The Southern half of Division 2A regroup after a mixed bag of performances in their cross-conference clashes last weekend.
Portsmouth have emerged as the clear frontrunners, but they’ll be watching their backs as crunchtime approaches in Sapphire – they held the top spot for much of Sapphire 2017 too, before the Stallions pipped them to the post…
Will we see the London side stake their claim this weekend? Can the Valkyries, who displayed obvious development on offence last week pick up their first W of the year?
Division 2A South Tournament Three Preview
The Wembley Stallions play host this weekend’s tourney, and so now’s as good a chance as ever if they’re planning on making a play for the top spot in the 2A South.
They took a walkover win, along with a disappointing loss to the Steelers, from last weekend’s Cross-conference tourney, and will be frustrated to find themselves two games adrift in the conference.
They open their day against the currently undefeated Dreadnoughts, and with the home-crowd at their backs will be hopeful to turn over the 13-point shutout loss they suffered last time the two sides met back in Tournament One.
The first game between these two was a defensive showdown with neither side able to break the stalemate for much of the game, before the Pompey firepower eventually shone through late to take the win.
Expect the Stallions to be eager to not only avenge their loss to the Dreadnoughts in this opening fixture, but also attempt to build momentum as they head right into the second game of the day too – taking on a Cardiff Valkyries side that proved they are team on the rise this past weekend.
The welsh team might still be winless on paper, but they put in an impressive showing at the cross-conference tournament. Having failed to post up a single score in their seven-a-side debut in Tourney One, they proved feisty opponents to the Northern sides this past weekend, posting up 44 points of offence in their two outings, Quarterback Kira Walker and wideout Ruth Lewis emerging as standout threats for the Valkyries.
Cardiff Head Coach Simon Browning emphasised:
We shall be using the time to be going over the film to help prepare and come up with some new wrinkles for the opposition… Both teams can attack in different ways and so we shall have to be alert, ready and focussed for both games to make sure that we are in position. No matter what happens though, you can be sure that the team will leave it all on the field for the full game. Never quitting and pushing right to the end. Its promises to be a great day!
As such, don’t expect either the Stallions, or even the Dreadnoughts to take their games against Cardiff granted on Saturday, even with the one-sided scorelines back in Tourney One.
While the final fixture of the slate, the undefeated Portsmouth versus the winless Cardiff, might at first glance appear something of a mismatch? Don’t be surprised to see this fixture far more closely fought than the last time these two teams met.
Portsmouth have certainly appeared the class of the conference so far, taking a walkover win as well as an impressive 32-9 rumbling of the Romans away from the Cross-Conference Tournament. However, they’ll be all too aware that every single fixture of the series counts when it comes to claiming the conference crown.
The Dreadnoughts shared with DC:
“We believe that we can still play better and we know that we still need to improve. We know that each week teams are improving, and our aim is to be a better team every time we take the field.
We are looking forward to next week where get to play against some familiar teams in Wembley and Cardiff, both of which we have great respect for and we know that they will be very tough games.
Ones to watch for next week are Andrea Rustand, running back, who is excellent running with the ball, and Iiona Sennett, who is our leader at QB and motivates the whole team.”
If results go the right way, there’s still room for either Wembley or Pompey to finish top in the South, or perhaps even the Valkyries to overtake the Stallions into second place!
Division 2A South Tournament Three Fixtures | Wembley
- Game 1: Portsmouth Dreadnoughts vs Wembley Stallions
- Game 2: Wembley Stallions vs Cardiff Valkyries
- Game 3: Cardiff Valkyries vs Portsmouth Dreadnoughts