Pulling The Flag

Power Rankings – Week 9

So who’s holding up the rest of the best?
1 London Rebels

What? The Rebels drew a game? They sure did! 32-32 with the Reading Lions. But hey, are they really going to wobble enough to be moving out of the #1 spot? Not a chance! Rebels stay top of the leaderboard.
2 Woodham Warriors 

As well as dominating the HNC South, the Warriors are likely to play spoiler for one of their northern rivals. More on that later though as my head hurts working out who is likely to make it through to the playoffs and be ranked as far as the North is concerned. Woodham’s games are against Grangemouth and Aberdeen though and are sure to be a major factor before and after the playoffs.
3 Sheffield Predators

You might think that the Predators are fine tuning themselves for the playoffs after their 80-12 domination of the Manchester Titans at the weekend! You’d be right! They haven’t really been pushed as hard as they could have been for the MEC South. The Honey Badgers have nibbled at them, but not really left anything resembling a mark. With a defence that has only given up 49 points all season they are as tight as pair of Russell Brand’s trousers.
4 Cardiff Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have two games left on August 3rd against their inter-conference rivals Leicester Eagles and Buckinghamshire Blitz.The game against the Eagles could be purely for playoff position by this point. Nonetheless, it could be a really entertaining game. Much is to be decided elsewhere, however the ‘Canes remain at #4 and we see no reason to think this will change.
5 West Essex Showboats

A couple of weeks ago we gave the Showboats their props and moved them up to #5. Nothing has changed and they will remain there for week 9. The Northants Titans have put in some fine performances this last weekend and have made the top two in the SEC North look more competitive. However the Showboats have only given up 60 points and look a decent team going into the playoffs.
6 Chichester Sharks

The Sharks move up into #6 spot, purely on the basis that the battle up in Scotland is so tight. The Reading Lions are giving them a good run for their money, however the Sharks should hold onto the #2 position in the SEC South and make the playoffs. Always a threat to any team, they are arguably the strongest of any second placed team in the league.
7 Leicester Eagles

Two wins this weekend for the Eagles gives them the division. There is more than a fair chance this is going to happen as they have games against the 1-2 Buckinghamshire Blitz and 1-4 Coventry Cougars. Are the Eagles really that good this season or are they playing a very weak division? Perhaps its a bit of both!
The Coventry Jets are in somewhat of a downward spiral. They are struggling with squad issues, injuries and maybe too many pre-game McDonalds trips? The Cougars are trying their best to fuse a youthful team together, consisting of players still eligible for juniors and the national champion female team, so they are a bit of a work in progress. Little is known about the Blitz other than that they are an ex-kitted outfit. Add that all up and it doesn’t take Good Will Hunting to work out why the Eagles are where they are.
So with all of that being said, the Eagles have capitalised on their match ups and frankly kicked some ass along the way. 39 points against screams out “HARD TO BEAT”.
8 Mansfield Honey Badgers

A 74-30 over the Manchester Titans shows that the Honey Badgers are growing in confidence. They have all but clinched their playoff spot. With games against Calderdale Knights and Leeds Samurai, they can surely start preparing for playoff football. For a rookie team, we would recommend teams watch out for them in the post season.
9 Newcastle Blackhawks

Where are the Scottish teams, I hear you ask? You’ll find out in a moment. Before that, we’d like to give the Blackhawks a little mention in the rankings. They unofficlally have clinched a playoff birth with their wins in Ravenscraig. That’s thanks to a 54-20 win over Carluke and a 59-25 over Edinburgh, plus the news that Carluke will be unable to field a team in their next fixtures, giving Newcastle a walkover.They were due to travel to Northumberland and play the Thunder and Cobras, however Carluke being unable to complete the fixture gives them a playoff birth by default. Not the way they would wish to make their first post season and we believe it will be accepted with a heavy heart. Still it’s not their fault and the achievement should be recognised.
10 Grangemouth Broncos, Aberdeen Oilcats and Glasgow Hornets

Lets get one thing straight, this weeks rankings are not going to be this way come the next couple of weeks. The reason we’ve had to move all three teams down to the bottom is, quite simply we haven’t got a Scooby Doo which one of these teams is going to win the HNC North, let alone finish second! One thing’s for sure, whoever does will shoot up dramatically in the rankings.
As has been mentioned in The Quick Slant, if Glasgow win both their games against Carluke and Edinburgh (if Carluke can field a team) on August 2nd, they’ll be on 8-2-1. That means both Grangemouth and Aberdeen have to win their last three games on August 10th to keep the Hornets out of the playoffs. If both the Broncos and Oilcats lose the same amount of games, the Oilcats miss the cut. (Sorry John Hill, it was just a lot easier to plagiarise QS this time round to save my brain from exploding).
The last three games are Northumberland, Newcastle and as stated earlier…Woodham, OUCH!
Which leads me to that old nursery rhyme
“There were three in the bed and the little one said “Roll over, Roll over!
So they all rolled over and one fell out, oh they did scream and shout!
Please remember to pull their flags, the playoffs are only made for 1 and 2″

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