What We Learned – BUCS Playoffs Regional Finals

Two of the four games in this weekend’s postseason slate may have meant little more than a few BUCS points, with all four of the teams involved already moving up a tier, but two of them meant just about everything to the teams involved. Especially in the case of NTU, who have been knocking on the door of Premiership status since the years of the Midlands Athletic Conference, this game really couldn’t have meant much more. So who won it all, and who went oh-so-close? This is what we learned this past weekend..

1.  The NTU Renegades have finally cracked it

After losing to Hallam comfortably in the postseason last year following a typically sturdy 2014/15 season, NTU got over the knockout stage hump in some style on Sunday. Seeing as it’s taken three one possession games, including those in which they had to both valiantly come from behind and desperately protect a lead, the Renegades certainly have run the gamut of emotions. After our very own Kieran Matthews picked the ball off with a slender lead and around two minutes left against Glasgow, the Renegades made sure that they have several months to enjoy the more positive end of that emotional spectrum.

2. What is the point of these BUCS points games?

With NTU and Swansea both shedding blood, sweat and tears to secure their promotion, it does provide a sort of comical comparison to see the already promoted division two teams playing at the same time – but for nothing more than the right to a couple of BUCS points for their university’s yearly total. Essentially acting as the Pro Bowl of britball, are these games really essential, especially when players are on their final legs from nine games of football already? Granted, its a chance for backup  players to get some on-field practice, but is a glorified practice scrimmage worth risking injury? (Eds: Whoa now! There’s some 11th place rings at stake here!!)

3. On the other side of the coin, these handheld video streams do appear to have a point

NTU’s innovative communications decision to stream its big game against Glasgow from the smartphone of someone on the Renegades may prove to be the light bulb moment for BUCS football’s journalistic future. While live footage of BUCS games used to be limited to the odd commentated stream rigged up from the back of a van, which takes hours to set up, this new method could make our job at DC a whole lot easier. So, university communications teams, go forth and handheld stream!