In the top tier, the Pirates will be looking to bounce back from their Tamworth thumping in the North, whilst the Warriors will be looking to keep the pressure on the Blitz in the South.
East Kilbride Pirate vs Merseyside Nighthawks
After getting a thorough seeing to by the ‘Nix, EKP look to bounce back against a strong and confident Nighthawks side. The Pirates failed to score last weekend, the first time this season and will be looking to correct the shed load of missed opportunities they had. After being gifted possession on the opening kick-off the pirates did not manage to execute, which became the story of the entire game. The previously strong EKP offence lead by QB Neil Baptie seemed to have some trouble getting started and never really did. The Pirates being the organisation they are will no doubt be working on these issues which prevented them from scoring and come Sunday be ready to ball out once again.
Meanwhile the Nighthawks have come off a bye week having won their last game against the Wolverines. The Nighthawks have shown they can learn from their mistakes, after narrowly beating the wolverines in their first meeting to dominating in their second. If this is any indication to go by, the Nighthawks will be extremely prepared for the coming contest. Also knowing that the Pirates have come off such a defeat will give confidence to the nighthawks to take advantage and move on up into the second spot.
This game is quite hard to call. Throughout the season I’ve gone down the safe route and picked the team which looks the best on paper. On paper the nighthawks look to be the weaker team, but we all know that football isn’t played on paper. Nighthawks to win.
Sheffield Giants vs Lancashire Wolverines
The clash of the bottom feeders. As I mentioned last week, this game will be extremely important for both teams. I had previously predicted that this match up would be the only opportunity for either team to pick up a win, however after last weeks upset the Giants have managed to put themselves in a power position this week.
After seeing off the Wolves, the Giants are going into this game with a truck load of confidence. QB Brad Thompson will be looking to lead the team with offensive weapons Sam Broughton and Josh Allen helping on the ground and through the air. The Giants coaching staff will be looking to take this momentum and push the team out of the bottom and finish the season still able to play Prem ball. They have the firepower to outscore the Wolverines, and it will come down to defensive leaders such as Sam Fossey and Felix Titherley to hold onto whatever lead the Giants can create.
Over at Lancashire, the Wolverines should start to get worried. With the Giants picking up wins and the Wolverines still to put a W on the board the pressure is on. As mentioned in previous weeks, this is possibly the only match up where the Wolverines were not underdogs, well was. The Wolverines now come into the match up the underdogs and will have to begin their fight for survival.
This one is easy for me. The Giants have shown they can put up points, they have previously lost due to small errors on their part. It seems they have managed to fix those errors, the Wolverines on the other hand seem to still be making them. Giants to win.
Bristol Aztecs vs London Warriors
These 2 teams only met each other in Week 8 and here we are in Week 11 for the 2nd of 3 match ups for this season. After a closer game than I believe the Warriors would have liked in their first meet on 4th June, they did come away with the win scoring 34 points to Bristol’s 14. The Warriors apparently have smaller numbers when travelling to away games than to their home games so this weekend they may not have a big squad size. We will have to see if they bring their normally large squad size and get another win against the Aztecs.
The Aztecs will be feeling pleased from their last performance against the Warriors with the final score not reflecting the game in the slightest. Knowing that they play the Warriors again before the end of the season could linger in the minds of the players this weekend and so they will need to do everything they can to focus on the game at hand. Head Coach Chris Powles said that they know it will be another tough match in what has been a brutal stretch. The first game we did well for the majority of the game, made a lot of stops on D and scored some points but a couple of 4th quarter special teams mistakes allowed the game to get out of reach. The Aztecs had a light session Sunday working on their kicking game.
Coach Powles said they know that to win in the Prem South they have to be able to play well in all 3 phases, this Sunday will see the team hit the midpoint of the season and they hope the second half will bring more wins than the first. I think the Warriors will win but the Aztecs could give them a good game.