BAFA NL ’19 | Power Rankings: Division Two Week Fifteen

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In the meantime, let’s check out how the Patriots of the #BritballNation see things stacking up in Division Two after the weekend’s action:

Cut:

No cuts this week as we didn’t actually see a great deal of action in Division Two – most of the games either one-sided scorelines of postseason-headed teams laying the beat down, or mid-table clashes without great consequence.

Honourable Mentions

The NFC 2 North finally stirs itself from its lengthy break this coming weekend, and a strong performance from the Dumfries Hunters this weekend would surely shake up the Week Sixteen rankings!

The Torbay Trojans romped to a convincing win against the Sharks on Sunday and I was a tad surprised to not see them reappear in the rankings – missing out by the smallest of margins!

With sixteen teams headed to playoffs and only ten ranking spots to play with, perhaps next year we’ll need to split D2 rankings along the North/South divide?

 

10. Norwich Devils (5-1-1) | No Change

Norwich cling onto their rankings berth, just barely, and will need results elsewhere to go their way if they want to continue this being the case following Week Sixteen. The Devils wrap up their campaign against Maidstone in Week Seventeen.

 

9. Lincolnshire Bombers (4-2-0) | No Change

They’ve locked up playoff football, but the Bombers can still see significant shifts in both their ranking, and more importantly postseason seeding, depending how their final two fixtures of the season go – back to back clashes with the Crewe Railroaders.

Currently in the 6th seed in the North, the #4 spot and hom advantage in the first round is not beyond the Bombers should they put in a pair of strong performances and see results elsewhere go their way as well.

 

8. Leeds Bobcats (5-2-0) | Down Two

The Bobcats take a tumble down the rankings as they found themselves outmuscled by the Spartans for a second time this season.

While they’ve posted up some big scorelines against weaker opposition, Leeds will clearly need to up their game if they want to make a splash in the postseason. They’re guaranteed playoff football, but need to wrap up their regular season with a win against Knottingley this weekend if they want to maintain a strong seeding heading into playoffs.

 

 

7. Bournemouth Bobcats (4-2-0) | No Change

The Bobcats stay put in seventh, their burgering of the Conquerors not enough to see them climb any higher just yet.

They’ll wrap up their season with another clash against Hastings, allowing them to build up some great momentum heading into the playoffs.

Considering how well the South did in last year’s playoffs both the Blitz and Bobcats have to be amongst the favourites for a shot at middle-tier football next season?

 

 

6. Essex Spartans (7-0-0) | Up Two

Spartans seal the deal on the SFC 2 East crown with a win over the Mavericks, and though they still have a hotly-anticipated clash with the Cardinals to play out in Week Seventeen, they’re finally starting to see the rise up the ranking they feel they’ve deserved all season long (if still, admittedly, the lowest-ranked of the six remaining undefeated teams…)

Their climb up the D2 pyramid has likely been hindered by the comparatively small talent gap in the East – we’re simply not seeing the big blowout scorelines that have been commonplace in other conferences in the bottom tier this season, and without these flashy numbers the Spartans have clearly struggled to catch the eye of our Patreons. Of course, the Spartans do have a distinct advantage in some numbers that matter a lot more – points conceded, which currently have the Spartans in the #1 seed spot.

All that said, there’s no better time to prove they’ve deserved a higher ranking all season long than by first finishing their season on a high with a big win over Ipswich, and following it up with dominant wins in the playoffs, a la the Essex University Blades who attracted minimal notice during the previous BUCS season, before coming away with a D2 South title!

 

5. South Wales Warriors (7-0-0) | Down One

Perhaps a hangover from their disappointing outing against the Trojans in Week Thirteen, the Warriors slip yet another spot.

They head to a bye before hosting the Sharks in Week Seventeen and their focus will likely be on ensuring they concede as few points as possible to keep an edge in the seedings over the Blitz.

 

4. Clyde Valley Blackhawks (6-0-0) | Up One

Oddly, even without a game in the past month the Blackhawks climb a spot – perhaps in anticipation of the Scottish side securing the NFC 2 North title when they take on the Hunters this weekend?

 

 

3.  London Blitz B (7-0-0) | Down One

 

The Blitz Bs stormed to victory over the Raptors in Week Fifteen… however, despite the lopsided 16-68 scoreline the fixture actually might be seen as something of a step backwards for the side from the capital. Sixteen points is the highest total they’ve conceded since a shootout opener against the Bobcats, and Sunday saw the Blitz slip below the South Wales Warriors in the southern seedings.

As such their final fixture against the Storm takes on a greater value as home football at least as far as the semis could be at stake on Sunday.

 

2. Halton Spartans (7-0-0) | Up One

 

Halton secure the programme’s first-ever title with a comfortable-looking win over the Bobcats.

They’ll wrap up their regular season hosting the Storm in a live-streamed week Seventeen game, before facing what might well be their first true test of the summer once they hit playoffs.

Touch wood, home-field advantage means we’ll see yet more streams out of the Spartans’ swanky home stadium, but in the interim their focus needs to be on ensuring their D finishes out the year with a shutout – the top seedings in the North are all about points conceded at this point.

 

 

1. Birmingham Bulls (7-0-0) | No change.

Brum stay put in the top spot as they head into another bye weekend.

Last weekend they were able to watch their buffer over the other top northern contenders increase, as the Spartans conceded points against the Bobcats (admittedly only 6) meaning the Bulls currently have a three-scores-conceded advantage over the Spartans from the Central.

Poetically, the Bulls wrap up their campaign with a victory lap against last season’s champions, the Surge, in Week Seventeen.

 


 

This year we’ll also be tracking the rise and fall of each team in the rankings throughout the season with this handy graphic!

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1