BAFA NL ’19 | Power Rankings: Premiership Week Eight

This year’s Power Rankings for each of the three tiers of the BAFA National Leagues Adult game are being decided EXCLUSIVELY by our Patreon members, so if you want your say on who’s top dog in each tier?

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

 

12. Farnham Knights (0-5-0) | No Change

Truth be told the biggest blow to Farnham this week most likely wasn’t their one-sided defeat to the Warriors, but rather a result from elsewhere in the south as the Aztecs earned their first win of the season, and with some style, over the Olympians.

The result leaves the Knights now adrift as the lone Prem South side without a win to their name, and though they have talented playmakers on both sides of the ball, a rookie-laden roster continues to come up short so far in 2019.

The Aztecs’ first win comes at a particularly poor time for Farnham, as they play host to Bristol this Sunday and will have had this game circled as likely one of their best shots of snatching a potentially top-tier-saving victory this season.

 

11. Kent Exiles (1-2-0) | Down One

Another side that’ll be irked by Bristol’s offence getting its mojo back in Week Eight are the Exiles, who’ll now feel the South West sides breath on their necks.

They’re still ahead of the ‘Tecs in the table courtesy of their Week Six win, but Bristol beating the Olympians is a warning shot that their offence is apparently no longer the anaemic outfit we saw through their opening three outings.

Next up for the Exiles are the Knights in Week Ten, with a win there likely going a long way to securing their Prem credentials for at least another season.

 

10. Leicester Falcons (1-3-0) | Down Two

The Falcons fall to their lowest ranking since joining the top tier after a heavy loss to the Phoenix.

They may have held their own against the defending Northern champs through the first quarter, the two teams holding one another scoreless for the first 15 minutes… but as the game ground on the Phoenix found a spark on offence that the Leicester D didn’t seem to have an answer to.

They still have the majority of their debut top tier season ahead of them, but don’t underestimate the importance of Sunday’s second-leg clash with Sheffield to the Falcons’ season! If they can get the better of the Giants for a second time Leicester will look very likely of locking up Prem football for 2020… Should Sheffield triumph however? Well, the fight to dodge the drop out of the North could get VERY interesting in the latter half of the summer!

 

9. Edinburgh Wolves (1-3-0) | No Change

No action for the Wolves sees them stay put in #9 for a fourth straight week.

With just one win to their name thus far, they’re far from safe in the Prem North and will be oh-too aware that they’ve failed to put up any points in their last two outings.

Even so, Week Nine gives Edinburgh a perfect opportunity to show some teeth as they host a Nighthawks side who are making a strong play for the #2 spot in the North, and with every win counting towards a crucial step away from the drop spot to D1? The Wolves need to look at each game in their packed slate of five-straight fixtures as must-wins!

 

8. London Olympians (2-2-0) | Down Two

The Olympians simply couldn’t get things going through their first three quarters in Bristol, and the unexpected defeat sees them take a tumble down the rankings!

With the margin at one point opening up to a whopping 30 points, the Os clearly didn’t travel well last week, and won’t get much of an opportunity to bounce back when they see action next, playing host to the Warriors in Week Ten.

 

7. Bristol Aztecs (1-3-0) | Up Four

Our Patreons clearly think the ‘Tecs have turned a corner as Bristol are boosted four spots up the rankings courtesy of their first win, and first offensive points, of 2019 – a confident-looking win over the visiting London Olympians.

The win couldn’t come too soon for the South West side as if they want to steal back their #3 spot in the South, every game from here on out will be pretty crucial. With a game each against the Blitz and Warriors still to come, 5-5-0 might be the best record Bristol can expect, which means there’s a very fair chance we could see multiple teams forced to look at tiebreakers to see who takes third place in the South.

The Aztecs hit the road to Farnham this weekend and it’ll be interesting to see if their newfound offence travels.

 

 

6. Sheffield Giants (0-5-0) | Up One

Ummm… Yup!

Without a win to their name, results across the tier continue to see the Giants climb the ranks for a third straight week!

The Giants have certainly proven themselves consistent so far this season – it’s just been, frustratingly for the Giants, the consistent ability to not-quite be able to keep pace with their opponents!

Though the scoreboard might not always look it by the time the dust settles, they’ve been right in every single game this season, courtesy of a stalwart defence.

Sunday’s clash with the visiting Falcons is easily the most crucial fixture of Sheffield’s season so far. They need a win, and ideally by at least 14 points, to swipe the head-to-head and give themselves an edge in the race to dodge the drop.

A second fall against the Falcons could well leave the Giants with a lot of ground to make up in the final four fixtures of their campaign.

 

 

5. Manchester Titans (3-1-0) | No Change

The Titans head into another bye this weekend, having had Week Eight off to contemplate where they came up short in their shootout with the Nighthawks.

We’ll see them next in Week Ten as they travel to the Phoenix for a Saturday showdown.

 

4. Merseyside Nighthawks (3-1-0) | No Change

Merseyside return from a bye to take a trip north of the wall this weekend, looking to do the double over the Wolves and open a gap between themselves and the Titans in the Prem North table.

Outside their tough loss to the Phoenix they’ve been steadily building momentum this season, but it’s also worth noting their strongest performances by far have come at home. Can they maintain their form on the road and pick up their first big away win of the season on Sunday?

 

3. Tamworth Phoenix (5-0-0) | No Change

It seems the Phoenix felt phrustrated with our Patreons for dropping them down into the #3 spot last week, and as such I can’t think they’ll be pleased to stay put in that spot despite their strong performance against the Falcons in Week Eight.

In truth, I woulda personally placed them back above the Blitz this week, as the London side put in a more modest than expected scoreline against the Knights back in Week Seven, but it looks like our Pollsters are looking for yet more from the Phoenix before giving them back the #2 spot.

Might a big win over Manchester in Week Ten be what they’re waiting for?

 

2. London Blitz (5-1-0)

 

The Blitz stay put in second as they head into the second of three bye weeks.

They’ll return in Week Eleven with another hotly-anticipated clash with the Warriors, eager to gain ground on their cross-city rivals.

 

1. London Warriors (5-0-0) | No Change

Credit to Farnham, the 0-70 scoreline hides the fact that their defensive line actually gave the defending Britbowl champs some real problems with pass-rush on Sunday, with star Quarterback Jerome Allen seeing a bit more turf than he’s probably been used to recently!

However, the Warriors ground game looks just as unquenchable as it did last year, and they’ve got talent enough in pretty much every position to score on almost any play, and on either side of the football.

They’ll travel to the Olympians in Week Ten for the first meeting between the two teams 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:

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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