Special K (Germany)
Foxes 82 (Spain)
Leamington Spartans (UK)
Moscow Sirens (Russia)
We believe this is the most straightforward group to call as Special K and Foxes are two of the best teams in the entire field. They’ll both have podium if not championship aspirations and their tie is probably the most enticing of the group stage in the entire ladies’ tournament. Both teams will likely be riddled with international talent such as (we expect) German WR Stefanie Thiele and Spanish WR Emma Trueba. Trueba in particular made a number of eye-popping plays at Big Bowl last year as her height and pace present questions that defences often struggle to answer. Her skills are further accentuated with her international teammate, Rocio Perez throwing her the ball. Perez-Trueba is a deadly combo that many teams will come to fear if they don’t already. Despite the Foxes’ talent, T2D2 has become Special K (love the name and the cereal). Special K will still have many of the same T2D2 players and remains a strong outfit though they’ll likely be down a couple key contributors from years past. As added motivation, we know a lot of their players will be looking reach the final after last year’s controversy, when they originally were thought to have beaten Mexico in the semi-final before appeals and…well…we aren’t sure really, turned the result the other way.
The rest of this group will be battling it out for third. The Leamington Spartans have some talent in the form of ex-Wolverines and current GB Lions Ellie Thorpe and Jodie Harris. We aren’t exactly sure about their Quarterback situation though. And we know next to nothing about the Moscow Sirens unfortunately. GZB on the other hand has become a mainstay in European tournaments. They finished a respectable 12th last year and given the experience they’ve gained, could absolutely fight for a top 10 finish this time around.
The winner of this group should feel pretty comfortable about their quarterfinal opponent, possibly the Hyenas, Sheffield Giants or EKP, but a semifinal date with Austria would then be on the cards. The second-place finishers would likely find themselves in a tough quarterfinal against the UK champion Coventry Cougars. However, the Foxes should feel confident about that possible matchup as they have bested the Cougars at last year’s Big Bowl and Pink Bowl.