#Sapphire17 | Division One ‘East’ Tournament Preview

Week Two for Division One brings a bizarre cross-over of the two conferences. Instead of the usual Northern and Southern Conferences, this weekend we can look forward to Eastern and Western Conferences. With the two Scottish teams having to make the long trek down to Derby, it will be interesting to see how well they travel.

Despite Round One being played on their home turf, the East Kilbride Pirates walked away with two losses, only scoring four points the entire tournament. Given the two heavyweights Manchester Titans and Leeds Chargers have been temporarily relocated into the ‘Western’ tournament, newcomers EKP will be looking to rack up points against anyone they can find. They have proved that their defence can hold their own, whilst their offence has shown some strong drives. Ultimately they just need to work completing on those drives, something they have assuredly been working on over the past week.

Photography by Duncan Gray - see more of his work and purchase prints and downloads at Duncolm.co.uk
Photography by Duncan Gray – see more of his work and purchase prints and downloads at Duncolm.co.uk

Alongside the Pirates, the Edinburgh Wolves will look to gain some ground in the Northern conference as they face Derby and London for the very first time in 7 on 7 contact. However, it’s likely to be tough going for both of the northern sides, as Derby are the only ‘veterans’ of Division One coming into this tournament, and even they were unable to hold off a feisty London Warriors side that hit the top tier running last weekend with a win in their Div One debut.

With Round Two hosted by the Braves, it’s a long trip south and so whether the Scots travel down on the day, or stay in a hotel overnight, neither option leads to a well-rested squad – only adding to their underdog status! At the very least, with EKP and Derby coming into the tourney winless, we’re going to see one of these sides score their first scalp of the series, while a fixture to keep a close eye on will be when the Warriors and Wolves face off in their opening match up.

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Photography by Garry Charles (c) MyLonelyTreeMedia via Facebook.com

The Warriors took their first loss in over a year against the Tornadoes in Round One, and it’ll be interesting to see how Coach Allen and his team respond. Will the Warriors stumble in the face of adversity, or will this loss galvanise them for the greater challenge that the top tier offers? There’s very real potential for both the Warriors and the Wolves to keep pace with the top teams in their respective conferences if they can come away from this eastern tournament with Ws…

One thing’s for certain – all three newcomers are going to be chomping at the bit to prove themselves to be the best rookie 7s outfit!



Claudie Allan

Switched from ice hockey to American football in my second year of university. Didn’t quite realize I’d be the only person on the team who wasn’t a bloke. Nevertheless, I ended up playing defense for the UH Sharks for the remaining three years of my degree. After I graduated, I moved back down south and continued playing, this time for the London Warriors, until injury and subsequent disability ended my ‘career’.