The SEC have officially wrapped up their season with a familiar final standings. From the last day of the regular season, here’s the 5 things we learned!
The 2017 champion Baker St Buttonhookers rounded off their 2018 regular season campaign in style with two comprehensive victories over their closest SEC rivals. The Rebels came into the game down several key personnel, and the Buttonhookers took advantage. The Baker Street side got revenge for their earlier loss, putting up 42 points on the struggling Rebels. They followed this up with a 36-6 win over the Panthers.
The Buttonhookers enter the post-season on fire, and are one of our early favourites to win it all. They haven’t suffered defeat since week one, and have a star-studded roster. Despite the upswing in level of competition, the Buttonhookers are actually scoring more points against Premier Division opposition than they managed last year. A net points difference of 401 is miles ahead of the closest competitor.
The London Rebels have to settle for second place, but we’re sure they will just be happy to be back to full strength come Britbowl time. The Rebels might have lost to the Hookers, but they were down star receivers Kenny Bello and Arkshay Singh, and when you’re facing the top offence in the league, you need all your weapons to keep pace. Add to that the injury to Tim Eaton, and you can say that emerging 2-1 from the day was actually a moderate success for the Rebels.
The Rebels missed out on Britbowl last year after falling to the Buttonhookers at the regional playoffs. This year, they’re entering as either #2 or #3 depending on how the Hurricanes get on. They’re back to where they arguably belong, and with a full squad, can definitely do some damage against the other teams – especially as they’re the only team to defeat the Buttonhookers this year.
Plate Bound Panthers
We got a little bit excited after week one of SEC action. The Rebels, Hookers and Panthers all took a win and loss against one another, and we wondered if this year the Panthers could break the two favourites apart. They stuttered down the stretch, as their season took a hit when they lost to return leg against the Rebels. They failed to keep pace after the cross-conference games, losing to the Hurricanes and struggling against the Spartans and Lions. The final day of action saw them go 1-2 with their losses to the Hookers and Lions. The Panthers only had 5 players on the day, which is massively disappointing from a side we were so high on. If they’ve got any chance at the Plate, they’re going to need their players to return soon.
Lions Finish .500
The Reading Lions wrapped up their season going 2-1 on the day, doing the double over the Sharks and falling to the Rebels. 7-7 is probably better than we expected from the Reading side, as they’re in the hardest division in football. Some close shootouts against the Rebels, and a win over the Panthers, shows that they’re not all too far away from competing. The task of getting to Britbowl will get even more difficult next year though, as the London Smoke figure to compete for a championship berth straight off the bat.
The Lions could build on their regular season success with a victory in the plate competition. That would put two BAFA trophies in their cabinet after picking up the pre-season Challenge Cup.
Sharks in Waiting
We knew the Sharks were down already after the cross-conference games. The porous defence couldn’t keep the floodgates closed in the final week of games, as the Sharks have the indignity of being the worst defence in the premier division. It doesn’t stop them from scoring though, as there are 9 teams who have managed less points so far.
Their premier division status all depends on who emerges from the closest Division One. We fancy their chances to stay alive this year, but next season will be a massive challenge.