On to the top flight now, and an intriguing match-up between two hot sides in the Premier North as Sheffield Giants take on Merseyside Nighthawks.
Lancashire Wolverines vs Tamworth Phoenix
Possibly the least important game of the season. The Wolverines have near enough guaranteed demotion to Division One going into the hardest game they will play. Tamworth who are undefeated thus far look to continue their momentum into the second half of the season.
There is not much to say about Lancashire. The team lost some close games early on and have not found their footing the entire season. After losing to the Giants, they do not have much hope of staying in the top flight without some major improvements on both sides of the ball. That being said they have scored in almost all of their games…every cloud.
Meanwhile, Tamworth will come into this game looking to do what Tamworth do. They have shown they have offensive weapons in the form of Elliott Walters and Will Hussey who are anchored by a strong OLine who consists of Josh Gaff and GB talent Tom Levick. It will be interesting to see if what the depth is like at the Nix. They have an opportunity within this game to get some of their second third string players some important reps. OC Dan Smith will no doubt still expect the same type of fire power as the starters have should the second and third stringers get a shot. 2nd string QB Oscar Russell who has had little game time may get to see the field in this match-up… #LIONS.
This is an easy one to call. The Wolverines will been a miracle to beat the Nix. The Nix to win by a landslide.
Sheffield Giants vs Merseyside Nighthawks
A much more interesting game than the Nix-Wolverines matchup. The hot Giants take on the strong Nighthawks in a match up that has the potential to blow the play offs wide open.
The Nighthawks have come off an impressive win over the pirates and have looked strong in their last couple of games. As usual the offence went out and put up major points against the veteran pirates. Ben Robinson and Harry Routledge lead the team to an early lead and didn’t look back. The defence also stepped up after have some shakey games with CB Vijay masaun snagging himself a pick. The Nighthawks stole the number 2 spot from the Pirates, now it is up to them to hold onto it.
Sheffield are coming into the game hot. After beating out the Wolves and spanking the Wolverines, the Giants look to continue their ascent up the table by beating the Nighthawks. This will not be an easy task and QB Brad Thompson will need to make sure everyone is on the same page as they were against the wolverines.
This is much harder to call. The Giants have proved me wrong already this season, however the Nighthawks have just gotten better as the season has progressed. I don’t see an upset happening but I will not be surprised if it does. Nighthawks to win.
London Blitz vs Bury Saints
This is the second match up for these two teams in as many games after coming face to face in week 10 and now again in week 12. Unfortunately for Bury it seems they have lost their starting QB Fred Boyle due to the concussion protocol and his eventual return is unknown. The Saints travelled with a smaller roster size than normal and this was reflected in the score with them losing 69-9. With the heat, the small squad and their tough competition the Saints unfortunately only managed the one TD. This weekend they will hope that their numbers rise as players come back from injuries and if the heat stays away they may be able to get more than one score on the board.
The Blitz are sitting at 6-0 and so far will be feeling pretty pleased with their performance. Having scored a 50 Burger and then some against the Saints in their last match up the Blitz should be feeling confident as they head into this game. The Blitz defense had a killer game last time with multiple defensive touchdowns and fumble recoveries. DB Dotun Ademiju continues to dominate on the field after three picks against Bury meaning he’s had six picks in five games. Ademiju is currently two away from the Blitz season record for defensive picks.
Blitz are likely to take advantage of the fact that the Saints are without Boyle again and continue their winning streak. The Blitz should win this one.
Farnham Knights vs Bristol Aztecs
The Knights have had two weeks off after their difficult defeat to the Warriors in week 9, this week they host the Aztecs in the second match up for these two teams this season. After managing to get two scores on the Aztecs at the start of the season the team will be feeling confident that they should be able to get some scores on the board and avoid a shutout. With the majority of their tough games out of the way the Knights only have four games left for the season and are currently averaging 20 points per game. The Knights will be hoping the home field advantage can help them this weekend.
The Aztecs were without a couple of their strongest players on the weekend and this showed in the game, the last time the Aztecs played the Warriors the difference between scores was only 10 points whereas Sunday it was 33. This weekend they head for only their second away game of the season to the Knights.
With the Aztecs starting QB Gareth Thomas another player to be ruled out they will continue their season with QB Simon George who has led them in their past few games and who the Aztecs have the confidence in to compete for the rest of the season. I think the Aztecs will win.