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In the meantime, let’s check out how the Patriots of the #BritballNation see things stacking up in Division Two tier after the weekend’s action:
No cuts this week.
Eyes peeled for the NFC 2 North’s teams to make a reappearance in these rankings soon… once we finally see their teams back in action – both the Inverclyde Goliaths and Dumfries Hunters are headed to playoffs and could yet cause a shake up in the postseason.
10. Norwich Devils (5-1-1) | No Change
A clutch Week Thirteen win from the Devils that locks up playoff football.
Truthfully, I’m surprised to not see them climb higher, but the SFC 2 East doesn’t seem to be getting much love this season, perhaps after they underperformed (outside the Blitz Bs) in the playoffs last year.
They’re still in the running for a title, and while they’ll be confident of getting the better of the Pumas the truth is they’ll need the Spartans to come up short in at least one of their remaining fixtures, too.
9. Lincolnshire Bombers (4-2-0) | Down Two
A bit of a scrappy performance from the Bombers against a Warhawks side that have been building momentum sees Lincolnshire drop two spots despite their win.
They wrap up their season with back to back games against the Railroaders, but already holding the head-to-head over Staffs means the Bombers are securely locked into the playoffs and now just playing for seeding – their next two fixtures will be more about conceding as few points as possible, rather than racking up hefty scorelines. (And, of course, winning.)
8. Essex Spartans (6-0-0) | Up One
Spartans sneak up a spot into eighth.
As mentioned with the Devils, the SFC 2 East is tough to get a grip on this year as there’s three teams that you really feel on any given Sunday could shake things up and snatch away a clutch victory.
They know they’re headed to the playoffs, and a win against the Mavericks locks up a crown.
7. Bournemouth Bobcats (4-2-0) | Up One
Bobcats climb courtesy of the Bombers taking a dive.
They finally return to the field after a full month’s break with a clash against the Conquerors on Sunday.
Strictly speaking, Bournemouth aren’t yet locked into playoffs… but considering the struggles the Conquerors have had this season with roster depth, the Bobcats can feel pretty confident of rounding out their campaign with a couple of big wins, and potentially a shot at snatching the lone second-place home berth.
6. Leeds Bobcats (5-1-0) | No Change
Leeds can secure playoff football with a win this weekend, but odds are they’ll have their work cut out for them against an as-yet undefeated Halton Spartans.
Leeds came up well short when the two teams last met, but they’ve been the only team to really even make the Spartans sweat so far this season, and the Bobcats have been putting up some pretty convincing numbers lately – two big shutout wins ahead their walkover win in Week Thirteen.
Will their momentum, combined with home-field advantage, be enough to shake things up in the NFC 2 Central?
5. Clyde Valley Blackhawks (6-0-0) | No Change
Much like the SFC 2 East, the NFC 2 North can probably feel justifiably snubbed this season – the undefeated Blackhawks the lone ranked team out of a region that sent the Roughnecks up to D1 football last summer.
We’ll still have to wait another week to see the Scotsmen in action once again, making it more than a month between fixtures played out on the field for the Blackhawks.
Perhaps the reason our pollsters won’t push any Northern outfits higher up the ranks is because it’s still ultimately unclear who’s going to finish where – while we know all three teams will extend their year into the postseason, reality is any of the ‘Hawks, Goliaths or Hunters could yet emerge wearing the crown.
4. South Wales Warriors (7-0-0) | Down Three
The Warriors may have sealed the deal on the Western Crown, but I suspect they would have liked to do it in a rather more convincing fashion than a 10-6 scoreline against a team they’d dominated just a week prior.
The drop off in performance sees a big drop off in ranking – not only relinquishing the #1 spot from Week Twelve, but slipping from the top three altogether.
It’s rather poor timing for the Welsh side to be losing momentum, as they’ll be eager to avoid repeating their disappointing postseason performances from 2018.
They’re back in action in Week Seventeen, hosting the Sharks.
3. Halton Spartans (6-0-0) | Up One
Once we get to this area of the rankings, we’re pretty much splitting hairs between teams that have each already proven themselves a cut above the rest of their rivals.
What’s more, it’s almost impossible to ever truly know who should be where when looking at teams from either side of the north/south divide, as in this tier they’ll never actually meet to settle it once and for all.
The Spartans shimmy up to three as they get a chance to seal the deal on the Central title this Sunday.
Halton have looked largely unchallenged all season long, but the Bobcats should be coming into this one with great momentum and hungry for an upset.
2. London Blitz B (6-0-0) | Up One
The Blitz stay put in third, having locked up their inaugural SFC 2 South a couple weeks ago. They’re now playing for seeding – hoping to ship as few points as possible in their remaining two fixtures, both of which are expected to be comfortable wins.
They return from a month away from the gridiron to take on the Raptors this weekend.
1. Birmingham Bulls (7-0-0) | Up One
The Bulls return to the top spot as the Warriors failed to impress in Week Thirteen. Of course, Birmingham’s second fifty burger of the season might have helped snag a few extra votes too!
They’re sat in the #1 seed spot in the North, with just a single figure to play out in a couple of weeks and a reasonable buffer between themselves and the other undefeated teams in the north when looking at average points conceded… That said, you know the Surge will be looking to finish out their year on a high, potentially by scuppering the seeding of the team that’s swiped their title in 2019?
This year we’ll also be tracking the rise and fall of each team in the rankings throughout the season with this handy graphic!