U19 | Week Eight Preview

Two fixtures in the Under 19 game this weekend, but what fixtures they are! We see some top contenders take to the gridiron, with undefeated streaks under threat!

Bimingham Lions vs Solent Academy Seahawks

Tom Henley

This weekend provides us with one of the most intriguing fixtures of the U19 season, two very talented teams come face to face at the Metchley pitches at the University of Birmingham. The Lions match up with the Solent Seahawks in a game promising to look more like a BUCS game, rather than junior ball.

The Birmingham Lions with studs across the board are currently undefeated. Third year captain, Rohan Sandhu, who led the clutch comeback against the Blitz, is set on running the table. However, there is still room for improvement according to the young quarterback, the idea of maintaining their level of play throughout the whole game ‘until the final whistle’. the goal of the season for Lions is to win the National Championship, but the playmaker insisted that they will take it ‘one game at a time’ and ‘installing a thorough game plan’ for each performance is the way forward.

Solent should watch out for a mean linebacker trio of Micheal Wathen, Ewan Lockwood and Defensive Captain Cam Dean. On the offensive side of the ball, accompanying Sandhu, is running back Josh Ekwulugo, who ran in two scores during Birmingham’s last outing. It must be noted that Ekwulugo’s backfield stablemate, rookie, Zach Benmoulai, also ran in two touchdowns versus the Black Country Vipers. Expect the young Lions to start fast and strong, bringing physicality in order to shut down the oppositions ground game.

Image may contain: one or more people, american football and textThe Seahawks also carry a strong roster and will be feeling confident after a shootout victory against the powerful Farnham Knights. Throughout the first half of the season, the defence have been stalwart, however, Solent’s offence are all too aware that they have been somewhat lacking in the redzone. If the team wishes to make the playoffs, improvement inside the opposition’s 20 is a must.

The strong defensive unit focuses around stand out Nic Bergamschi, with the linebacker having an impressive game against the aforementioned Knights. The go-to-guy on the other side of the ball is wide receiver Tom Moore, the Lions will have to assign special attention to this deep threat, in order to prevent the playmaker from getting a score on the day.

Other players that could make the difference Saturday are running back Dom De Monte and defensive back James Green – anticipate these two to bring physicality to match the opposing Lions.

Image may contain: one or more people, people playing sport and outdoor
Image via facebook.com/SolentSeahawks

Special mention must go to another third year captain, Harry Elton-Dobbin, a member of the Lions BUCS squad. The big man will be wanting to be the difference, with his coaches and university teammates on the opposing sideline, after all who doesn’t want bragging rights when next term starts? Saturday will be a close, physical affair, too close to even dare predict. All that is certain is that whoever comes away with the win at the weekend, will be one step closer to clinching playoff football, and that little bit nearer to BritBowl!

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Nottingham Caesars vs Leeds Academy Assassins

Kiren Brown

This weekend, the Nottingham Caesars host the Leeds Assassins in a promising Britball matchup in the Northern Division. The Caesars look to continue their undefeated start to the season, whilst the Assassins look to bounce back from their season-opening 54-14 defeat against the Manchester Titans.

Nottingham have started the season 3-0, echoing the perfect start to the year of their adult programme, and this includes two shutout wins against the Lincolnshire Bombers and Manchester Titans, alongside a hard-fought, come-from-behind 34-12 victory over the Chester Romans. The Caesars seem to have found their offensive philosophy this year, with all of their touchdowns coming on the ground so far, including running back Robin Carreras finding the endzone five times.

 

Meanwhile the Assassins have only played in one game so far this season, so come into the game as relative unknowns. That solitary match-up was a one-sided affair, with them coming up on the wrong side of a #50Burger against the tough Manchester Titans, who have looked dominant in all their match ups but one this season – notably their game against the Caesars! It will be interesting to see how this team performs, and whether they can get back to the high-scoring, playoff-caliber offence they displayed last year, in their second year at this level of competition.

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Photography (c) Samcrow Lee. via facebook.com/CaesarsU19

We’re unsure how this game will shape up: if Leeds can re-find their form they have immense scoring capability, but the Nottingham D has proven fearsome up to this point of the season. The same is true in reverse – whilst Leeds’ defence was leaky in their first match-up, can they shut out a potentially one-dimensional Caesars O? Rhetorical questions help nobody, but at this stage we don’t have much else!

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Nick

Nick ‘Willy Tee’ Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he’s spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general ‘BUAFL wafflage’. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1