A return to Scotland will see East Kilbride Pirates host the fourth round of the Sapphire Series, where the rivalry games are set for a rematch. After two rounds in the north and a weekend of cross-conference games with the south, it’s time to get back to the games and see if Leeds Carnegie Chargers will be able to defend their top spot as defending northern champions.
Division 1A North Tournament Four Preview
By Lianne Hare
East Kilbride Pirates will face off against Edinburgh Wolves for a second time in the competition. After a defeat in the second round, they’ll be eager to level the score with their Scottish rivals.
With East Kilbride Pirates putting 19 points past the Wolves defence in the second round and proving to have further weapons in their arsenal. Claire Cochrane has returned to the team at Quarterback, throwing her first completed pass for a touchdown against southern giants, the Birmingham Lions. The Pirates really could be ones to watch as the series draws to a close.
This is not to say that Edinburgh Wolves will not rise to the challenge. After finishing last weekend 2-4 they have everything to play for with only 2 points between them and the Manchester Titans for second place in the northern conference. Their defence shows no signs of slowing down – in their first game Wolves came into the second half neck and neck with the Pirates, and we saw their offence build momentum, play after play.
We’re not sure what kind of pep talks go down in the Wolves changing rooms at halftime, but if they come back with that level of execution this weekend we’re sure to see another win chalked up for them.
At the top end of the table, Leeds Carnegie Chargers are set to take on their roses rival Manchester Titans once again.
In the second round matchup, Manchester Titans had a run-away score from Sian Perry within minutes of the first whistle, giving the Chargers defence something they weren’t expecting. But these scores weren’t enough to secure them their first win over Leeds and the Chargers defence have since continued to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with, seeing the likes of Bo Steward, Charlotte Conway and Lisa Thomas reminding teams why they’re every offences worst enemy. They took a nice win against the Warriors this past weekend, but might the loss to the Lions have knocked their confidence?
Manchester Titans enter this round with a 3-3 record and after facing Leeds they’ll head into their second game with Edinburgh Wolves, which in the first round saw them almost gain their second defensive shutout of the tournament. But with both teams being quite evenly matched in this round, it may be the closest game of the day.
Leeds may be returning to Scotland with a 5-1 lead in this year’s standings, but this does not mean they’ll be taking a back seat in these game. Both their offence and defence have worked tirelessly to score an impressive 291 points across the three tournaments, whilst conceding only 86 points.
Division 1A South Fixtures | London
- East Kilbride Pirates vs Edinburgh Wolves
- Leeds Carnegie Chargers vs Manchester Titans
- Manchester Titans vs East Kilbride Pirates
- Edinburgh Wolves vs Leeds Carnegie Chargers