Friday, 7 June 2013

National League Predictions, Week Nine

National North
DC Presidents vs. Clyde Valley Blackhawks
The Presidents will want an immediate bounce back from their 40-20 loss to the Gateshead Senators last week but the Blackhawks will be a tough opposition.
The Presidents have improved a lot on and off the field under the guidance of Ben Johnson and co and should have enough about them to beat off Clyde Valley, especially at home.
DC Presidents to win by two scores
Gateshead Senators vs. Dundee Hurricanes
The Gateshead Harewoods (not sure it’ll catch on) will be flying high following that big comeback against their upstart neighbours last week. It’s not often they put big points on an opposition so they’ll want to try and repeat against the bottom of the table Hurricanes.

Dundee have found it tough so far this year and I can’t see it getting much better for them in Gateshead.
Gateshead Senators to win by two scores
Edinburgh Wolves vs. Glasgow Tigers
The Wolves have been nothing short of disappointing following their playoff season last year. They’re sitting at 1-3 having been beaten 26-0 by the Senators and the Blackhawks, in that now infamous “untidy changing room” game.

Glasgow are still undefeated though, having won two and tied, impressively might I say, against Gateshead. They should win this game.
Glasgow Tigers to win by three scores

National Central
Merseyside Nighthawks vs. Chester Romans
Game of the National Division season so far? I’d say so. Both sit at 3-0 in the Central, both sit in the top 5 of our Power Rankings and both have handed defeats to teams that we predicted to beat them (Merseyside beat Shropshire and Chester beat Manchester when we said they’d lose).

Chester have surprised somewhat. They reached the playoffs dubiously last year, nosing in ahead of Manchester due to a tied game that wasn’t played due to the weather. However this year their rookies of last year are showing incredible development.
And the Nighthawks are similar. They suffered a 1-9 season in Division 1 but their rookies of last year have learnt a lot and have clicked as a unit. This is going to be a battle of a game where home field advantage could count for everything.
Merseyside Nighthawks to win by one score

Manchester Titans vs. Staffordshire Surge
The Titans have somewhat fallen from grace. They were flying high just two games ago, sitting atop our Power Rankings, but then defeats to Chester and Shropshire in back to back weeks saw them tumble straight out of the top 10. 

However we must remember they are still a young team that had a massive turnover this off season and they’ll be eager to prove that against the Surge.

Staffordshire continue to battle with a small squad and have been scoring more points this season than last but they will struggle against Manchester, especially in Salford.
Manchester Titans to win by five scores or more

National South Central

Kent Exiles vs. Watford Cheetahs
A convincing win over rivals Essex last weekend has seen the Exiles improve to a 3-1 record to keep their hopes of playoff football alive. With the top two teams in their conference playing this weekend, the Exiles could find themselves moving into the number two seed should they overcome the Watford Cheetahs this weekend.

After a 2-0 start to the season, the Cheetahs have been in a decline, losing to three of the four teams above them in the table. Should the Cheetahs lose to the Exiles that unfortunate record will now read as four straight losses to the four teams sitting above them in the rankings, battling it out for a playoff spot. That’s not a good record to have.

Exiles to continue their winning ways with a one score victory

Colchester Gladiators vs. Bedfordshire Blue Raiders
There’s some juicy games lined up this weekend, but this may be the best of the best (Merseyside and Chester players may argue otherwise) as the 3-0 Colchester Gladiators play host to the 4-0 Bedfordshire Blue Raiders.

The Gladiators improved to 3-0 last weekend thanks to an impressive 34-13 over the Watford Cheetahs, and the Gladiators are now looking like they’ll be one of the two teams to represent the South Central division when the playoffs roll around.

 Unlike the Gladiators, the Blue Raiders were on a bye last weekend meaning the team had an extra practice session to prepare for this huge clash. If the Blue Raiders defence can perform to a similar standard to their first two games (two shutouts), the Blue Raiders will be in the driving seat to win the South Central crown.

Tough one to pick, but we have to pick a winner. Therefore, we’re going to go with...Colchester by a score.

