BAFA NL ’19 | Power Rankings: Premiership Week Twelve

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 (1-7-0) | Down One

Farnham find themselves back on the bottom rung as the Wolves leap up the rankings following an impressive Week Twelve win.

Though we won’t see the Knights in action until Week Fifteen, expect them to be putting in the work on the practice field as one win between now and end of the season could be crucial in ensuring they don’t see yet another drop down to Division One football.

 

11. Kent Exiles (2-5-0) | Down One

The Exiles couldn’t keep the Olympians in check during the second half and as such the Kent side continue to stand worryingly close to the cliff edge.

Though they’ve impressed at points this season, particularly with their two wins over the Aztecs, the Farnham Knights are breathing down their necks, eager to ensure Kent are one-and-done s’far as seasons in the top tier are concerned.

It’s not likely that Kent’ll be grabbing a much-needed win this weekend, however, as they play host to the Warriors.

 

 

10. Leicester Falcons (2-5-0) | Down One

Shifts elsewhere see the Falcons drop a spot, as rumours surround the most recent addition to the Prem North that significant changes in leadership might be brewing.

For the Falcons players and coaches, however, their focus needs to be solely on the field of play – they currently hold an edge over both the Wolves and Giants, but ideally would want to pick up a win in one of their next three outings to really lock up another year in the top tier – one where, best as I can tell, there’d be nothing stopping their ‘Baker Boys’ participating in 2020!

Sunday sees them travel to the Nighthawks, and both teams can pretty much consider every game from here as nigh-on must-wins.

 

9. Bristol Aztecs (2-5-0) | No Change

The Aztecs lose, but hold firm in #9 as they actually held the lead for a fair portion of Sunday’s battle with the Blitz.

Though the London side eventually racked up the necessary scores for the win in the second-half, it’s apparent the gap between the Blitz and the rest of the Prem South has closed this year.

The Aztecs take a trip to the Os this weekend with a win not only allowing them to move closer to clinching the #3 spot they let go of in 2018, but also moving them within touching distance of ensuring there’s no possibility of them dropping to Div One over the offseason.

 

8. Edinburgh Wolves (2-6-0) | Up Four

The Wolves clearly took their #12 placement last week to heart, and used it to fuel by far their most impressive performance of the season so far – an all-around team performance that made them the first ‘lower half’ Prem North outfit to poach a win away from the three frontrunners, and utterly shake up the shape of the conference, to boot!

Though they’re still currently sat in the drop spot, their big win at the weekend in fact gives the Wolves an edge over the Giants and Falcons – odds are a single win from their remaining two fixtures should be enough to secure their spot in the top tier.

Can they make it two upsets in a row in their trip to Tamworth?

Else circle the Week Sixteen fight with the Falcons in your calendars as a possible relegation decider, with the Wolves known to put in their strongest performances on their home turf.

 

 

7. Sheffield Giants (2-6-0) | Down One

Though they didn’t take the field themselves last weekend, the Giants were nonetheless one of the teams most impacted by the weekend’s results, as the Wolves’ win allows them to gain ground on their two rivals for the drop spot.

There’s a very real possibility that the Giants will need at least another win to guarantee themselves premiership football in 2020, but that’s no easy task with their remaining outings seeing them take on Manchester and Merseyside teams, neither of whom can afford a slip-up, and both of which held the Giants to zero points in their meetings earlier this summer.

 

 

6. London Olympians (4-3-0) | Up One

A strong second half performance saw the Os rise above the Exiles for a second time this season, as the lower two-thirds of the Prem South continue to see a fairly mystifying set of overlapping heads that rivals the top half of the Prem North!

The Olympians play host to the Aztecs this weekend in a fixture that’ll likely prove crucial in who locks up the #3 spot in the south this season.

 

 

5. Manchester Titans (5-2-0) | Down Three

Ok then. Don’t think many saw that one coming!

Fresh off massive, potentially game-changing wins against the Nighthawks and Phoenix, Manchester suddenly came-a-cropper against an Edinburgh Wolves side that had slipped into the bottom spot in the north!

With drive after drive either stalled by the Wolves defence, or scuppered due to penalties, the Titans high-powered offence we’d been talking up suddenly found itself struggling to put up scores, and worse still allowed their defence that had shut the Wolves out when last they met allowed Edinburgh their biggest scoreline of the season so far!

All of a sudden, the loss leaves the Titans on the back foot and narrowly behind the frontrunners in the race for playoffs.

Given current form across the league? Odds are Titans need to win out from here just to see postseason football… though doing so would also most likely secure the Prem North title!

 

4. Merseyside Nighthawks (5-2-0) | Up One

The biggest beneficiaries of the Titans’ trip and tumble against the Wolves might well be the Nighthawks, who still hold the head to head over their Mancunian rivals and therefore hold a narrow edge in the race to playoffs.

Hells, win out from here and the crown’s not entirely out of reach for Merseyside, but a 29 point margin of victory over Tamworth to swipe that head to head too will be big ask.

First things first, they need to put together a strong performance against a win-hungry Falcons, this Sunday.

 

3. Tamworth Phoenix (6-1-0) | Up One

Tamworth return to the top three thanks to the Titans tripping up against the Wolves.

Though they got the better of the Falcons following their loss to Manchester, we’re yet to really see the midlands outfit return to the sort of form we’ve come to expect from them in recent seasons.

However, the surprise Week Twelve loss for Manchester has certainly eased some pressure on the Prem North frontrunners and if they can claim a comprehensive win over the Wolves this Saturday, something along the lines of the 0-50 scoreline they put up when the two teams met earlier this summer, then they’ll go into their crucial final fixtures of the year confident of winning out and securing the Northern crown once again.

 

2. London Blitz (6-2-0) | Up One

The Blitz returned to winning ways, but I suspect the 8-20 scoreline was far from the convincing display they would have liked to put out following their gruelling Week Eleven loss.

At this point they’re taking the #2 spot as much because there’s no clear top dog in the North, along with their well-earned reputation as perennial bowl contenders.

 

1. London Warriors (7-0-0) | No Change

One of our regular rankers jested about putting the Warriors in every spot last week… and honestly, it does feel like the margin between them and the rest of the Prem teams should be bigger than a single rank.

Maybe just try to think of it as 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2…………………. 1.

 


 

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