The SWC had a huge battle at the bottom, much like the MEC, while we had a surprising twist in the race for Britbowl, that we all should have seen coming! Here’s the 5 things we learned!
Wake Not a Sleeping Lion
The Birmingham Lions came into Saturday with automatic relegation looming if they couldn’t beat the Coventry Cougars’ record on the day. Things started off well for the Lions, when they ran the Hurricanes close in a physical game which ended when Rohan Sandhu threw an interception after Alex Salter slipped in the end zone with a minute left in the contest. 38-26 was the end result, and two games against the Britbowl challenging Titans Blue and Spartans would follow. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was all over for the Lions. They would prove the doubters wrong and come from two scores down to beat the Titans Blue 27-25, and then put in an impressive defensive display against the rotating Spartans to win late in the game, 18-13. This will give them one last shot at Premier League survival against the Bedford Blackhawks and they’ll be hoping to have a full squad on the 16th September to be able to pull out another impressive game day. If they keep on this curve, the SWC Prem will be very interesting in 2019!
Cougars Go Down
The Cougars are relegated after a small squad, without a starting QB, managed only a draw against the home team Phantoms. They would hope for the best with the Lions losing or drawing on the day but it would not transpire and the Cougars would fall to a heavy defeat against the Titans Blue for the 2nd team this season, scoring only on a safety in their final regular season game of the season. We have them as a favourite to bounce right back up, as they’re just too talented to hold down. Injuries hurt them this year, but they have all the tools in place to dominate in Division One.
Titans sneak in
After the loss against the Birmingham Lions, it seemed that the Titans had no shot to go to Britbowl for the first time. Intense in-team arguing was obvious on the sideline, and perhaps summed up their season, as they’ve been disorganised and seemed disinterested since their calamitous trip to London. A win over the Cougars and a loss to the Lions seemingly relegated the Titans to the plate, or so we all thought. Even the Titans were congratulating and wishing the Spartans players good luck for Britbowl.
We’ll be honest and say we’re quite embarrassed that we missed this detail out. The tie breakers are:
Head to Head
Points difference has always been such a big thing that we didn’t even consider divisional record as a thing to be honest.
The Titans have a win over the Northants Phantoms to thank, and the Lions, for their place at Britbowl. The Spartans are 4-6 in divisional play, while the Titans are 5-5. Therefore, the Titans Blue will be taking on the undefeated Glasgow Hornets at Britbowl! They’re going to need to completely flip the switch on in order to get back on track.
Spartans Victim Of Tiebreaker Sorcery
The Spartans have been nothing short of spectacular this season and despite some shaky results earlier in the season, they’ve adapted and challenged some of the best teams in the country. They were coming into the final game day with the most impressive hot streak in the division. An early dominating victory against the Cougars saw them one step closer to Britbowl, but the news of a Titans loss entered the Spartans Camp and all they seemingly needed to do was to avoid defeat by 120 points against the Lions and they would be in Britbowl for the first time. With Dan Benning, the Spartans’ MVP, out for the impending Britbowl trip, the Spartans attempted to bed in his replacement early in what should have been a routine contest. They thought they’d done enough, but the Spartans would fall victim to the tiebreaker and they find themselves in the Plate Competition against the Manchester Crows on the 16th.
Commiserations to the Spartans, as they deserved the spot at Britbowl. We’re not a fan of such a strong team missing out of the grand finale, but they’ll be ruing that early loss to the Phantoms, as it cost them dearly. The tiebreaker makes sense though, and adds so much more importance to those divisional games. It’s an interesting wrinkle added, and we’re almost glad that it came up so early to remind us! In truth, it might not be the worst thing, as the Spartans were coming in under-strength to Britbowl anyway. We hope Camp Aylesbury regroups and rallies ahead of next season!
Cardiff Keep On Rolling
Cardiff survived an early scare against the Lions, but showed they are playoff ready by decimating the Phantoms with a shut out on defence to close their day out. A match up awaits against the Sheffield Giants and the Hurricanes will be hoping for another run to the Britbowl crown like they did last time Joe Cotterill led them under centre. His 100+ TDs thrown shows how awesome he’s been, and he’ll be ready to show the Giants what Wales has to offer! We’re beyond excited about that contest!