We’re scaling up our coverage of the women’s game this year, but we’re far from experts.
One thing we did notice however when looking at the results from the first pair of Opal Tournaments last month?
All four currently undefeated teams feature pink as a prominent colour in their kits.
This can hardly be a coincidence!
It’s clear that the team to beat in the North this Opal Series is Coventry… But which Coventry?
The Cougars have entered two teams into #Opal16 and both enter tournament two undefeated and having taken comfortable wins against all-comers in October.
Therefore, it’ll be Game One : Pitch One that draws the most attention this Saturday as the two-time National Champs Cougars look to put the young pretenders in their place as they take on their Youth team. Or perhaps we’ll see a changing of the guard as the programme’s most recent products look to usurp the conference title?
We should start to see a bit more separation in the middle of the rankings as the likes of Manchester, EKP, Sheffield and Teesside, all currently sat at two wins and a loss respectively, all start putting holes in one another’s winning records. Hallam Warriors were the only team to put up much of a fight against the Cougars in October, so they’re our ill-informed pick to come through this tournament unscathed and will look to keep pace with whoever emerges triumphant from the Coventry clash.
The hot favourites for the Southern title, the Northants Titans, were dominant through their two fixtures in Round One (91 points score, ZERO conceded), and join the Pink Panthers undefeated at the top of the Southern rankings.
Considering the show these two teams put on last meet, it’s unlikely either will be taking their first loss this weekend as they avoid going head to head for another round.
However, complacency is often the enemy of ability and the Titans will need to avoid letting their foot off the pedal in Game 4 when they take on a Portsmouth Dreadnoughts team that held the Pink Panthers to only 6 points in Game One of Round One back in October (they put 52 and 63 points on their other two opponents!).
Chichester and Peterborough will be looking to get out of the starting blocks this weekend. Both emerged winless from Opal 1, but with the two young programmes squaring off in Game Four it’s guaranteed that at least one of these two programmes will earn their first win of the season… (Eds: unless they draw. <– Redskins Fan. -.- )
Finally, keep an eye on the Warwick Wolves to have a perfect weekend. Their 2-1 record with 60 pf 50 pa may not look all that impressive, but when you considering 38 of those 50 points conceded came from a thwacking at the hands of the Northants Titans, the Wolves otherwise looked feisty in Opal 1, including a dominant 40-6 win over Wembley. Squaring off against rookie teams Peterborough and Cardiff, the Wolves should be in for a good weekend.