We woulda done cool stuff like Coach interviews… but we won’t lie, we only realised today that this game was even happening this weekend, so we barely rounded up our BUCS department for picks before they all headed off to drink tequilas with 90s rappers, or whatever it is they get up to on Friday nights…
In truth, the bottom tier regional finals are fixtures of little consequence compared to their big brothers in the upper tiers.
There’s a trophy, probably, and a handful of extra BUCS points, but ultimately the big prize -promotion out of the basement tier of Uniball- was already awarded to conference champs at the end of the regular season.
That said, pride is ever a powerful motivator as well, and for the Coventry Jets, who felt robbed of their shot at promotion following a shock regular season loss, will certainly be playing hard on Sunday. Dropped from the top of the Division Two Power Rankings after their loss to the Longhorns, they’ve been chasing the credit they feel they’ve been missing out on ever since.
It might seem harsh, but there were those who questioned whether Coventry should even have their place in the postseason, after the quarter-finals fixture versus Leicester was awarded as a walkover due to BUCS’ convoluted postseason tiebreakers, despite the Longhorns having the regular season head to head.
However, they surely answered all doubts last weekend, as they made the long trip north of the wall to take on the undefeated Napier Knights, and came away with a confident victory – an impressive feat considering the number of weeks without a fixture the Jets were having to bounce back from.
Considering some of their players have been chafing for attention ever since they dropped out of the Power Rankings, we expect Coventry to chase this regional title, hard… and we expect we might not hear the end of it if the team pick against them but they come out on top!
That said, even though they know their place in the middle tier is secure for next season, we doubt the Gryphons are about to simply hand the Northern title to the Jets – they’ve gone undefeated so far this season and a perfect year and some extra silverware will do wonders for their continually improving relationship with their University’s Athletic Union. Responsible for the re-brand from the Celtics ahead of this season, the extra resources and facilities have no doubt been instrumental in the Gryphons’ much-improved performance this season.
With one of the most physical rosters in the bottom tier, the Gryphons proved they could win big this year – one of only a handful of teams with multiple #50Burgers in the age of the mercy clock – and that they can win tough – slogging it out for wins against talented conference rivals such as Bangor and Liverpool.
It’s likely going to be a matter of might against flight, as the Leeds side look to out-muscle a Jets offence that can score from anywhere on the field thanks to the pace of some of their playmakers…
But who have #TeamDC opted for?