By Thomas Snee
Stirling Clansmen v Loughborough Students
Well, well, well. Not for the first time, Loughborough have left this predictor with egg on his face by pulling off an unexpected victory. With Derby vanquished and some points finally scored, could this be the start of the Students’ push for the play-offs? Whether it is or it isn’t, lightning is unlikely to strike again this weekend against an improving Stirling outfit.
Last time out, the Clan fell to a much-hyped Durham side who were keen on revenge from last year’s National Championship game. Loughborough should provide an easier task for Stirling, who won’t be too upset to go into Christmas at 3-1 with a couple of gotcha games already down.
Durham Saints v Leeds Beckett Carnegie
You’d have marked this one down as an easy Durham win just a few weeks ago, but Leeds Beckett have continued to confound those that have said that they aren’t good enough for the top flight.
Carnegie have performed admirably in their three games so far, but this match up may be one too many before the semester break. They do have some real talent, however, and are really not that far away from a play-off spot in their first season at the top. Can they pull off a giant killing in the North East?
No. But it will be fun to watch…
Durham to win.
By Rose Wilford
Bath Killer Bees v Birmingham Lions
With Bath still sitting at 0-4, they haven’t really had the opportunity to put a lot of points up, scoring 32 points so far.
This week they face the Birmingham Lions at home, and will hope to see a repeat of last season’s huge xpLosION upset, where their shock win over the Lions was part of the reason the Bees were able to stay in the Prem. It will be a huge boost to the team if they can repeat this feat and get a win on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Lions seem to have begun their fight to get back to the top spot in the Prem, after their loss to Swansea in Week One. Two strong wins against Portsmouth and Hertfordshire have put them right back in the race.
In a match up that saw one of their players headed to A&E with a broken collar bone, the Lions surprised the pundits with a 36-19 victory over the Hurricanes, opening up the Prem South completely and meaning the games after Christmas are all the more important. One thing of note might be the number of Lions players on the university ski trip, meaning the team with be repping the depth chart this weekend.
I think the Lions should get this one, but if BKB can get the win it’ll make things really interesting.
Portsmouth Destroyers v Swansea Titans
Portsmouth’s last game saw them get a strong win over Bath, beating them 44-12,. With this game being one of their two back-to-back games before the Christmas break, if they can get the win this weekend it will see them at 2-1 and closer to getting into the top half of the table. With both these teams having similar score lines against Bath, there could be the potential for a game that’s closer that imagined ahead of the season.
The Titans are sitting pretty, second in the table and will be looking to the future to get some more wins under their belt, starting with this weekend.
With their only loss of the season coming from a close game against Herts, the Titans could still be able to take the top spot in the conference before the break. For this weekend at least they will be focusing on getting the win and heading into the Christmas period with a 3-1 record and right in the race.
I think the Titans will be the winners.