and with their next opponents being a team they did the double over last season (winning 31-14 and 66-31), the Pathfinders should be the early favorites for this weekend’s clash.
There was no repeat of last season’s slow start for the Gladiators as they started their season 1-0 following a comprehensive victory over the Kent Exiles (34-12 was the final score). And the Gladiators will be looking to continue their winning streak alive this weekend when they travel to the Milton Keynes. If last season’s results weren’t enough motivation for the Gladiators, then the added incentive of moving up to the number two seed with a victory should give them the final boost they need.
Another tough one. Going to go with the clean sweep for the away teams. Colchester by a score!
Bournemouth Bobcats vs. Oxford Saints
It’s been a tough start to the season for the Bobcats. Losses to Swindon and the Bristol Apache have left the team 0-2 and with little hope of making the post season now. However, a victory over the Oxford Saints this weekend could change of that and springboard the Bobcats to an eight game winning streak to finish the season 8-2! We doubt that will happen though...
Here’s a few things that have happened since the Oxford Saints last played a game – Maggie Thatcher passed away, Sir Alex Ferguson retired from managing, Felix Baumgartner jumped from 39km in the stratosphere back down to earth!
However, it’s no fault of the Saints (or the league) for there being a delay in their first game of the season. Oxford’s first game of the season (vs. Solent) fell victim to the bad weather and has been postponed until a later date.
Oxford to dust of the rust and start the season 1-0 following a 14 point victory over the Bobcats
Cornish Sharks vs. Farnham Knights
Here’s a list of things that have happened since the Cornish Sharks last played a game – North Korea went on a power trip and threatened nuclear war with anyone who beat them on ‘Words With Friends’, a meteor exploded over Russia, and a new pope was elected! There seems to be a few teams in the National South Conference who haven’t played in a while...
For the Sharks, the season starts this weekend when (barring a festival taking place down south) they play host to the 0-1 Farnham Knights. There’s no doubt that the Sharks will be trying to be the events of last season’s playoff debacle behind them as they start afresh in 2013.
After all the hype and build up for the Knights (admittedly, it came from us at DC and a few pictures from UKGridiron Memes), Farnham ended up on the receiving end of a lopsided loss against the Solent Thrashers. Thanks to this loss, not only did the Knights find themselves in the penultimate spot in their conference, they also slid out of our weekly Power Rankings (devastating, we know). Another loss this weekend and none of the hype for Farnham would’ve been worthwhile!
Sharks to steal this one with a narrow three point victory. We also have Farnham down to win the drinking games later on in the evening.
Gloucester Centurions vs. Bristol Apache
Here’s a list of things that have happened since the Gloucester Centurions last played a game – Christmas, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl, Tim Tebow got cut by the Jets, and finally...we decided to create lists of things that had happened between the end of last season and the start of the new one! But seriously, why are teams waiting until the second week of March for their first game? The season will be five weeks old this weekend!
In the past few seasons, this would be considered a basement game where the worst two teams in the conference play in a mundane game that only a few people take interest in. That’s not the case anymore following the Apache’s explosive start to the season (victories over Bournemouth and Swindon) and the possibility that the Centurions may have picked up some guys from the local University of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire made the BUAFL playoffs this season).
If the Centurions haven’t been able to pick up any guys from their local university, it could be a long season in a conference that seems to be anyone’s for the taking.
We’re going with an Apache victory in this one. Bristol to win by two scores.