Finally, on to the top tier. Will Tamworth continue their charge for the North conference title? Oheeul and Rose share their thoughts ahead of the action this weekend.
Edinburgh Wolves vs Merseyside Nighthawks
Possibly the most difficult game to call as the Wolves take on the Nighthawks after the welcome break. Both teams sitting pretty in the middle of the table, this game will be an important one for the conference. The Nighthawks come in after conceding 50 points to the ‘Nix. whilst the Wolves are coming off a comfortable win.
The Nighthawks have shown over the last 3 games that they are still strong in offensively. They have successfully scored on the ground and in the air in all of their games and will look to keep their offense firing. Having scored the most points against the ‘Nix this season, the Nighthawks will look to use their strong run game to cause problems for the Wolves. With Ben Robinson looking confident and WRs such as Liam Holebrook showing he has big play capability, the Nighthawks are a threat to any side through the air, too.
Meanwhile at the Wolves camp, the coaches will need to try a keep spirits high. Coming off a win it may have been better to not have had the break. That said, the break could have allowed the coaching staff of the young side to correct the small errors which are keeping them in the middle of the pack. The Wolves have some experience in the form of Dave Orr and QB Morrison who have shown they can score past arguably the most talented defenses in the conference.
Overall this will be a hard one to call. Both team are strong and have everything to play for. However just because of fact the Wolves managed to hold Tamworth to a smaller score line than the Nighthawks managed, I have to give the edge to the wolves. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if I was wrong. Wolves to win.
Tamworth Phoenix vs Sheffield Giants
Quite possibly the easier of the games to call, the Giants take on the seemingly unstoppable Tamworth Phoenix. The ‘Nix sit comfortably at the top of the table at 3-0 whilst the Giants languish toward the basement at 0-3.
Giants QB Brad Thompson is no stranger to the ‘Nix, having played for them in the past. It will be up to him and the likes of Josh Allen to try and topple the ‘Nix off their lofty perch. Sheffield’s coaches have had some time to game plan against Tamworth and their aggressive defense, and it will be interesting to see how Sheffield deal with the pressue that the ‘Nix front seven can cause. If they can keep Thompson upright and move the chains they have a shot of causing some trouble.
As for the ‘Nix there isn’t much to say. RBs Elliott Walters and Deji Alli have had great games so far and it will be interesting to see if the break for the BAFCA conference has any negative impact on the side. As mentioned in previous weeks the ‘Nix have struggled at DB, however Hilton Forsyth has stepped up and shown he can play ball.
Overall, this is an easy one to call. The giants have a lot of potential and can make some upsets happen but I do not see them upsetting a team as well rounded as tamworth. Nix to win.
Lancashire Wolverines vs East Kilbride Pirates
The Scottish giants make the journey down to face off with bottom of the barrel Lancashire. The Wolverines have not had a strong start to the season thus far and this game does nothing to help them gain some footing in order to stop the downward spiral into Division One.
Unlike the Giants, the Wolverines have been on the business end of some hefty defeats, namely getting hammered by the ‘Nix Week Five. However, it is never too late to make a comeback. Lancashire have shown some signs of life offensively, scoring points the last few games. With the latest defeat a 3-score loss to Edinburgh, the Wolverines will need to plug the holes on defense if they want any chance at continuing to ball in the Premier.
Meanwhile north of the border, the Pirates will be looking to keep their campaign going strong by taking advantage of a Lancashire side in trouble. EKP will look to capitalise on their momentum and hopefully carry this through into the bye week before taking on their biggest test, the ‘Nix, in Week Ten.
Another easy one to call here. EKP have shown they have the mental strength to make the journey south and come out with the W. The Wolverines will be desperate to try and get things going this season, but it is unlikely they will be able to do so against a hyped up Pirates team. Pirates to win.
Bristol Aztecs vs London Warriors
Aztecs have currently only played two of the Prem South teams and this week go up against their biggest rivals the current National Champs the London Warriors. The Aztecs currently sit at 1-1 having given the Blitz a good game in Week 4 and will need to show their strength if they wish to compete against the strong Warriors side. Defensive Coordinator Coach James Wilford said ‘We are looking forward to Sunday’s game and the challenges it will bring. We know the Warriors are a good program and there’s a reason why they’re national champions. We’ve been preparing hard since our defeat to the Blitz, and Pete Jones has done a great job challenging us defensively in practice and we’ve gotten better because of that. We’ve had some time to get healthy and are looking forward to getting Josh Bailey back on the field.’
Warriors on the other hand have currently played 4 games this season and bar the one point loss to Blitz still look to be the strongest team in the Prem South.
With this Sunday being the first of three match ups against the Aztecs the Warriors could really set the tone for the rest of the season. Their strong team will continue to bring their A game this weekend and I don’t believe the Aztecs will be able to stop them. Warriors to win.
Bury Saints vs Farnham Knights
The Saints come into this game having lost to the Warriors so will be aiming to get back into their stride against Farnham this weekend. The last time these two teams met the Saints won 58-26, if the Saints can dominate on the field again we could see another 50Burger. QB Fred Boyle had a massive game against the Warriors with 270 passing yards and 40 rushing yards and with him at the helm the Saints they should be able to excel this weekend.
The Knights, who are currently 0-4, have been struggling to get started this season and this weekend travel to Bury for their Week 6 rematch. With some of the Knights talent, such as Aaron Sekwalor on offence, they will need to step up their game this weekend if they can hope to score more than 26 points on the Saints side. Offensive Coordinator Peter Fields said ‘0-4! Yeah that is a tough start! There could be lots of things said right now! Excuses made! Are we making mistakes? Yes! Are we playing well enough? No! BUT do we have the big picture clear in our minds? Damn sure we have! Building something great for the future! The path is not always a smooth one but we are staying on it.’
Keeping it simple. Saints to win.