In a mammoth week of games across the BUCS pyramid, in which 62 teams took the field and just one game was postponed, there are plenty of rumblings and ramifications to comb through as we bring you this season’s 10th edition of ‘What We Learned.’
- The new kids on the block continue to prove their worth
On the road, against once table-topping Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt shut-out their opposition and claimed their first win of the season. That 21-0 scoreline also represented the a full house of victories for all our new entrants into BUCSball this year! With some of these rookie programmes having a number of close run losses so far this season, expect their collective win column to grow as the season progresses.
2. By hook or by crook, the Plymouth Blitz are getting it done
Down at the bottom of the BUCS hierarchy, where only one team gets playoff football, seasons can be won or lost on the basis of just a game or two – and the big games means everything. Fortunately for Plymouth, they have found ways to win those big games. With their 29-21 triumph over Gloucestershire at the weekend, which completed their league double over the Gladiators, Plymouth now just need to win one more game to clinch the Western 2A divisional crown. Their likely match-up with Portsmouth is surely the one to watch come playoff-time in Division Two…
3. The playoff picture in the top division is (basically) complete
With just Bath and Imperial still to fight it out for the remaining playoff spot in the Premier division quarter-finals, we can start looking forward to some juicy knockout-stage match-ups. As it stands, Derby’s trip to Hertfordshire looks like the most likely potential for an upset – with the Braves giving Durham an almighty scare this weekend and buoyed by a small influx of stateside talent over the off-season. Loughborough’s trip to Brum also contains potential for a giant killing, with the Lions far from dominating bottom side Imperial at the weekend and ‘the Students’ capable of running any of the top sides close.
4. The lower tier postseason match-ups are starting to come together as well
With first-placed Sussex, Brighton, Surrey, NTU, UCLan and Glasgow as well as second-placed Brighton and Leeds Beckett guaranteed playoff football this season,half of the 16 playoff spots in division one have been filled. Among the teams who can claim postseason berths this weekend include the Warwick Wolves – who can clinch with a win at home against Nottingham. Cardiff can also claim that all important playoff berth with a win at UWE, while Royal Holloway can reach the big dance if they come out victorious against Kings College. In the third tier, meanwhile, the LJMU Fury have successfully navigated the North West 2A, while Plymouth and Portsmouth look fairly certain to follow.