Good Week / Bad Week | BUCS 18/19 Playoffs Week Two

A comparatively quiet week with only five BUCS and four Sapphire fixtures to take a look at – but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to talk about as we saw the majority of Uniball fixtures result in upsets at the weekend!

Good Week

Honourable Mentions
  • All four outfits that made it to the Sapphire Series Division Two finals this past weekend are worthy of a nod – while the women’s game had some struggles with the step up to seven-a-side across both tiers, each of the Kent ExilesCheshire Bears, and Teesside Steelers proved they were more than up to the task – completing strong campaigns and ensuring a competitive final few fixtures of the Series.
  • We had a handful of National Leagues preseason games this scheduled for this weekend, and though many of them fell afoul of the weather, one stand out scoreline was the Essex Spartans winning the #BattleForEssex with a 11-14 victory over Division One side, the Colchester Gladiators!
  • And the Bournemouth University Bobcats’ playoff debut was clearly worth waiting for as the South West outfit posted up an impressive 40-0 victory in the programme’s first ever postseason appearance. It’s worth noting, the south coast side only led 8-0 at the half, before turning on the burners in the second half!
Wembley Stallions win out to earn undefeated Sapphire Title

The Wembley Stallions Women’s Team wrapped up an impressive Sapphire 18/19 campaign with two resounding victories in this weekend’s Sapphire Division Two National Finals.

Though the Cheshire Bears tested the Stallions’ defence in their semi-final fixture, the Stallions own offence was on fine form on Saturday – outpacing the northern side for a 39-20 victory.

The final saw Wembley get their first taste of the sort of talent they’ll be squaring off against next Series, as they took on fellow promotees, the Teesside Steelers, and it was the Stallions defence’s time to shine in this one – shutting out the Teesside offence entirely for a 22-0 win that’ll see them head to the summer, and the prospect of Diamond Series and some possible GB Lions selections, with great momentum.

 

Demons continue to defy the odds, upset Stags

We’re not sure what sort of satanic rituals the Demons are using to conjure up these upset victories… But we have it on good account that they involved Disney and Abba songs to get the team in the right mindset, pre-game. Disturbing stuff.

But no, I doth doff my cap to you, sirs. For the fourth time this season the Demons have defied the polls to produce impressive performances! Their victory against the Stags overturns to hefty regular season defeats against the 1A South West champs, and means the Devon outfit now finds itself just one further ‘upset’ away from top tier football.

Standout baller, Chris Robson-Close has continued to shine in the postseason, with six scores through the playoffs so far.

 

Midlands Muscle winning through

There’s no doubting it now – the 1A Midlands is the toughest conference in the Northern half of the middle tier!

Both the Coventry Jets and NTU Renegades impressed with eyebrow-raising underdog victories on the weekend – NTU, in particular, overcoming the #1 seeded Hallam Warriors, despite leaving it until the final week of the season to actually book their place in the playoffs!

Let’s be honest, there’s not many peeps outside these two programmes that would have picked these two teams to be contesting promotion to the Prem North this weekend! Sure, NTU were on people’s radars early on, having played Prem football only a couple of seasons ago, but a post-Christmas slump appeared to leave the Renegades off the pace of the top teams in the tier.

Coventry, meanwhile, might have come into the season looking good off the back of an undefeated D2 campaign in their previous season, but it’s a rare team that can follow up promotion with potentially yet another leap up the Britball ladder just a year later!

As is, we now know one of these two Midlands outfits will be playing Premiership football next year… Which caused one community member to pose an interesting question: If Coventry earn promotion to the Premiership, would the North/South divide be rearranged to see the (admittedly only slightly) more northerly Birmingham Lions switch across to the Prem North?

 

But which teams had the worst of it this past weekend?

 

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1