With a week’s headstart on the rest of the series, the top tier of Sapphire is already seeing rivalries emerging, paces being set…
And we’re expecting those rivalries to outright explode on the gridiron this weekend, as the two pace-setters so far in the North go head-to-head in the headline game from Division One North!
Division 1A North, Tournament Two Preview
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Following a first quartet of games that saw over 240 points smashed up onto the scoreboard?
Tourney two has a rather tough act to follow!
However, while the opening weekend featured a border-rivalry theme, with Scots versus English in all four fixtures, this weekend’s matchups will the rivalries taken a bit closer to heart and home – as the first round of fixtures sees Sapphire’s two Scottish sides square off, while we see something of a Roses showdown as Manchester take on Leeds.
Both programmes from north of the wall emerged from the opening weekend without a win to their names as neither side could keep pace with what was a pace-setting start to the year from Leeds and Manchester. However, the Edinburgh Wolves saved some face, finding ways to put up points in both their games, and as such likely come into this weekend with a slight edge in the confidence stakes, versus their Scots rivals, the East Kilbride Pirates.
Yes, it was a rough first round of fixtures for the Pirates, who conceded 158 points in their opening day of balling, while posting none of their own – though it’s notable that each and every baller still came out of these fixtures with smiles on their faces! Enjoying the action, even if the results weren’t going their way.
Look for the Pirates to put their first points on the board this week – their first sevens victory is not beyond them if they can pull the right pieces and plays together.
Meanwhile, a crucial top-of-the-table matchup will be taking place on the other pitch, as undefeated Titans and Chargers go head to head!
Both teams romped through their opening day fixtures, though the Chargers impressive 142 points scored might well be something of a record for an opening tournament statline, especially the 38 points put up by a rampaging Chargers defence!
Indeed, that’s likely the crux of this match up – how the Titans dynamic offence holds up against a Leeds defence that looked unstoppable last Saturday – Bo Steward, Gaby Knops, Charlotte Conway all repeatedly finding their way into the backfield to disrupt offences and post up points from the team’s incredible TEN safeties and three pick sixes scored in only two games so far this year!
Now, that’s not to say the Titan’s own D is any slouch – similarly only conceding a single score last weekend. Indeed, if both D’s play to form, we could see this matchup turn into a physical grind for dominance, with potentially very few scores determining who comes out on top.
While there will be a second leg of this crucial matchup this year (the two sides only meeting the once in #Sapphire17), expect both teams to put it all on the line in this Round One game.
Following these rivalry showdowns, the second leg of fixtures sees a repeat of two of last weekend’s games, and given the little time between these two outings? It’s tough to see the outcomes being too different – though expect more modest scorelines as the teams’ ever-growing experience and football knowledge begins to shine through.
1A North Tournament Two Fixtures:
East Kilbride Pirates v Edinburgh Wolves
Leeds Chargers v Manchester Titans
Manchester Titans v East Kilbride Pirates
Edinburgh Wolves v Leeds Chargers