Not sure we’ve ever had so many #UpsetAlerts in our Sunday score updates!
As such, there’s gonna be a fair few names we weren’t expecting to see in this half of the article this week!
- Something’s gone awry in the NTU Renegades camp recently, as a team many thought would be a top contender for promotion back to the Premiership have lost three of their last four outings, including both post-holiday fixtures. Their loss to the Longhorns means NTU’s upcoming season-closing clash with Loughborough may become a must-win, else the Renegades find themselves missing out on postseason football this year.
- The Cambridge Pythons should have secured some postseason football on Sunday, but a surprise loss to the UEL Phoenix means things are looking a lot less certain. Should the Phoenix somehow find a way to fit in their three remaining fixtures the #2 berth out of the South East may be a long shot, but not out of reach.
- The Bath Spa Bulldogs came close to putting up their first points of the season against the Glads, but a first and goal situation ended in a turnover, and trailing 44-0 in the fourth, the game was called slightly early due to low player numbers on behalf of Bath. The Bulldogs will need to do a lot of work in the offseason to ensure they’re a team that’s able to truly compete in their next campaign.
Braves and Blitz locked into relegation berths
We now know two of the teams who will be playing football in a new tier next year, as losses for the Braves and Blitz on Sunday mean that, bar any points penalties or sanctions, these to outfits are locked into relegation.
For the Derby Braves, a third-straight shutout – their fifth of the season – emphasises how a poor recruitment coming into year the has left the Braves well off the pace of the rest of the Premiership North. They’ll close their campaign out against Carnegie next week, with the Leeds outfit currently hot on the tails of Nottingham at the top of the table. Still, with their exciting scholarship partnership now announced, the 1A Midlands might be in for a show next season!
Meanwhile, the Plymouth Blitz currently look on track for a first-ever winless season. The spark they showed against the Cobras seems to have fizzled out, putting up zero points against the Demons on Sunday. Considering how hotly contested the rest of the conference is, the Blitz can’t expect either of their remaining two opponents to go easy on them.
Perfection ruined as Predators, Bobcats, Stags and Swansea suffer losses
There were upsets galore this past week, but perhaps the most shocking were the number of previously undefeated teams that saw their win streaks come to a close!
The Swansea Titans‘ Prem South title hopes took a big knock, as a loss to the Lions shatters Swansea’s air of invulnerability – new boys, the Bullets now sit alone atop the South.
In the middle tier, the Southampton Stags may have kicked off the weekend early with a big win over the Bees, but just 36 hours later things were far more hotly contested in a wind-dominated second clash. Bath leapt out to an early lead, before the teams traded scores – Southampton eventually coming up a single point short!
In Division Two we saw the Bournemouth Bobcats‘ hopes of promotion take a big blow, with a loss to the Royals – Bournemouth will now we relying on help from Bristol to potentially create a three-way tie at the top of the 2A South West.
Finally, the Edinburgh Predators tarnished their perfect season with a loss to the Cougars – Teesside getting the go-ahead score in the closing seconds of the game. Having already secured promotion the loss doesn’t necessarily mean all that much – though it does open up the race for the #1 playoff seeding in the north.
Where’d those results come from?!
We saw a bunch of unexpected scorelines this Sunday, as teams that had beaten conference rivals early in the season suddenly found themselves blindsided in the second leg showdown!
We’ve mentioned a couple already – the Southampton Stags’ managed to turn a 21-0 win into a 18-19 loss just two days later (though admittedly the team emphasised that the first game’s scoreline didn’t do justice to a toughly-contested matchup) and the NTU Renegades put up 35 points on the Longhorns ahead of the Christmas break, but could only manage a mere 8 in their loss on Sunday. The Cambridge Pythons beat UEL 26-8 in Week Three, but lost 15-12 at the second time of asking.
Elsewhere, the Sheffield Sabres took apart the LJMU Fury 26-6 back in Week Four, but came up short 26-21 this weekend.
Our BUCS office were definitely left scratching their heads after Week Ten’s results!