By Pete Laird
Teesside Cougars v York Centurions
Teesside were the victims of the latest YSJ call off and means this Week Six fixture will be only their third game of the semester. Coach Chris Scrace will be glad of the opportunity to take the field following their last outing – a squeaker of a victory over HWU.
Behind playmaker Mike Healey the Cougars will take to the air against a York team who gave up 36 points to the dominant Newcastle Raiders last time they took the field.
York sit at 2-2 for the year and have held their own against both the Raiders and the Predators the confernece’s top teams, but their offense has struggled to keep up in those games. The Centurions really need the win here to get back into contention for third place but have had a number of injuries to contend with, the latest to Joe Atkinson. They travel well and may throw a spanner into the works for Teesside.
Just a feeling, but York for the win.
Newcastle Raiders v YSJ Jaguars
So last week we boldly predicted the York SJ to be called off, which it promptly was, but not before taking a barrage of abuse for being ‘down on the new teams’.
I’m assured this one will go ahead so I’ll hold off on the obituary for another week.
The Jaguars’ Head Coach, Dave Pawson, reports that the team has been training hard despite reaching the final week of the semester without a down played in anger.
Such a late start to the year sees the Jags facing a real baptism of fire for as they travel to Newcastle. Pawson complimented the other teams in the conference for understanding the issues they have had up to this point, and he is now looking forward to developing the programme over the coming years. But what a week to pick for your first game…..
As for the Raiders? The best team in the conference are fresh of a 50 burger with Matty Thompson their standout performer in last week’s bombardment of Lancaster. Given the Raider’s experience and propensity for finding the end zone? This could get ugly fast and the Raiders’ victory parade will gather apace.
Newcastle for a burger.
By Charlie Coë
Bradford Bears v Liverpool Raptors
The Bears haven’t had a very fun run of things lately. They lost 40-6 to Chester on the road this past weekend, and haven’t taken to the field in two of their scheduled fixtures so far this season.
Like many teams in the North 2A, high rookie recruitment has not paved the way for strong player retention. Consequently, the high quality players they do have aren’t sufficiently backed up and they tend to struggle as games progress.
The Raptors, coming off a bye and a comfortable win over Keele the week before, shouldn’t have any issue in seeing off Bradford
The Bears have the home field advantage in this one, but we don’t see that as being enough.
Keele Crusaders v Chester Legion
In a match up of the conference’s two middling outfits, you’d have to fancy Chester to use the momentum from defeating Bradford so convincingly, to put in another solid home performance.
Keele have struggled to get any sort of momentum of their own going in recent weeks, with the postponement of the Manchester game at the weekend meaning they missed out on some meaningful game experience.
The one thing we have on the Crusaders is that they ran a playoff-chasing Bangor close on the MudDogs’ own turf.
This game might be close, but I think a Legion side with momentum is a dangerous one.
By Rose Wilford
DMU Falcons v MMU Eagles
Well DMU are off to a great start this season, with two games cancelled due to Bedfordshire and Northampton both forfeiting before the start of the season they’ve only played one game so far this year… though at least this came against Lincoln, which they won handily, 46-0.
This weekend could give DMU the chance to go 2-0 ahead of the break. Currently sat in third, a win over MMU would leapfrog them into the #2 spot.
The Eagles similarly beat Lincoln earlier this year with a score of 44, and are currently sitting at 2:1 having been beaten by the first place Jets. With two games left to play this season the Eagles are in the running for playoffs and will continue to be so if they can get the wins from both remaining match ups.
While promotion might be out of reach for the Eagles short of the Jets imploding, they can still do well enough to get a top spot if they can continue their winning ways.
I think this one will be very close but reckon DMU will take the W.