5 Things We Learned – SWC Game-week 2

Untold Destruction from Hurricane Joe

Unlike the 1980 hurricane which topped out at category 2 (pathetic), the SWC Powerhouse Cardiff Hurricanes are showing that they are the real deal this season dispatching the final two SWC teams with ease in Northampton, including their current closest challengers Northants Titans Blue in a 41-13 stomping. Joe Cotterill was back under centre and spreading it round to one of the best receiving units in the league, starring Andrew Hickey, Rhys Jackson & Nick Keyse (who scored 11 TD’s between them on Saturday). Let’s not forget about that stingy defence led by Drew Smith and the towering blitzing from Chad Stevens, who is striking fear into the hearts of the SWC currently. The real test for Cardiff will be facing off against the top teams from the SEC, but we won’t see that until late June. Until then, stay inside because these Hurricanes don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Credit: Tracy Lintern Photography


Tired Titans

Despite going 2-1 on the day, the Northants Titans Blue showed that going back to back to back isn’t ideal in any situation, especially when the weather hits the mid 20’s and there is no shade anywhere to be found. An excellent display against Birmingham Lions was followed up by a nightmare against the Hurricanes. Still, the scorched Titans managed to put away the Cougars with comfort. Matt Tibbles put up some great numbers in the wins, using his chemistry with Ollie Tibbles who took centre stage. Play of the day goes to ballhawk Connor Melay, as a ball richocheted off his foot, into a Cougar player’s face, and back into the waiting hands of Melay, who raced to the endzone for the most bizarre pick-six you’ll see all year.

It was a successful day holding on to the 2nd place in the SWC Premier but they’ll be glad to avoid the back to back to back when they head for their toughest slate of games of the season on the 26th May.

SWC Swag = 100% Complete

On the last update, we challenged the Coventry Cougars to update their swag and they did not disappoint completing the swag process for the SWC. We’re fully aware that the orders were likely in before we named and shamed, but that won’t stop us from taking credit. However, their results on the field weren’t as pretty as their new jerseys. The Cougars looked explosive despite falling to 1-2 last time out, with the elusive running of Sean Doulgas being a particular highlight.

However, game day 2 saw them arrive with 6 players once again, but no Douglas it meant one less playmaker for Ben Eaton to get the ball too. The offence managed to put up 25 points whilst turning the ball over 8 times, and the defence struggled in the heat, conceding 120 points over the day. The Cougars will look to their next game-day to try and produce some wins against Chichester Sharks & Reading Lions to avoid what seems like an inevitable relegation battle. Our advice to the Cougars? Get on the phone now and get Sean Douglas in Birmingham for the 26th May.

Credit: Tracy Lintern Photography

This is / isn’t Sparta

An up and down day for the Spartans saw them leave with a 1-2 record starting the day with a loss to the Phantoms where they started out slow, falling 19-7 behind at half time to the Phantoms. They would pull things back in the second half but still lost out 38-21 in what could prove to be a costly defeat . The next match up showed what the Spartans are capable of with them leading at half time against the feared Hurricanes but the second half saw them fall flat and end up losing out.

In the first half, Jeff Bond could do no wrong, but after the intermission he gave the Hurricanes two extra opportunities which they delivered on. The Spartans fell to 0-2 on the day, and 42-20 in this contest. Finally, the Spartans put on an absolute show against the Cougars by scoring 68 points. Dan Benning  takes the plaudits for the Spartans with 4 TD’s offensively, and 2 Interceptions on defence with a Pick 6. Ewan Alman was also deadly on his way to a hat-trick. The Sean Martin led defence also looked dominant, turning the Cougars over 5 times.

The Spartans put in some good performances on the day, but not enough complete ones to drag themselves into championship contention.

Phantoms Poaching Poor Lions

Northants Phantoms & Birmingham Lions had completely opposite days in Northampton, with the Phantoms securing third place with two victories against the Spartans & Lions. The Lions were ousted by the might of Northants, losing to both the Phantoms & Titans Blue. The Phantoms have always known how to test the Lions and this weekend proved that completely; Jez Smith has turned the Phantoms around with his competitiveness and smarts at the QB Position and they’ll be hoping he stays healthy to challenge the Titans Blue for that final playoff spot. It helps when you’ve got Stuart Tarry & Luke Hoskin doing damage on the outside, highlighted by their 5 TD’s between them against the Lions.

The Lions however are struggling, despite the additions of Drew Newiss & Paul Zinkus who completely changed their offence and defence. It’s going to be said a lot, but the Lions just look lost without Tristan Varney, both on and off the field. We mentioned that Rohan Sandhu was a player to watch this week, and he stepped up in Northampton, going blow for blow with the Titans Blue until a safety changed things around.

The Lions also moved the ball well in the Phantoms game too but the defence conceded too many points for Rohan to keep up with. They host a game day on the 26th May where they face off against the Reading Lions & Chichester Sharks. They could quite easily pull some talented athletes into their squad to test the Lions and Sharks, but since they’ll face two of the more savvy teams in the league, we don’t have a happy outlook for them. If things keep going this way, they’ll be plying their trade in Division One next season.

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