The worst effects of the Beast from the East are hopefully passed, and so now Division Two tries to play catch up on the majority of fixtures that were missed last week!
Coventry Jets (1) v Liverpool Raptors (8)
The Jets head to playoffs boasting what is probably the most dominant season across all three tiers! Despite their season being shortened by a pair of preseason withdrawals from the 2A Midlands, the new interpretation of BUCS regs has boosted the Jets in the #1 seed thanks to standout performances from the defence all season-long – conceding only 12 points TOTAL across their five-game season.
Despite a big break in the heart of their season – playing no fixtures between Week Four and Week Eleven, the Jets clearly didn’t drop a step during their time off and were dominant in their two performances to round out the year and wrap up the conference title and promotion.
As such, they hit the postseason with great momentum… While we’re not entirely sure what to expect from their upcoming opponents.
Yes, the Raptors have been a tough team to judge this season. They’ve mixed big wins with a heavy loss to Bangor, and rounded out their season with a very competitive game against a dominant Manchester Tyrants side that was much tighter than many might have expected.
Having tested themselves recently against a frontrunner in the tier, might the Raptors be better prepared coming into this game than the Jets, who flew through their season and haven’t had to test their mettle in the face of adversity?
Let’s see what the team thinks:
Manchester Tyrants (2) v Edinburgh Predators (7)
Two teams that could both likely hold their own in the middle tier, but only one of the two will be getting this opportunity next season:
The Tyrants have earned themselves promotion back into Division One, and now they’re eager to add some silverware to the cabinet. Manchester were a competitive side in the middle-tier just the season before, and seem to have maintained this form into the 17/18 season – they’ve been consistently a cut above their conference all season-long, with the highest scoring offence in Division Two… and indeed, all of Uniball! Indeed, the only time they’ve seemed potentially vulnerable was in their final fixture of the season, a 26-12 win against the Raptors.
Across from them the Predators have had a season plagued by a couple of big disappointments – a narrow loss to Newcastle early in the season scuppered their promotion aspirations, before a surprise loss to Teesside afforded them a long. hard road through the postseason.
Still, they’ve proven capable of taking games right down to the wire against the top dogs in the tier, so do our BUCS team think the Scots side have a shot against the team that’ve topped our Power Rankings this season?
Newcastle Raiders (3) v Teesside Cougars (6)
We see two conference rivals going head to head for a second time this season – can the Cougars overturn the 48-12 loss they suffered back in Week Nine considering the strong form their offence finished the season on?
Certainly they kept things competitive in the first quarter or so of their matchup against the Raiders, but fell well off the pace through the second half.
Still, while in the interim the Cougars went on to nice, offence-led wins over the Predators and Bombers, the Raiders have languished in inactivity ever since the Week Nine fixture – two walkovers over HWU and Pyros earning them an undefeated conference crown, but no chance to shake the rust off their offence ahead of this postseason showdown.
Do the BUCS Office think the Cougars have claws enough to take down a rusty Raiders outfit?