East Kilbride Pirates vs. Doncaster Mustangs
The first game of the season that sees two of the Premiership North’s big three square off when the Doncaster Mustangs travel up to Scotland to take on the East Kilbride Pirates.
It’s been a good start to the season for the Pirates so far. Two games, two wins by over 30 points and two shutouts. Now though, the team will face their first real test of the season when they take on the 4-0 Mustangs. Should the Pirates come out on top, they’ll be odds on favourites to win the Premiership North crown.
The Mustangs have got off to a flying start and have comfortably beaten all their opposition to race to a 4-0 start. However, despite being four games into the season, the Mustangs are yet to face a team who have won more than one game. If the Pirates defence can’t cover Martyn Lee, the Mustangs will lose the ranking of third best team in the north and improve their record to 5-0.
Pirates to edge it like last season. EKP by a score
Tamworth Phoenix vs. Nottingham Caesars
Tamworth extended their record to 3-0 last weekend with a 19-0 victory over the Coventry Jets. What’s impressive about the Phoenix 3-0 record is the fact they still haven’t conceded any points this season, and that stat probably won’t change this weekend when they take on the lowly Nottingham Caesars.
Considering their impressive run of form at the start of last season, the Caesars have been anything but impressive this year as they’ve slumped to a 0-3 record. Barring an upset that would throw the Prem North on its head, we’re expecting the Caesars to drop to 0-4 this weekend.
Phoenix by three scores
London Blitz vs. Cambridgeshire Cats
In their only second outing of the season the Blitz face off against the Cats. While this may only be their second game they have still seen two games of action against the Towers in the EFAF Cup with a somewhat surprisingly early exit from the competition. It’s hard to say whether the Blitz are a team that start to step up gears as the year goes on, as they had so much success in the previous years in both the EFAF cup and Eurobowl which fall typically early in the season, however they do seem to start stepping it for the national league as the year progresses with their offence clicking a little more.
The Cats have been one of the standout teams that has started to separate itself from the pack of other division one teams to start snapping at the heels of the lower seeded playoff teams from last year Bristol and the O’s. The question is, can they turn it on enough to steal a playoff place from one of these teams, and are some of the other teams who haven’t been tested against the big boys also looking like catching up with the Aztecs and O’s (Berkshire put on a respectable performance against Bristol!).
One thing the Blitz do well is maintain focus and keep piling on the points with backups in, this game has the potential for backups to see the field early for the Blitz.
Blitz by 50+
Sussex Thunder vs. Bristol Aztecs
The first real test for the Thunder against a bona fide premiership opponent sees them face off against the Aztecs who have had a rather torrid start to their season. With their toughest games behind them the Aztecs must now maintain focus and take each game as it comes, while the Thunder narrowly won against a team the Aztecs beat convincingly they cannot afford to be complacent as Sussex are the most worthy new premiership south team by being the division 1 champions.
Sussex have been looking rather pedestrian so far, but seem to be picking up week by week, however I don’t see them toppling Bristol.
Bristol by three scores
East Kent Mavericks vs. London Olympians
A potential game of the week here. East Kent have shown they can win games, with a high scoring affair against South Wales and a very close game against Berkshire, but as has been said this week already, this is their first real test against a premiership team.
One thing can be said of the Mavs is that their coaches made some ballsy decisions going for the 2pt conversion for the last play of the game, but you live by the sword, die by the sword.
The Olympians must be a bit bored of having so many bye weeks, but they can be safe in the knowledge they now have 4 games in 5 weeks, so lots of time to take out some aggression. The O’s have stepped it up on Defence this year, looking tougher; however they need to get their offence productive if they want to compete with the big boys.
There’s a reason the Olympians are still #2 on the rankings, let’s hope they earn that spot this weekend.
Olympians by 3 scores
Berkshire Renegades vs. London Warriors
The Warriors are 4 games in, nearing the mid-way point when their closest rivals have taken the field once, you do wonder why the season needs to be so long to span April to October when there has been such little activity in the division so far.
Berkshire must be reeling from the East Kent loss in a game which seemed marred by penalties and some offensive hiccups with a couple of fumbles being mentioned. The Renegades will have to tighten up that ball security with the ball hungry defence of the Warriors hot on their heels.
Unfortunately for the Renegades, the Warriors will no doubt be turning up with every intention of getting a big win, and it’s hard to see any different outcome.
Warriors by 50+