Game of the Week: London Blitz Vs Kent Exiles
The two-time defending champions stamped their authority of the southern division with a powerful display against the upstart Kent Exiles.
After both teams started the season with a pair of highly one-sided victories, the Exiles looked to be establishing themselves as potential challengers to the Blitz’ crown. Four quarters later, however, and the London side have firmly reasserted their dominance over the division with a 32-0 home win. Such score-lines have become routine for the Blitz, but this week’s shutout, capitalising on strong performances in all three phases of the game, is perhaps the most significant so far this year, reminding the division why they came into the season as favourites.
With playmakers like Jamie Bell on defence, the Blitz became the first team this season to stop a rampant George Reynolds led offence, which had been averaging 56 points per game before a disappointing shut out. The postseason however remains very much achievable for the Exiles, but with strong starts from the likes of the Hertfordshire Cheetahs and London Warriors, they will have to play their best football down the stretch.
Cambridgeshire Cats Vs SE Legion
The SE Legion claimed their first win in team history, defeating the Cambridgeshire Cats in a low scoring affair.
A Touchdown and a two-point conversion were enough for the newly formed Southeast Legion to take their first win, with a connection from QB Jacob Boorer to George Davies giving the Legion the edge in an 8-3 win over the Cats. The win will give the young team some much needed confidence heading into their next game against the Solent Seahawks, but if past events are anything to go by, the Legion will need to muster a few more than 8 points if they are to defeat the more experienced side.
Cambridgeshire now fall to 0-3, placing themselves comfortably at the bottom of the table half-way through their season. The Cats, in their first year of 9-man football, are averaging just 3 points per game, no doubt adjusting to the steep learning curve of a tough opening couple of matches and will look to improve as the year goes on.
Chorley Buccaneers Vs East Kilbride Pirates
An unexpectedly tight contest occurred in Chorley, with the Buccaneers keeping pace with the high scoring Pirates for three quarters, before the visitors pulled away in the fourth to win 36-28.
The Pirates, fresh off convincing wins against Yorkshire and Highland, no doubt travelled down to Chorley expecting more of the same, and for the offense at least, the high scoring tradition continued, adding 36 points to their impressive tally. QB Scott McKigen passed for two touchdowns, hitting Ssarien Liddell on yet another fourth down gamble, before finding Christian Rubuga for the game winner. On the ground, Matt Black had another impressive performance, accounting for the other three touchdowns as well as a few two-point conversions.
Chorley however, apparently unaffected by their 57-0 shut out at the hands of the Manchester Titans, were by no means about to roll over an let the favoured pirates run away with the win. QB Joel Chesters, after stepping up from the U17 team over the offseason, connected with star WR Reon Haworth for three TDs, including an impressive side-line snag, adding a score of his own with his legs. For the first three quarters, Chorley managed to keep up for the first three quarters, with the score tied at 28 going into the fourth, but after Rubuga’s tie breaking score, the Buccaneers come away with a painfully close, but ultimately reassuring loss to the usually dominant pirates.
Manchester Titans Vs Highland Wildcats
The streak is over. After three years without a loss to a team south of the Scottish border, the Manchester Titans bucked the trend, defeating the Highland Wildcats 23-16.
The Titans continued their strong start to the season, following up a 57-0 blowout over the Chorley Buccaneers with another impressive win against the formidable Highland Wildcats. The Wildcats meanwhile fall to 0-2 after perhaps the toughest possible opening third of their season, facing both of last year’s semi-finalists in their first two games. The Wildcats have however remained competitive, with the Stuart Sandison led offense just falling short of keeping pace with two of the highest scoring teams in the country.