Opinion & Analysis

What We Learned – BAFACL 2022 – Week 3

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Chris BreenOpinion & Analysis
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3 Weeks in the books and already we are starting to see some glimpses of clearer pictures as to where teams stand in 2022. Of course, it’s a long season and still plenty can change but there are definitely some front runners beginning to emerge.

Pirates Sink Vikings

The game of the week did not disappoint as two of the favourites in the North of Division one clashed at Druids Park. East Kilbride set the tone and after a tough first half, they led at halftime by 14-0. The Vikings roared back in the 2nd half with 2 unanswered scores of their own and despite failing to convert the 2-point attempt on the first occasion, they held their nerve to succeed the 2nd time in order to tie the game. However, the Pirates got one final drive at the end of the game and got into Field Goal range with only seconds left on the clock and they didn’t need a second invitation, splitting the uprights and claiming the victory. There can be no doubt the return leg will be a game to look forward to.

Tigers Tumble To Third Defeat

It’s been a rough start for the Glasgow Tigers they played the Rams on the road and then the Vikings and this weekend the Wolverines, not exactly an easy slate 3 weeks on the bounce. In that time, they’ve conceded 183 points after shipping another 63 to the Wolverines. The bright spot for the Tigers is they at least managed 32 Points of their own. As for the Wolverines, it appears the defensive issues still exist, but that offence is already firing.

Bulls Bested By Caesars

The Birmingham Bulls made their long-awaited return to Division 1 action as they hosted the long-tenured Caesars who were looking to bounce back from a Week 1 defeat at the hands of the Romans. The game was tight all the way into the 4th quarter however a couple of late scores were enough to lift the Nottingham side to victory over the Bulls 34-19. It’s just what Nottingham needed to get back on track and as for the Bulls, it shows they are ready to compete at this level. However, this division is brutal.

Darlington Steam Past Knottingley

After a narrow defeat at the hands of the Senators, the Steam were looking to rebound quickly, and that looked like it could be a challenging task as they travelled to the Raiders who were fresh off a game one win. However, it was the away side who came out on top getting a strong 27-6 victory on the Road. The Steam will certainly be looking to use that win to help launch the rest of their 2022 campaign.

Scunthorpe Win Over Warhawks

In what is likely to be one of the most hotly contested divisions, there will be several key games throughout the year in a bid for a playoff place. The Alphas landed the first punch with a win over Humber. The Alphas held serve at home with a 28-6 win and take the lead of the division.

Bombers Blow Away Mustangs

Lincolnshire Bombers had a terrible 2021 after being a playoff contender for the last few seasons. Well, the Bombers wasted no time getting back on track as they opened the season against the Mustangs. The Bombers ran out with a convincing 33-3 victory and look to be returning back to be a contender where they belong.

Wolves Massacre Merseyside

Both sides launched their 2022 Premiership campaign with the Nighthawks Hosting the Edinburgh Wolves. Edinburgh changed Head Coach during the offseason and brought in ex Stirling Clansman Coach Victor Peredo in what looked like a perfect hire for the Wolves. They wasted no time delivering an early win as they kerb stomped the Nighthawks to the Tune of a 44-0 Victory. While the scoring is impressive perhaps more so is the shutout, given how explosive the Nighthawks offence has been to hold them to zero is impressive.

Bristol Battle with Warriors

The debate was whether the Aztecs would utilize the strength of the university teams in Bristol to finally challenge the London dominance and challenge for a place in the Playoffs. While the Warriors still emerged victorious to the tune of a 34-17 victory, it certainly turned a few heads given the Solent victory over the Blitz. Could the Aztecs be the toughest matchup for the Warriors all year in the South?

Saints Stalemate With South Wales

The Oxford Saints have made a vastly improved start to 2022 and have now gone two games without defeat. After their opening week win against the Dreadnaughts, they followed it up with a tie against the Warriors. While I’m sure they would have liked to have gone 2-0 but the start to this year is a vast improvement on their 2021 season.

Devils Defeat Eagles

The Norwich Devils were another team up the power rankings at the start of the season. They got off to a good start with a 26-6 win over Ouse Valley. It puts them straight to the top of the Division a place that they will not be willing to give up lightly.

Cardinals Closed Out By Colchester

The Gladiators lost their opener in a 6-0 heartbreaker against the Ouse Valley Eagles, fortunately, they got a chance to rebound hosting the Cardinals in their 2nd game of the year. They came out on top in a 10-0 win. On one hand, they have played 2 games and only given up 6 points so clearly the defence is working, however, 10 points in 2 games is a worrying offensive output. But, they are back to 0.500 and back on track.

Stampede Squeak Past Storm

The two teams had different openers with the Storm beating the Black Knights and the Stampede losing to the Northants Knights. This game, therefore, was likely to be a battle between the 2nd and 3rd place teams in this division. It proved to be as tight as expected as the Stampede took the victory by the narrowest of margins sealing the 9-8 home win. Assuming all goes to form throughout the year the 2nd playoff spot likely comes down to the next meeting between these two teams.

Sabres Shut Out Renegades

Two games and two one-score victories for the Sabres this time sealing a 7-0 shutout over the Berkshire Renegades. They have only conceded 8 points in two games so far and have shown early they are capable of grinding out the wins. Something they will need to continue showing throughout the season unless they start racking up some more points.

Apache Assert Themselves In Monarchs Win

The Bristol Apache made it two from two with 100 points scored and 0 conceded following their 38-0 win over the Cornwall Monarchs. The Apache look like the dominant force in the division and look like their best challenge may well be the Somerset Wyverns who they don’t play until much later on in the season.

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