The first of the Division Two finals taking place at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Sunday sees the undefeated Wembley Stallions face off against the one-loss Berkshire Renegades to decide the winner of the SFC2. Both sides are guaranteed promotion to Division One for 2018.
Wembley Stallions vs Berkshire Renegades
The Stallions are riding the hottest of hot streaks in the SFC2. An unbeaten regular season, winning the SFC2 East conference in the process, has been extended in to the post-season with victories over Hertfordshire Cheetahs (27-0) and Portsmouth Dreadnoughts (33-6) in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
With a defense ranked #2 in the entire BAFA National Leagues on points per game against (6.3; Glasgow Tigers ranked #1 with 5.3), the Stallions racked up shutout victories in half of their regular season wins, with East Kent Mavericks the only side to score points against the Stallions defense in both games against Wembley. The offense, meanwhile, has been solid rather than spectacular.
Surpassing the burger mark only once during the season (a 63-0 win over rookie outfit East Essex Sabres), Wembley are averaging 34.5 points per game through twelve fixtures in 2017.
Since the opening day beat down at the hands of Hertfordshire Cheetahs, the Renegades have torn through the SFC2 South on their route to the SFC2 final. The #3 ranked Division Two offense (#4 across the BAFA National Leagues) put up huge scores during the regular season, including the second highest points scored in a single game as they handed Maidstone Pumas a 91-0 shellacking in late-July.
After disposing of the 7-3 East Kent Mavericks in the quarter-finals, the Renegades pulled off the upset – although probably not in their own eyes – when they knocked out the #2 ranked Bristol Apache in the semi-finals, defeating Bristol 33-27 in a shootout.
With the exception of the Mavericks, this will be the first time the Stallions have come up against a side capable of outscoring them all season. Could we see the Renegades defeat the top two post-season teams en route to Division One?
We have ourselves a tie! The team is split right down the middle, with six voting in favour of the perfect Stallions and six opting for the Renegades following their impressive win over Bristol Apache in the semi-final. There’s only one thing we can do. We turned to Editor in Chief Nick Wilson-Town to cast the deciding vote…
…and he goes with the Wembley Stallions!