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!
We reach the true top of the pops, as we stack up the ten teams in the top tier.
10 – Bath Killer Bees
(0-4-0) Premiership South
Let’s be frank – unless the Bees have had themselves a Christmas revelation? It looks like their tenure in the top tier may well be coming to a close.
They played their closest games earlier in the season, against Herts, and have since seen 40+ stacked up on them in back to back games ahead of the break.
Their last, best, hope to cling on to a Premiership spot is likely in Week Nine against the Destroyers… but they’d need both a win, and for it to be by around 33 points, in order to cling on to their premiership credentials.
9 – Loughborough Students
(1-3-0) Premiership North
Controversial placement here, as Loughborough rank up as our bottom team in the North, despite not sitting at the bottom of the table!
They’ve actually already picked up a crucial win on the year so far, over the Braves, and yet currently find themselves ranked below them… Possibly due to the fact that the erstwhile-Aces have found themselves shut out in three games out of four so far this season, and took a shellacking against Stirling, 37-0, right ahead of Christmas.
8 – Derby Braves
(0-4-0) Premiership North
Yes, without a win to their name, the Derby Braves somehow slip into the #8 spot!
In fairness to Derby, while they’re currently lacking notches in the W column, it’s not like they’ve not been competitive:
Through four games their loss margins have been 9, 1, 5 and 3 points respectively.
They’re more than capable of being competitive in the top tier if they can only catch a break… though we’re not sure that’s what they’ll get this weekend, as they make the long-old trip up to Stirling to kick off the new year.
7 – Portsmouth Destroyers
(1-2-0) Premiership South
They proved their Premiership credentials with a big win over Bath in Week Four, and while they’re not locked into their top tier balling just yet, they’re in a great position to really turn some heads through the latter part of the season.
Finding a bit more offensive output against the top teams in their conference will be key, and what better opportunity than when they host the gotten-hot Lions this weekend?
6 – Leeds Carnegie
(2-2-0) Premiership North
Many expected the worryingly shallow Carnegie roster to really struggle in the top tier this season, but instead they’ve proven themselves great competitors, and a conundrum even the top teams like Durham and Stirling have struggled to crack.
They may be 2-2, but they’ve held leads for the majority of each of their four fixtures.
If they can fix the fact they keep wilting in the fourth quarter – perhaps an issue of depth for this still undermanned squad? – they could be right in the race for the top spot in the North, and these rankings.
5 – Swansea Titans
(2-1-0) Premiership South
It feels like an awfully long time since we saw the Titans in action – last taking in the field in Week Five, where Swansea stormed to an expectedly titanic victory over the Bees.
There were arguments for the Welsh side to be higher in these rankings – they opened the year with a convincing win over the Lions after all – but a loss to Herts where they only managed a single score has some concerned about their firepower against stronger defences.
Look to their Week Nine second-leg game against the Lions to tell us a lot more about the kinda team the Titans are this season, and whether they’re ready to assume the mantle of one of the top teams in the South, and a true Championship contender.
4 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes
(4-1-0) Premiership South
They might currently sit atop the Prem South with four wins to their name, but the Hurricanes’ big loss to Birmingham still hangs over the 16/17 Prem South Champs.
Having had a busy first half of the year, we don’t see them in action again until Week Ten, and as such will look to other results to determine whether Herts top spot in the conference is also deserving of the top southern spot in these rankings.
3 – Stirling Clansmen
(3-1-0) Premiership North
The reigning National Champs enter these rankings in the #3 spot – something they’re likely familiar with, as they spent much fo 2016/17 around this area of the rankings throughout their title run last year.
They opened the year with a couple of less-than-convincing wins, followed by a hefty loss to the Saints, but closed out 2017 with a more confident looking win over Loughborough.
Traditionally finding their form through the latter part of the season, the next few weeks will be key to the Clan building up momentum should they intend to defend their title.
2 – Birmingham Lions
(2-1-0) Premiership South
A placement that caused a fair amount of debate here in DC Towers, the Lions aren’t even ranked second in their own conference, and yet sit at the #2 spot in the Power Rankings?!
Riding high off their convincing win over the table-topping Hertfordshire Hurricanes, rumblings are that the Birmingham offence, with a new gunslinger under centre in the form of Lions’ U19s National Plate Champ Rohan Sandhu, has finally started clicking… and looked pretty unstoppable against the ‘Canes.
They’ve got a busy busy slate of games ahead of them through the second half of the year, and keeping up that kinda offensive output will be key to keeping a high ranking through this latter part of their campaign.
1 – Durham Saints
(4-0-0) Premiership North
The Saints stand alone as the only undefeated team in the entire top tier – though only just, following a come-from-behind victory over the Braves in wintery conditions at the weekend.
Their ‘redemption’ season is right on track – though it’s worth noting they’ll now be on the road for three of their remaining four matchups.
They head to Carnegie this weekend, who briefly looked like they might flummox the Saints back in Week Six, and if they can take a convincing win away from Leeds? That should lock this top spot up pretty tightly.