Just the lone fixture in the top flight this week, as the Warriors begin their quest to regain the conference throne from cross-city rivals London Blitz. The Aztecs meanwhile will want to once again push on and try to close the gap.
By Rose Wilford
London Warriors vs Bristol Aztecs
The opening game of the season sees two teams with something to prove coming head to head.
Last year the Warriors failed to make the final and will be coming back with a vengeance, seeking to prove they are still the top team in the UK.
The Warriors loss to the Blitz meant that they placed second in the table, making the playoffs, but falling short of the final when they lost against the team that would go on to win the title- the Tamworth Phoenix.
With news circulating this week that QB Jerome Allen had departed the Warriors for Finland’s Hameenlinna Huskies, there’s now question marks over Allen’s status following news circulating that the Finnish team has folded ahead of the season getting underway.
It will be one to watch who’s gonna be starting under centre for the London side this Sunday!
The Warriors size and physicality will benefit them against the Aztecs and their physical run game should give them an edge.
Across from them, the Aztecs sat quite comfortably in the middle of the table last season with their only losses coming from the two London teams. This year they will want to aim for a higher position at the end of the season and will have a tough time knowing that they must beat the London teams – this weekend being their first opportunity to do so.
However, they will have a tough job on their hands coming up against the London Blitz, who narrowly lost out on the title and will be wanting to maintain their primacy in the Southern half of the top tier, and the Warriors, who’ll be wanting to regain their place atop the Britball pyramid.
The Aztecs have lost a couple of players since last season. GB Linebacker James Armah and GB Offensive Lineman Ben Ashby will both be standing on the Warriors sideline this Sunday.
Still, they’ve been working hard to get their transfers in ahead of this season, as well as building up the strength of their returning players.
The Aztecs will be leaning on their remaining GB players such as Shaun Rees on the D Line, Eddie Onamade at DB, and Offensive Linemen Collins Nwagou and Levi Smith.
Head Coach Chris Powles said
“The team has been practising since December and putting in a lot of hours the team is excited that the season is finally here. Away to the Warriors is always a hard fixture but we can’t wait to see what the 2018 Aztecs are capable of.”
The Aztecs know that the last time they played the Warriors they got shut out due to their poor offensive performance so may have to lean on their defence.
I don’t think the Warriors will allow the Aztecs much room to score this weekend. Warriors to win comfortably.