Welcome back to the Power Rankings!
DC’s light may not shine all that much longer unless we can figure something out, but dammit let’s see if it can at least shine brightly – with all the goodies and oldies!
Moving on to Division One:
On the cusp:
- Brunel Burners (2-1-0)
10 – Cardiff Cobras/UWE Bullets
UWE falling to new boys to the tier, the Blitz; while Cardiff lost out to Exeter back in Week One.
Tough to choose between these two… and so luckily we don’t have to. They go head to head on Sunday, with potentially the chance to move pole in the conference, and seal the deal on a power rankings spot all of their own.
9 – Edinburgh Napier Knights
Opening the year with a heavy loss in Week Two, I don’t think many would have expected the newcomers to the tier, the Napier Knights, to be leading the 1A North come the mid point of the year!
However, three straight shut outs from their stellar defence, and a slip up by the Tigers, saw Napier head into the break in the top spot.
They’ve proven their Div One credentials, and host the Hull Sharks on Sunday with the opportunity to lock up no worse than a .500 season in their first year in the middle tier.
8 – Glasgow Tigers
(2-1-0) 1A North
They may be below the Knights in the table, but they sneak in just above them in our rankings!
The Tigers opened the year strong with back to back wins, and expectations were that this was their conference to lose… which they might have then gone and done, in a shock loss to the Sharks!
Even so, the feeling around DC Towers is that this was an anomaly, and the Glaswegian side should get their year back on track with a big win against the Spartans on Sunday.
7 – Plymouth Blitz
(3-1-0) 1A South West
The Blitz join the Knights in making it into the rankings despite it being their first year in the tier!
An impressive 3-1 record to open the year has turned heads, but it’s worth noting they still have the tougher portion of their season ahead of them, with three games on the road – something the South coast side have notoriously struggled with; all their losses in the last few years coming on away trips.
Expect the 1A South West to get messy before the year is over!
6 – UEA Pirates
(3-1-0) 1A South East
The Pirates romped to a comfy 36 to diddly win in only three quarters at the weekend, and have convincingly positioned themselves as the Falcons’ true contender for the top spot in the 1A South East.
If they can navigate their way past a feisty Chargers side this Sunday, and avoid a slip against the Pythons? They set themselves up for a potential conference-crown deciding showdown in their final outing of the year.
Strong offence, and three shutouts from the D on the year so far sees the Pirates sit just outside the top five.
5 – NTU Renegades
(3-1-0) 1A Midlands
It says a lot when you can win three fixtures by a combined score of 115-6… and still be only the second best team in your conference.
Welcome to the situation NTU find themselves in, where they’re clearly a cut above most of their conference, probably a crown contender in any other region… but would need to spark something really special before the year is out if they want to snatch the top spot in the Midlands.
They return to action Week Nine against a Wolves side they whitewashed 45-0 back in Week One.
4 – Kingston Cougars
(3-0-0) 1A South
The former-top-tier Cougars are right on track for a swift return to the Premiership, sat at 3-0 on the year so far.
With big wins over Sussex and Surrey, their surprise strongest rivals have been the Burners… and the weather!
Back to back postponements of their Reading fixture will see them struggle to fit their remaining schedule in the few weeks left to them, though right now their focus will be on Sunday’s second bout with the Burners.
A win should set them on the path to topping the South, while a loss would shake up the conference, and these rankings to boot!
3 – Kent Falcons
(4-0-0) 1A South East
The Falcons are flying high at 4 & 0, but their spot in the top three is far from secure.
Two of their wins have come a little too close for comfort – their last two victories over UEA and Canterbury coming by only a single score in each instance.
We’re giving them the nod as the top team in the South at present, but we’ll be looking for something more convincing over the next few weeks to keep them up there!
2 – Sheffield Hallam Warriors
(4-0-0) 1A Yorkshire
The Warriors are right on track to repeat their 1A Yorkshire title from a year ago, with four emphatic victories through the first half their year.
They’ve bested each of their conference rivals, and odds are their eyes are already starting to turn to the postseason.
They shouldn’t have too many problems against the Leeds Gryphons on Sunday, but at the same time would need something pretty awe-inspiring if they want to hop up a spot and steal the top of the rankings…
1 – Nottingham Students
(4-0-0) 1A Midlands
No surprises here.
The team that dominated the Power Rankings throughout 16/17 rises to the fore once more. They’ve got the #1 offence in the tier and made a statement with their 33-0 victory over local rivals, NTU, in Week Four.
Giving the quality and depth of their roster? As much as we like mixing up these rankings, we struggle to see these guys being dethroned any time soon…