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:
Cardiff Cobras: A heavy loss for the Welsh side puts them in a tough position if they want to win out and retain their Conference title. They head to Plymouth in Week Ten and that might be their best chance prove they’re still a contender.
On the cusp:
- Brunel Burners (3-1-0)
Look, the Burners deserve to be on this list, we agree… We just couldn’t figure out where. They’re 3-1 off the back of a stalwart defence that’s shutting down even the impressive Kingston Cougars. Their win at the weekend wasn’t enough to slip into pole position in their conference, however, nor make us sure where to put them in the rankings. Show us something more convincing in Week Ten against the Saxons, Brunel, and we’ll be more confident in where we stack you!
10 – Sheffield Hallam Warriors
(4-0-0) 1A Yorkshire
Are we dropping the Warriors this low because we’re bitter about them ruining our rankings mere minutes after their release with their entirely unexpected loss to the Leeds Gryphons? …Maybe.
But either way we can’t over-emphasise how surprised we were about this result. We were talking the Warriors up as possible rivals to Notts, only to see them fall flat against the winless, bottom-ranked team in their conference.
Expect the Warriors to bounce back this weekend against the Fury, but if not? Even a 4-2 record and the impressive season-opening scorelines that brought them it might not be enough to keep them on these rankings.
9 – Edinburgh Napier Knights
Napier win, and a fourth straight defensive shut out might have seen them climb the rankings, if only it wasn’t for the continually pedestrian performances from their offence.
While weather played a factor, they’ll need a lot more than the nine points they put up on the Sharks last weekend when they take on the Tigers in the East-West Scottish showdown on Sunday!
It’d be a lot to ask for a fifth straight shut out, but if the new boys to Division One can pick up a victory at the weekend, it’d not only set them up for a second-straight conference title, but also a big jump up the rankings!
8 – UWE Bullets
(3-1-0) 1A South West
It was their best offensive performance of the year so far, and sets them up well for a title run through the latter part of their campaign.
Traditionally stronger in the second half of the season, look for them to set a tone as they host the winless Solent Redhawks on Sunday.
7 – Plymouth Blitz
(4-1-0) 1A South West
The Blitz continue to top the South West, and even with a bit more breathing room thanks to the Bullets’ win over the Cobras – the only team with the Head-to-Head over the Blitz so far.
However, their path to the top of the conference has been laden with narrow victories, and they face something of a trap game against Exeter this weekend in the conclusion of the Devon Bowl.
Barring forfeits they’ve guaranteed themselves middle-tier balling for at least another year, and a win Sunday would likely take them one win from locking up playoffs.
6 – Kingston Cougars
(3-1-0) 1A South
The Burners can feel justifiably hard done by to not receive a rankings spot following their big win at the weekend, but perhaps they can take some comfort for being responsible for dropping the Cougars out of the top five?
Kingston’s offence made a late rally, but it wasn’t enough to seal the deal, and suddenly they find themselves one slip-up away from losing their grip on the conference crown.
They need to return to winning ways against the Knights this weekend, and ideally show a bit more of the scoring potential they displayed against the Saxons in the first half of the season if they’re intending to return to the top tier before the season it out.
5 – Glasgow Tigers
(3-1-0) 1A North
The Tigers claw themselves up the rankings following a tasty win over the Spartans last week.
The 48 points scored was far more what we’ve come to expect from an offence lead by two dynamic playmakers.
Their rankings spot, and realistically probably their conference crown, will likely be determined by this weekend’s East-West showdown against Napier.
4- UEA Pirates
(5-1-0) 1A South East
It’s been smooth sailing for the Pirates since they returned from the break – two comfy wins take them to 5-1 and, and don’t quote us on this yet as we’re yet to start our ITSET articles, the first Division One side to guarantee themselves playoff balling in 17/18?
…Certainly, a win this weekend against the Pythons seals the deal.
They climb two spots in the rankings, but we’ll probably be waiting til their Week Eleven matchup against Kent to see if they’re worthy of a top three spot.
3 – NTU Renegades
(3-1-0) 1A Midlands
NTU slip into the top three without playing a game thanks to Hallam’s fall from grace. It says a lot that we still see them as one of the top sides in the tier, despite the beating they took back in Week Four.
They have a chance to justify our confidence in them this weekend as they travel to the Warwick Wolves, a team they bullied 45-0 back in Week One.
An opportunity to get their mojo back ahead of a second tilt against their cross-town rivals in Week Ten?
2 – Kent Falcons
(4-0-0) 1A South East
The Falcons remain our pick for the top squad in the south, even though we’ve seen nothing of them since before the break.
This weekend kicks off a busy second half of the season for the Falcons, where their resilience will be tested with four straight fixtures.
Whether they deserve this privileged position will decided in the coming weeks.
1 – Nottingham Students
(4-0-0) 1A Midlands
A confident win, we honestly get the impression the Nottingham outfit only don’t put burgers up because they want to appear modest.
They tend to rep depth as soon as they hit the second half in most of their outings so far this season.
The fall from grace of the Hallam Warriors makes Notts look like shoe-ins for Premiership balling at this point of the season, with realistically their only plausible stumbling block between here and playoffs possibly being the second leg against local rivals and former Prem team, NTU.