The SEC Premier Division is arguably the most competitive and difficult to advance from in the nation. There’s only been one week of action, and we’re looking today at the 5 things we learned!
The Buttonhookers Are Beatable
The Champs were tripped up in their first week of action against the London Rebels in another epic shootout. There’s generally little to separate the two sides, but round one of the 2018 season goes to London after they triumphed 34-28. The Hookers were comfortably ahead 21-6 at the half but let the lead slip after they shot themselves in the foot with costly misfires and turnovers. Take nothing away from the Rebels, as they were forced to sit firmly behind the Buttonhookers all of 2017, losing thrice to them, including in the playoffs. This measure of revenge will have been sweet, but there was a more intriguing storyline at play…
Cinderella Stands Up To The Two Ugly Sisters
Ever the plucky underdog, the Victoria Park Panthers looked like they were set for a season of Division One football until the football Gods gave them a lifeline. Their 2017 campaign was one where they went undefeated against every single team they faced…except the Hookers or Rebels. They were justifiably given a spot in the Premier Division, and they took full advantage. Week one saw the Panthers finally earn themselves a huge victory over the Rebels, 45-40. This victory, coupled with the Rebels defeating the Buttonhookers, sets up for an exciting race for the championship berths in the SEC!
While the Rebels will be delighted with their win over the Buttonhookers, they’ve got to have a little bit of concern about the number of points they’ve been conceding. Calvin Tarlton is having to overcome 33 points per game as things stand, and with some high-powered offences in the SWC on their schedule, it looks like we’ll be in store for a number of high-scoring outings when the Rebels take the field.
The Chichester Sharks already find themselves in a world of trouble after week one as they put in two very differing performances against the Rebels and the Buttonhookers. The Buttonhookers kept Neil Henderson and co. largely quiet, holding them to 6 points in a poor showing for the offence. The scoring unit enjoyed far more success against the London Rebels however, but they couldn’t keep pace as they conceded a whopping 47 points. This was always going to be a difficult season for the Sharks, and they’ll be eyeing their match against the Reading Lions this weekend as an opportunity to pick up a win.
The Reading Lions joined the Sharks are the winless team at the basement of the division after putting in two lacklustre showings against the Buttonhookers and Panthers, conceding over 50 points in both efforts. You would have hoped their Pre-season Challenge Cup victory would have propelled them to greater heights, as they are an undoubtedly talented outfit. GB Silver Lions QB Nick Schippers will hope his offence can overcome their wobbly start this coming weekend as they take on the Rebels and Sharks.