Pulling The Flag

Power Rankings – Youth

Just before the season got underway, we populated our very first power rankings for youth football.

With the season half way in, it’s time to revisit those rankings and give you an update.

U17s

1: Northants Titans – 6-0

The Titans have been on fire in their first six games, racking up 236 points and only conceding 56 along the way. In what is a very strong North conference, we don’t expect the Titans to drop the ball on the way to a title.

So far their only real competition has come in the way of the Coventry Panthers, trailing at half-time, they then went on to punish the Panthers 32-18. They dispatched the reigning champions, the Coventry Cougars 27-7 last time out as well.

With a large squad and an out and out star in Langley Voss, they look like champions elect.

2: Coventry Panthers – 5-1

If the Panthers field their strongest line up, they look likely to claim the North’s second spot at finals. Having already beaten the Chorley Cutlasses on game day one, 13-6, if they can match that win, they will own the head-to-head and would seem unlikely to be caught. Factor in the Coventry Cougars going through a transitional year, the power shift in Coventry is looking likely to take place.

More on their rivalry with the Cutlasses further down the thread.

3: Buckinghamshire Wolves – 9-0

Missing their counterparts from the last two years, in the form of the Nortants Titans, who moved from the South conference. The Wolves have been making hay, whilst the sun shines.

478 points for and 59 against is bound to catch the eye. Add a caveat to that though, as they have very little in he way of competition and have been playing 20 minutes halves for the first couple of tournaments, instead of 15, which is expected at youth.

None the less though, they have been mightily impressive so far this season and deserve all the plaudits that come their way. Their biggest problem now is finding competition between now and finals, so that they are sharp against stronger competition.

4: London Blitz – 7-2

By virtue of the fact that they look likely to follow the Wolves to the finals, the London Blitz take the fourth spot, as they will be assured of a finals place.

They have only lost two games, however, those two games have come at the hands of the Buckinghamshire Wolves to the tune of 108 points against, with not 1 point for. That really doesn’t give us confidence that they would make an impact at finals at all.

They could still miss out, as the London Warriors only trail them by two games, but they do hold a two game head-to-head over them as well, so finals look more likely than not.

5: Chorley Buccaneers Cutlasses – 5-1

That’s a real kick in the teeth for the Cutlasses, as they are a team with real pedigree, but find themselves in a much stronger North conference.

They’re still very much in the running and if they can win their next three games and go to their last game day in parity with the Panthers, there could be an all to play for game on the table!

6: Coventry Cougars  3-3

As mentioned earlier, the Cougars are in a transitional phase. The loss of key players to age, really has hit them. Losses to the Chorley Cutlasses, Leicester Huntsmen and Northants Titans, means they need to run the table and hope fixtures go their way to realistically reach finals now.

They could pick up three wins in their next round of fixtures, with games against the Chorley Broadswords, Burnley Tornados and Leicester Huntsmen. However, they’d need to take that momentum into their last game day and beat both the Northants Titans and Coventry Panthers, which seems more than tricky.

U12s

1: Waveney Wolves  9-0

Played nine, won nine. The Waveney Wolves are the team in form in the South, if not the whole league. With 234 points scored and 59 against, in realistically what is six games and not nine, as they got three forfeit wins by nature of no opposing teams making the journey to their first home tournament.

The Wolves were our hot tip for success last year, but fell at their first finals. This year we fully expect them to take the finals by storm and reach the big game, if not win it. They’ve secured their place at finals and conference title for a second year running already.

2: Chorley Buccaneers Red Beards – 9-0

Likewise, the Red Beards have a perfect record and have secured a finals birth. They haven’t quite yet claimed their conference title, though that now seems a done deal, with games lined up against the Studley Bearcats, Black Beards and Burnley Tornados.

Two close games against the Leicester Huntsmen have given them the advantage and a shot at top seed, but more likely a second seed birth at finals behind the Waveney Wolves.

A Waveney Wolves v Chorley Red Beards final looks likely. Can the Red Beards repeat? Sure, they have a knack of winning when it matters.

3: Leicester Huntsmen – 7-2

The Huntsmen are a dangerous side to face, they’ve scored more points than any team in the league so far and have conceded the least (if you take the Waveney Wolves forfeit scenario and wrong timings out the equation).

272 points for and 56 against shows they are not a team you’d fancy playing when they’re on it, however, they haven’t managed to win the big games against the Chorley Red Beards, so you have to temper those stats somewhat.

They only need one more win to secure a finals birth and have a two game head-to-head over the Coventry Cougars, so it’s a formality that they will join the Wolves and Red Beards this weekend as number three seeds based on their previous results against the Coventry Cougars, Chorley Black Beards and Burnley Tornados.

4: London Warriors 5-4

A real battle of the London teams is taking place on the South coast this weekend. The Warriors currently hold a 5-4 record over their rivals, the Blitz, who are 4-5.

The Warriors have a slender advantage over the Blitz in number of wins, but also their head-to-head, as the beat them by the margin two points, in a 32-30 win on May 6th.

5: London Blitz  – 4-5

Furthermore to the Warriors placing, the Blitz have a better points for, with 229 for compared to the Warriors 189. They’ve allowed less points in also, with 100, compared to the 125 conceded by their rivals.This all points to an absolute winner takes all classic between the two this Saturday.

If the Blitz were to make it, they’re no strangers to the finals, having lost the final itself last year and winning the 2015 u13s version too.

It seems the forfeit games at Waveney could really comeback to bite the loser here! Whoever goes through, they are likely to be fourth seeds and a danger to the rest.

6: Coventry Cougars 5-4

Realistically, the Cougars need snookers to sneak into the finals placings. They must win out, whilst doing something that they’ve not managed in the league at this age group, in beating the Huntsmen. Then they also need them to lose both their games on top. It’s a tall order.

They have shown signs of improvement though this year, adding in some considerable pace to their ranks. They look a more likely bet next year though at this point.

Do you agree with our rankings? 

Drop us some feedback and give us your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

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