Titans @ Nighthawks : Preview
After a good day in the sunshine in their first home game of the season, the Nighthawks return to the Hawk’s Nest, JMO Sports Park this coming Sunday, when the visitors are Manchester Titans. The game kicks off at 2:30pm
Manchester surprised many last year with a trip to the play offs in their first season back in the Premiership. Finishing 7-3 after splitting games with the Nighthawks last year, including the heartbreaking, last-second, ‘Miracle on Merseyside’ loss. They were easily dispatched by eventual Britbowl winners, the London Warriors in the semi final, but make no mistake, this Manchester outfit can play.
Our games with Edinburgh always seem to be either huge scoring shoot outs (see 44-41 last year, 42-42 back in 2014 for reference) or really tight defensive battles. Whichever way the game goes, it usually ends up with the winning margin being less than a score, with 3 of our last 4 games being settled by 4 points or less. The exception to this was the opening game defeat last season, when Manchester bested the Merseyside outfit 42-31. This was the catalyst to Manchester’s 5 game winning streak, which ultimately gave them advantage when the end of season standings were compiled.
Manchester have started fast so far this year. Already sitting at 2-0 after victories over the Leicester Falcons and Sheffield Giants, the Titans will be looking to make it 3 on the bounce and take an early season advantage over their closest rivals. Their opening game result (49-16 over Leicester) appeared to send a statement of intent to the league this year, but the offence failed to fire last week, beating Sheffield Giants just 6-0. That result appeared as a setback to most of the Britball community, but their defence proved to be legit, with it’s ‘bend don’t break’ mentality.
Merseyside on the other hand currently sit at 2-1, after victories over the Falcons in their opening game and Edinburgh Wolves last weekend adding to their loss at Tamworth. They started slow last week and let Edinburgh score 14 points early on and must tighten up defensively early on to shut Manchester down, whilst making sure that their offence puts together similar drives to last week’s second-half result.