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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:
The Dumfries Hunters slip off the bottom of the rankings by the narrowest of margins as another team climbs.
The Ipswich Cardinals and Bristol Apache continue to pick up votes, but not enough to earn themselves a reappearance just yet.
10. Norwich Devils (4-1-1) | Re-Entry
Conversely, the Norwich Devils reappear in the rankings following their first loss of the season!
They more than held their own against visiting SFC 2 East frontrunners, the Spartans, leading through the majority of the game before the Spartans stole away the win with a late score.
Another crucial matchup beckons for the Devils in Week Thirteen as we see the second leg of the East Anglian derby – Norwich and Ipswich held one another to a draw when they last met – which team will take the edge this time around?
9. Essex Spartans (6-0-0) | Down Three
The Spartans undefeated record stays intact, just barely, but it was enough of a scare to see them slip a fair chunk down the rankings into ninth.
The only team out of the East that held their own in the postseason last summer were the Blitz, who have now hopped conferences, so perhaps this is why the closely-matched teams at the top of the SFC 2 East are struggling to climb the pyramid, despite their strong competitive records.
8. Bournemouth Bobcats (4-2-0) | Up One
Bobcats rise a rank as the Spartans slide to ninth.
When we finally see them again in Week Fifteen it’ll be to take on the winless Conquerors, with a Bobcats victory locking up postseason action.
7. Lincolnshire Bombers (3-2-0) | Up One
Similarly, the Bobcats shimmy up a spot, despite their loss to the Bulls and only boasting a 3-2-0 record at this point in the season.
However, they’ll see themselves on the home stretch from here, confident that if they can play to form they’ll win out their remaining three fixtures… Though they perhaps need to be somewhat wary of the visiting Warhawks this weekend, fresh off a surprise win against the Surge.
6. Leeds Bobcats (4-1-0) | Up One
We keep seeing comments that the Bobcats are overrated, but that hasn’t stopped the Yorkshire side rising into the vacated #6 spot this week.
They would return from a two week break against the Phantoms this Sunday, but with Furness withdrawing due to a lack of available coaches the walkover win will see Leeds advance to 5-1 on the season, all-but securing playoff football short of losing out their remaining three fixtures including a defeat of 45 points or more versus the Raiders.
The Bobcats will be back on the field in Week Fifteen with a likely-title-deciding matchup against the table-topping Halton Spartans.
5. Clyde Valley Blackhawks (6-0-0) | No Change
Despite their perfect record on the season so far, the Blackhawks continue to remain outside the rotation of teams contesting the top spots in the D2 rankings.
They’re the lone outfit in the North with two fixtures remaining on their slate and would need to lose both, and by h2h stealing margins, to miss out on a crown…
Either way, we’ll have to wait until Week Sixteen to see more of them.
4. Halton Spartans (6-0-0) | Down One
Seems pretty harsh to see the Spartans drop, despite stamping up a 0-47 victory on the road to the Raiders at the weekend!
The problem appears to be that when all of the top contenders are winning big, the margins between a podium place and slipping out of the medals are increasingly small!
Halton have the chance to seal the deal on the NFC 2 Central crown they missed out on last year when they travel to the Bobcats in Week Fifteen.
3. London Blitz B (6-0-0) | Up One
Despite smashing up 60+ points and securing a second straight title, the Blitz B’s only see a modest rise in this week’s rankings.
They made short work of the visiting Raptors, who appear to be risking extinction considering how few players they travelled with last weekend.
Though the Crown’s locked up, there’s still seeding to play for, so don’t expect the Blitz to entirely let their foot off the gas in their final two fixtures – we’ll see them next against the Raptors once more, in Week Fifteen.
2. Birmingham Bulls (6-0-0) | No Change
The Bulls lock up the top spot in the NFC 2 South with a smooth-looking victory over the Bombers.
Their outstanding defence has held firm all season long, currently positioning them in the #1 northern seed spot should they win out from here and continue to keep opponents out of the end zone.
They travel to a Railroaders side they slammed seventy-plus points on when last the two teams met… Hopefully the Crewe outfit have prepared properly this time around?
1. South Wales Warriors (6-0-0) | No Change
No game, but no change for the Warriors who hold onto the top spot courtesy of their convincing win over closest rivals for the western crown, Torbay, back in Week Eleven.
They’ll take on Torbay once again this weekend, this time on their home turf, with a win sealing the deal on a South Wales’ title for a second season in a row!
This year we’ll also be tracking the rise and fall of each team in the rankings throughout the season with this handy graphic!