HNC Week One – Five Things We Learned

Broncos buck Hornets

By far the most interesting thing from the first weekend of action was the Grangemouth Broncos overcoming the Glasgow Hornets for the first time in three years. The Broncos weren’t even at full strength, making this hurdle cleared all the more impressive. That threadbare squad played mistake free football, and at one point held a four score lead over the Hornets. They finished as 37-27 victors, and carried that momentum on to two more huge victories to lead the division at 3-0.

Oilcats are a well…oiled machine

With all the losses in the offseason, the Aberdeen Oilcats had plenty of intrigue going into week one. The results give us reason to believe that they’ll be right in the mix for the HNC division title come season’s end. An edgy 20-14 win over the Comets gave us some pause, but the Oilcats looked back to their brilliant selves in the 49-6 win over Carnegie. Gary Elliot at QB might not be a permanent solution, but it’s been a recipe for success so far.

Edinburgh braced for impact

Another opening day, another disappointing set of results for the Edinburgh Outlaws. After showing promise at the end of last season, and during Flagging New Year, they fell behind the Clyde Comets after losing 13-6 to the hosting side. Edinburgh were competitive in the first half of their game against the Broncos, but eventually fell 39-6 as the division-leaders raced away.

Baptism by Fire

Carnegie came up to the Premier League with real momentum, but the opening slate of fixtures (Broncos, Oilcats and Hornets) had us fearing the worst. After Brandon Lamb exited the early stages of the opening exchanges against the Hornets, Carnegie capitulated, and lost emphatically in all three games. The Broncos game was more competitive at least, but it was their victory lap at the end of the day. Carnegie will need to focus on the winnable games if they’re going to have any chance of surviving, especially with the Comets picking up wins and looking as competitive as they did against the Oilcats.

Glasgow behind the eight ball

The aforementioned loss to the Broncos was a big one in the HNC landscape. The Hornets haven’t lost a game in the regular season in two years, so dropping one early has them in an unfamiliar position. Their performance against the Broncos was particularly concerning, as it was the most error-strewn performance we’ve seen in recent years. Missed tackles, dropped passes and misfires were all on the menu as the Hornets looked hopeless in the first half of the game. After intermission they looked a little more cohesive, but the Broncos were pretty much in “run out the clock” mode. Next up, they’ve got the Aberdeen Oilcats and Outlaws. The latter should be a formality, but if the Oilcats take care of business on their home turf then we could see the Hornets suddenly outside of the playoff picture.

Headline image courtesy of Jimmy Thomson

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