Friday, 3 May 2013

Premiership Predictions

Premiership North
Coventry Jets vs. East Kilbride Pirates
An intriguing opener for East Kilbride, who quite rightly start the season as favorites to win the division. However, they’ve had problems in the West Midlands before – losing to Tamworth last season – and will face a tough proposition in Coventry.

With Stuart Franklin instantly upgrading the Jets offence, they look like they could be a play-off contender in 2013. With other signings rumored to be close, the improvements just keep on coming in Coventry.
On last year’s showings, this should be a comfortable win for the visitors, but the off-season changes may well have closed the gap.
Prediction: East Kilbride by two scores
Tamworth Phoenix vs. Yorkshire Rams
Tamworth were pretty much irresistible last weekend, hammering Lancashire in a shut-out and laying down a marker for this season. They’ll no doubt be backing themselves to topple East Kilbride come August.

Yorkshire’s new offence with Andrew Cheesman at quarterback made an unspectacular start against Doncaster, but should look in a lot better shape with more game-time reps. They won’t beat Tamworth, but will likely end up with a winning season. 
We ranked the Rams at #3 behind Tamworth in our pre-seaon Powers, but in reality the gap is probably bigger than a single place.
Prediction: Tamworth by three scores
Sheffield Predators vs. West Coast Trojans
Despite both teams appearing in their respective BritBowls last season, we can’t imagine that either thought they’d be in the Premier Division this season.
Sheffield welcome Troon’s Trojans for their first game in the Premiership with a winless season in Division Two not all that far back in the archives. Still, their improvement over the last two seasons has been staggering, and they quite rightly take their place at UK Football’s top table in 2013.
West Coast went all the way to Division One’s big dance last season before coming up short against Sussex, and have reportedly lost a few players over the winter. A 3-0 home defeat to Birmingham was a bit of a surprise (not least to our prediction team)(Ed: Alright, I get it...), but they should dust down nicely here.
Prediction: West Coast by two scores 
Premiership South

East Kent Maverick vs. South Wales Warriors 
The South Wales Warriros got their season off to a start this past weekend against a resurgent Peterborough team, eventually losing out. This early in the season it is impossible to truly judge relative strengths of teams, with very little noise out of either camp it’s especially hard to judge these two.

The Mavericks seem to be based around the two local university sides, and while that is a good place to grow talent, it also means that your preseason can’t truly start until the university season is over. Luckily for the Mavericks the Canterbury Chargers did not make the post season and the Kent Falcons post season run was a short one, however it can be seen (Farnham Knights last year), that starting so late can have a detrimental effect on the preparations for the season.
The Warriors will not be happy with the loss this weekend and will be looking to place their stamp back on the game. Who knows what the Mavericks might come out with.
Prediction: Mavericks by a score.

Cambridgeshire Cats vs. London Warriors 
The Cats must be riding high after a good showing against Ipswich, but must remain focused as the Warriors roll into town this weekend. News of a roster chocked full of Americans does not come as much of a surprise given the proximity to so many army bases, however, will these additions give them the edge against one of the top two teams in the country?
The Warriors have been on cruise control so far, going out and just winning games. The disadvantage of the new premiership structure is that the Blitz/Warriors game will only be seen once in the regular season, which runs the risk of making the season pretty boring for the two top teams (especially considering they don’t face off against the Blitz until the 25th August). Focus is the key for their season, we could either see a string of games where they have pedestrian wins of 30-40 points to nothing, or a full throttle performance of 50-70 points to nothing wins.

All things considered, the Cats additions will help them win a couple of extra games this year that you might not have otherwise thought, but it won’t help them win this one.
Prediction: Warriors by 40

Ipswich Cardinals vs. Sussex Thunder 
Ipswich appear to have fallen victim to their promotion last year and are struggling already this season. Sussex will look to use their division one championship win as a springboard into the premier league. 
The Cardinals have a long season ahead of them. The Thunder even longer, but are yet to be proven. Div 1 champs trump Premiership bottom feeders
Prediction: Thunder by 30
London Blitz vs. Bristol Aztecs 
The Blitz are officially out of Europe, and as stated above will have to wait until the 25th August to face their usual tough challenger of the Warriors. The Aztecs face the Warriors and Blitz two weeks apart, with two games that will essentially define their season. The Aztecs, Olympians and maybe the Thunder and Cats will be vying against each other for the remaining playoff spots, so the match ups between those four teams will be interesting.

One interesting component of this game is being to able to define a marker between the Warriors and Blitz early in the season. With the Blitz losing a handful of veterans and struggling to get their offence going in Europe it will be interesting to compare the two against a like opponent.
Prediction: Blitz by 40

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