Though we’ve seen a couple of crowns locked up, we’ve still got a wealth of football to play out in the U17s and U19s game…
With the prospect of the cold war being popped in the microwave for two and reheated, let’s take a look at how things would stand… If The Season Ended Today!
First things first, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page how things work for 2019.
For 2019 the format to determine seedings in all National League Contact disciplines is as follows, except where explicitly specified:
i) Win-Loss-Tie record,
ii) Tiebreakers as follows:
- Head-to-head record/aggregate score (where applicable)
- Lowest Average Points Conceded in games played (walkover wins excluded)
- Highest Won/Loss/Tied record for scheduled away games
- Lowest number of players ejected
- A coin toss by the Competition Management
Taking this into account, this would currently give us the following teams seeing their seasons extended in the Under 17 and Under 19s contact formats:
(+) Denotes an awarded walkover victory
(-) Denotes a forfeited defeat
APC – Average Points Conceded
Six first-place teams in each region, plus two best second-place teams, head to Britbowl Tournament.
Four remaining second-place teams and four best third-place teams head to National Plate Tournament.
Headed to Britbowl
#1. Highland Wildcats (++++): 1st, 12-0-0, 11.75 APC
#2. Gateshead Senators (++): 1st, 11-0-1, 7.4 APC
#3. Essex Spartans: 1st, 10-2-0, 15.5 APC
#4. Tamworth Phoenix (+): 1st, 9-0-0, 5.38 APC
#5. Hertfordshire Cheetahs (++): 1st, 9-0-0, 9.29 APC
#6. Chorley Buccaneers* (+++++): 1st, 9-1-0, 16.8 APC
#7. Manchester Titans South (++): 2nd, 9-3-0, 16.3 APC
#8. Cobham Cougars: 2nd, 8-1-0, 20.67 APC
*The Buccaneers and Titans North and South currently all have 9 wins with overlapping head to heads (Bucs>South>North>Bucs). I believe Chorley win out based upon the following records playing one another:
- Bucs 3-1
- South 2-2
- North 1-3
Even if this should not prove to be the case, with two games in hand Chorley just need a single win to lock up the Northern Title.
Headed to National Plate Tournament
#9. Birmingham Lions (++): 2nd, 7-2-0, 13.57 APC
#10. Yorkshire Assassins (++): 2nd, 7-2-0, 20.0 APC
#11. Solent Seahawks: 2nd, 7-2-0, 16.78 APC
#12. Edinburgh Napier Knights (+++): 2nd, 7-5-0, 22.30 APC
#13. Manchester Titans North (++++): 3rd, 9-3-0, 17.75 APC
#14. Kent Exiles (+): 3rd, 8-1-0, 13.88 APC
#15. Etone Jaguars (+++): 3rd, 7-3-0, 15.14 APC
#16. Swindon Storm* (++): 3rd, 6-6-0, 21.80 APC
*It’s been confirmed that the Farnham Knights (++—, 1st, 7-5-0, 14.71 APC) are not eligible for playoffs due to early season forfeits. As such, we’re assuming the Storm will be counted as the #3 team in the South, else the East Kilbride Pirates (+++, 3rd, 5-7-0, 27.97 APC) will move into the #16 spot.
- Highland Wildcats (Scotland)
- Gateshead Senators (North East)
The Under 17 finals, both Britbowl and National Plate tournaments, take place on Saturday 10 August at Stourbridge Rugby Football Club, Bridgnorth Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY7 6QZ.
The Pirates have secured Division One North, and the Giants the northern half of Division Two. Outside that, however, there’s still a lot to play for in terms of plate action and placement, particularly in the south.
So let’s take a look at who’s in the running to see some postseason action!
Top two teams from each region will proceed to Britbowl playoffs, while the third-place teams will get a shot at a regional Trophy title.
The first-place team in each region will host the second-place team in a semi-final, with the victors proceeding to a North vs South National Championship, and those that come up short hosting the third-place team in their respective region to play for the North/South Trophy.
As things stand:
- East Kilbride Pirates (6-0-0) vs Birmingham Lions (4-0-2)
Both these teams are locked in, regardless of the result of Birmingham’s final regular season fixture.
Northern Trophy Finalist:
- Manchester Titans (4-2-0)
- London Blitz (5-0-0) vs London Warriors (4-1-0)
The Blitz are locked in as champions… The Warriors’ situation is a tad more complicated. There’s still a slim possibility of seeing four teams tied at 4-2-0 (Warriors lose vs Cougars, Herts vs Blitz), I’m still fairly certain the Warriors would win out through these tiebreakers and are thus effectively locked into 2nd place.
Southern Trophy Finalist:
- Solent Seahawks (4-2-0)
The Seahawks hold the H2H over Herts, and a lower APC than Kent, so even if the Cheetahs beat the Blitz, Solent would hold onto 3rd.
We haven’t seen any action here since the last ITSET, so things remain the same as they were following Week Twelve.
This year’s tournament will see the top two teams from each of the North and South Conferences battle it out for the 7v7 title.
The event will start with two semi-finals, the first-place team in the South taking on the second-placed team in the North, and the first-place team in the North playing the Southern runners-up. The winners will face off for the Division 2 title, while the losing semi-finalists will battle it out for 3rd and 4th place.
If we’re to take the standings as they are at time of publication:
Semi-Final One (N1 vs S2)
North East Giants (6-0-0) vs Lincolnshire Bombers (3-3-0)
Semi-Final Two (S1 vs N2)
Black Country Vipers (4-0-0) vs Chester Romans (4-2-0)
The North have played all their games, so the Giants and Romans are locked in.
In the South, only the Ipswich Cardinals still have the potential to displace the Vipers from the top spot, needing to both win out (beating the Vipers by a large enough margin to steal the head-to-head) and also for the Vipers themselves to lose to the Spartans as well.
Therefore both Ipswich and Essex are still strictly in the running to extend their season, with Ipswich, in particular, only needing a single victory from their remaining tournament to displace the Bombers from the #2 spot in the south, thanks to having the H2H over Lincolnshire.
The U19s Division Two Finals will also take place at Stourbridge Rugby Football Club, on Sunday 25 August.
Disclaimer and proviso: These are the seedings and fixtures as best as DC can figure them. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS SUCH. No seedings, fixtures, dates, venues, or methods of determining any of the above should be considered ‘confirmed’ until released by BAFA or its partners.