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
The Bees have what is probably their last, best, chance to keep themselves in the top tier, as they host the Portsmouth Destroyers this weekend.
Fair enough they’d need to win by a margin of about 33 points, but don’t count the Bees out just yet – they managed to buzz their way out of a not dissimilar position last season, overturning a early-season loss to the Cougars to keep their place in the top tier… though admittedly the numbers involved looked for more achieveable.
9 – Loughborough Students
(1-3-0) Premiership North
Lugbug stay put in the #9 spot, and our choice to place them below Derby, despite sitting above the Braves’ in the Prem North table, now looks justified!
They return to action following the Christmas break, but it’s likely to be a rude welcome back to balling as they travel to the undefeated Durham Saints.
8 – Leeds Carnegie
(2-3-0) Premiership North
A drop down the rankings for the plucky Leeds boys, following a result that was perhaps a lot more similar to what many might have expected from them, coming into the season.
The Saints, who trailed Carnegie through much of the first meeting between the two sides, had clearly figured out Leeds Beckett in this second meeting and racked up a hefty scoreline.
They might have achieved more than any previous promotee to the Prem North with their two wins, but odds are it’s going to take more than that to keep them in the top tier. They face a resurgent Braves this weekend in a game that’ll tell us a lot about the shape of the Prem North in this latter part of the year.
7 – Portsmouth Destroyers
(1-3-0) Premiership South
Pompey have a chance to all but lock-up Prem balling for at least another year this weekend as they travel to the Killer Bees. A win, or potentially even a loss by a smaller margin than 33 points, should be enough to real the deal, barring any shockers in the remaining weeks of the year.
They’re showing improvements on the defensive side of things, but the O has struggled to crack top tier Ds so far this season.
6 – Derby Braves
(1-4-0) Premiership North
Braves climb two spots with their first win of the year!
Six might seem a rather high-ranking for a one-win team, but considering that win came against the reigning national champs?
Yeah, it’s been brewing all season, as the Braves were barely missing out on wins, week after week, and finally fought their way to victory in an incredible triple-overtime win against Stirling.
They have a chance to shift themselves off the bottom of the stack in the Prem North table as they host Leeds Beckett this weekend.
5 – Stirling Clansmen
(3-2-0) Premiership North
An unexpected defeat for the reigning National Champs and on their home soil, no less!
In fairness to the Clan, it was a herculean effort to fight back from 8 points down in the closing seconds of the game and take the fixture to overtime, but to no avail.
They have a week off to lick their wounds and then try to get their campaign back on track.
4 – Swansea Titans
(2-1-0) Premiership South
Titans climb a spot without playing a fixture, as others slide.
We’ll learn a lot more about their ‘appropriate’ spot in these rankings when Swansea enter the Lions’ den this weekend.
They dominated Brum early in the season, and a repeat performance could easily rocket them up to being the #1 team in the South… Might Swansea finally assume a spot as a true title contender in their conference?
4 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes
(4-1-0) Premiership South
Similarly, Herts climb a spot without any action. They kick off the second half of their season in Week Ten – the first of three straight games that will determine whether they cling on to their Prem South title from last year.
2 – Birmingham Lions
(3-1-0) Premiership South
A confident, if not overly flashy, win from the Lions, who it appeared were repping depth in the second half of their game against Portsmouth.
We’ll look for them to justify their spot in these rankings this weekend as they host the Titans, with a goal of avenging their embarassing Week One rumbling.
1 – Durham Saints
(4-0-0) Premiership North
The Saints’ streak continues, as they convincingly dismantled a Leeds Carnegie side that had caused them great discomfort in Week Six.
The win locked up postseason balling for Durham, even were they to lose out from here… And there’s no signs that’s going to be the case.
They host Loughborough on Sunday, who they shut out entirely in their season opener, and don’t look likely to relinquish this top spot any time soon!