- The Edinburgh Napier Knights are playing for promotion in their first year in the middle tier, and have sliced their way to the final two in the northern half of Division One without playing a single postseason fixture!
Wait… we made that sound like a positive, didn’t we?
Let’s try it this way… This Sunday, the Knights will take on the most dominant team in the middle tier having not taken to the field since 25 February, where they suffered a gruelling shutout loss to the Northumbria Mustangs. Hardly the ideal prep for the biggest game in the Knights programme’s history.
- The Teesside Cougars only made it to the half in their quarter-finals clash against their conference rivals, the Newcastle Raiders. While the Cougars had been competitive for at least the first portion of the regular season fixture between these two, it was all one-way on Sunday and the Cougars were forced to call it after just two quarters.
BUCS ruling a double-edged blade for the Sheffield Sabres
The Sheffield Sabres were one of two teams known to have opted against the postseason push back last Monday, the club having already spent thousands booking a tour for the weekend following the finals. However, their choice came back to haunt them this weekend, when their newly assigned Quarter Finals opponent’s field was declared unplayable due to the weather. Rather than enjoying a potential bye week had the postseason been delayed, instead the Sabres have to settle for a walkover loss against the Knights.
Pompey pull out of postseason matchup versus Saints
It seems the Destroyers perhaps didn’t have a whole lot of faith that they’d make it past the Saints in the top tier Quarter Finals, as following the postseason being pushed back a week, Portsmouth announced they wouldn’t have sufficient players available to safely make the trip north this past weekend.
With only 20 players able to travel, the Destroyers potentially face a £750 fine for withdrawing from the Championship postseason fixture.
Following the forfeiture, Head Coach Alex Phillips announced his departure from the club, though it’s noted that this was an already planned departure unrelated to the withdrawal. The Destroyers newly-elected committee sharing the following statement:
“Alex Phillips was a great coach and mentor. His passion and fire to coach Destroyers will be carried on into others for years to come. He has been an inspiration to many for the 12 years he has been with us. It is a great loss. But the committee will be working hard to fill a head coaching spot that will represent the U.”
Half a dozen Division One sides dumped out of the postseason
The middle tier found out on Monday last week that a dozen teams will be missing out on a week of the postseason… and half a dozen missing out on the postseason entirely as they were unceremoniously dumped out of the playoffs without stepping out onto the gridiron.
BUCS gave the Final Sixteen postseason teams the option of pushing the postseason back a week, but only with unanimous approval from all sixteen programmes… However, at least two teams dissented.
Still, on a more positive note we’re hearing two of those teams dropped out of the postseason have arranged an extra fixture, to allow their veterans to depart the club on a high – more news to follow on that one!