In the first week of cross-conference action, we saw the SEC and SWC take each other on! We predicted a rough day for the SWC, and the SEC duly delivered for the most part. Here’s 5 things we learned about the South East Conference!
SEC Power Houses Reign Supreme
The Buttonhookers, Rebels and Panthers were all grouped up for the day, as they took on the Northants Titans Blue, Phantoms and Aylesbury Vale Spartans. The SEC pack duly dominated proceedings, with only really Aylesbury putting up some form of resistance. We can’t wait to see how these three squads do against the Cardiff Hurricanes, who will be clinging on to their undefeated status!
The Reading Lions got themselves some breathing room, overcoming the hosting Birmingham Lions, and mauling the Coventry Cougars 31-0. The former result is particularly impressive, given Birmingham’s overall performance on the day. The Lions now have a two game lead over the Sharks, and look all but safe.
In what has been a tough season for the Sharks, the Chichester squad lost to the aforementioned Birmingham Lions in a topsy turvy contest. The defence of the Sharks looks to be the real problem, as they shipped an average of 53 points per game, including a 73 point blowout against the Cardiff Hurricanes. They’ve got no problems scoring though, with 120 points scored between the three contests, but their porous stop-unit is likely going to mean the Sharks are in a playoff battle for the Premier Division status.
(Spartan) Ghost at the Feast
The Buttonhookers, Panthers and Rebels might have come away 3-0 from their respective gameday, but they both got a scare from an old face. The Aylesbury Vale Spartans took their talents west this offseason when they hooked up with the SWC, however their familiarity with their former conference foes meant they pushed each team harder for their victory than previously expected. The Panthers and Rebels in particular won by a solitary score; the Panthers pipped the Spartans by a single point! All three teams will be glad to see the back of Jeff Bond and co.! If they meet down the line in the playoffs, anything could happen!
Bank Holiday Blues
The Buttonhookers can be commended for their three commanding victories despite being down a number of key contributors. Without Carl Szabo, Seelye Arms and Josh Nicholson, they managed to snag three big wins when they weren’t necessarily at full strength. The same could be said for nearly every team in attendance though, as the long weekend meant a number of players had other priorities.
While the schedule is done way in advance, it is questionable as to why such a huge game-day would fall on a bank holiday weekend where it’s likely that teams would be without squad members. We’re all for the extra day’s rest (in most scenarios), but we just want to see the best games played with the best teams available on the field – no asterisks involved.