Essex Spartans vs. Maidstone Pumas
We’ve gone from a potential game of the week to a potential snore of the week as the 0-4 Essex Spartans take on the 0-4 Maidstone Pumas. Then again, sometimes it’s the games that feature teams with losing records that produce the most entertaining games.

Before last weekend’s defeat to the Kent Exiles, the Spartans team had given a good account of themselves, with their highest margain of defeat being 14-0. However, the Spartans were picked apart by the Exiles and ended losing by five scores. With the Pumas heading to town this weekend, the Spartans will be expecting to pick up their first win of the season.

We know we shouldn’t be so harsh on the Pumas, but it’s really hard to find positives for a team who are averaging 1.5 points per game whilst conceding an average of 57.25 points per game...Therefore, instead we’re going to pitch this idea to someone, anyone, you – random Double Coverage fan! Maidstone Pumas vs. Worcester Royals. Let’s see who the worst team in the country truly is.

Essex by four scores

National South

Farnham Knights vs. Bournemouth Bobcats
Before the season began, a group of people would’ve thought this game would be a game featuring two teams battling for a playoff spot. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as the Knights and Bobcats battle it out in a clash between the bottom two teams in their division.

A 19-0 loss to the Solent Thrashers all but ended (more than likely ended) the Knights slim hopes of making the post season this season as the team dropped to a 1-3 record. With a tough schedule left to play, this game may be the Knights last chance of a victory this season. We doubt that will be the case though.

Following their 14-2 loss to the Bristol Apache, the Bobcats dropped to 0-5 and look set to end the season with the worst record in the National South. However, looking at their results, it suggests that the Bobcats are a team with a good defence and a less than impressive O (the Bobcats haven’t reached the 14 point mark this season). With their playoff hopes over, it may be time for the Bobcats coaches to start playing around with their offence. Add an offence who can score to their impressive D, and the Bobcats may cause a few upsets this season!

Knights to win this one by a couple of scores

Swindon Storm vs. Gloucester Centurions
Following an opening week victory over the Bournemouth Bobcats, the Storm have been on the receiving end of a couple of heavy defeats courtesy of the Apache and Knights, dropping the team to a 1-2 record, and things don’t look like they’ll get any better for the Storm as their next six opponents have records of .500 or better.

As mentioned in previous predictions, the Centurions look like they’re a team on the up and have shown a great deal of improvement in their opening two games of the season. A convincing win over the Apache followed by a narrow one score defeat to the Thrashers shows that the purple wearing cheese rollers can compete with the best that the National South has to offer. Expect this team to be battling for a playoff spot later on in the season.

Centurions by two scores


Cornish Sharks vs. Bristol Apache
Two weeks since their heavy loss to the Apache, the Sharks now place host to the second placed team in their division. Following their heavy loss to the Bristol unit, the Cornish team’s ethics were brought into question after a video showed one of their players taking a dive. There was one plus side to the video coming out, it took the attention away from their lopsided loss...

A 14-2 victory over the Bournemouth Bobcats earned the Apache a 4-1 record and the number two spot in their division. With their offence continuously posting at least two scores per game, the Apache team are showing that they’re one of the teams to beat this season. If they can repeat their performance of two weeks ago, Bristol should be a firm favourite to make the post season.


Apache by a score

7 comments:

  1. So You rank Bedford above Colchester in the Power Rankings, and then predict Colchester to beat Bedfordshire this week - some inconsistency there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the writers who do the predictions and rankings are different people meaning they have different views and opinions?

      Delete
  2. Where's apache at the sharks? word on the street is its going to be game of the weekend

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  3. Are you not putting up a prediction for Bristol Apache @ Cornish Sharks??

    ReplyDelete
  4. I see double coverage is no longer interested in gatesheads d.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sharks - Apache game has been added. Apologises for missing it off.

    ReplyDelete
  6. BBR shouldn't even be in the power rankings! Frigin nuts!! they will go 5-6 this season. The southern conference is Glads, Exiles, and Pathinfinders in that order, may will most likley end in that order. BBR played the weakest teams first, and has the easiest of the schedules. I'm surprised you couldn't see that. Pumas, Essex, in their first 4 wins, and the win vs Watford was all on watfords mistakes, not BBR's merits.

    ReplyDelete

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