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:
Sheffield Hallam Warriors – The Warriors were averaging 36.75 points per game heading into the Christmas break… and just 1.5 ppg coming out of it!
Something’s clearly amiss in the halls of Hallam, and while they’re still top of the 1A Yorkshire for now, if they don’t patch whatever holes they’ve suddenly sprung, that won’t be the case for long! There’s no room on the rankings for a team with two straight losses to unranked teams.
10 – Edinburgh Napier Knights
It was a good run for Napier atop the 1A North, but he prowling Tigers eventually caught up with them this weekend, edging the East-West Scots showdown, 14-9.
As seems to be par the course for the Knights, it was Napier’s offence that was found wanting at the weekend and while the Edinburgh team are more than likely on track for a 6-2 season and some postseason balling in their first year in the middle tier? They need to start showing a bit more firepower to make us think they’re capable of taking a dive into the postseason.
9 – Brunel Burners
(3-1-0) 1A South
The demise of the Warriors frees up a slot for the very worthy Burners, who similarly to the Knights appear on course for postseason action in their first year in the middle tier.
Still, it’s going to be a crowded end to the season for the Brunel side, with four fixtures to attempt to squeeze into three weeks of balling.
They face the Saxons for the first time this year on Sunday, and we’ll be looking for some more fire from the Burner offence if they’re to climb any higher in these rankings.
8 – UWE Bullets
(4-1-0) 1A South West
Perhaps a more modest win than expected from the Bullets at the weekend, as they took a 12-7 victory over the winless Solent Seahawks.
Still, it’s worth bearing in mind that this was the culmination of three fixtures in eight days for the Bristol outfit, so injuries and illness were certainly taking its toll by Sunday.
They head to a bye week – time to prep for a potential conference deciding fixture against the Blitz in Week Eleven… though it also remains to be seen whether, and if so where, they’ll squeeze in their missing Cardiff Cobras showdown.
7 – Plymouth Blitz
(5-1-0) 1A South West
A clutch Devon Bowl victory for the Blitz, whose offence continues to struggle whenever it strays away from home.
They’re on course for postseason action in their first year in Div One, but at the same time you’ve got to think it’s in their best interest to ensure they earn themselves a home berth – they seem like two different teams when playing home or away this year.
They host Cardiff this weekend, and we’ll see if the Blitz prove our hypothesis by taking a win against the only team to best them so far this year.
6 – Glasgow Tigers
(4-1-0) 1A North
A nice win for Glasgow, that puts them back in the driving seat in the 1A North, but they slide a spot simply due to the climb of others.
As with many Div One teams, they now head to a particularly busy stretch of their season, with three games to fit into the remaining three weeks of balling.
5- Kingston Cougars
(4-1-0) 1A South
Kingston bounce back from their loss to the Burners with a very convincing victory over the Reading Knights – their best offensive production of the year so far and something much more worthy of a team with aspirations to return to the top tier of University balling.
They host Surrey this weekend in what is looking likely to be the third of five straight fixtures for the Cougars, at least if they intend to pick up the twice-postponed Reading Knights fixture from back in Week Five.
4- Kent Falcons
(5-0-0) 1A South East
A drop of two for the Falcons. They’ve not done anything wrong… they’re just perhaps not doing quite enough right? Still undefeated, but we’re seeing more impressive scorelines elsehwhere, and thus other teams have outpaced the Kent side in the race for the top three spots.
3 – NTU Renegades
(4-1-0) 1A Midlands
Another confident win from the Renegades, which only emphasises the bizarre state of the 1A Midlands – one of the best teams in the middle tier will go into this weekend’s rivalry showdown against Nottingham as massive underdogs – especially considering the 33 to diddly drubbing they took in the first meeting between the two sides.
It’s likely NTU’s last chance to take a swing at the Midlands conference title… but also likely their last week in the top three of the rankings if they’re on the receiving end of another thumping.
2 – UEA Pirates
(6-1-0) 1A South East
The Pirates became the first team in Division One to seal the deal on playoff balling at the weekend, and with an emphatic bullying of the Pythons, we’re really starting to get on the Pirates bandwagon… bandship?
They head to a bye, before what is most likely a real crunchtime showdown against the Falcons to round out the year – a conference crown deciding duel where the Pirates start with an 8 point disadvantage…. Is our faith in the Norwich side misplaced?
1 – Nottingham Students
(5-0-0) 1A Midlands
No change in our thoughts about which is the top team in the tier – Nottingham boast the #1 offence and defence in Division One balling and can seal the deal on the midlands title with two fixtures to spare if they win this weekend.
Should they do so, eyes will then most likely turn to the postseason and whether there are any real rivals for Yoonaf’s march to the premiership this year…