Each team has played one another now which takes us up to 9 games each and boy are things looking pretty tight from top to the bottom. The standings have started to take shape and stole slightly. In this edition we have just 2 non movers but everyone else has been moving around in our 3rd Power Rankings of Winter League.
We cant say that we are surprised to see Top Gun still on top of the Power Rankings, however they did stumble in week 2 with a loss to the Outlaws and conceding more points on the way. However sitting 1st in the league with 8 wins and 1 loss cant be frowned upon at this stage of the league and it will be interesting to see if they can continue the fantastic form into the playoffs. Can we see them losing again… hard to say as it depends on who turns up for Top Guns but if teams can work out how score points on them it could happen.
Rexy are back up to 2nd in our Power Rankings, they had a really good week 2 picking up all the key wins they needed however a draw against Newcastle Blackhawks had us worried. With no Greg Sim in Week 2 the team were relying on a big day from Bezly Berry and a returning Aaron Drummond to hold the fort and a team with Nicky Farrell in the fold will always be winning games. Going forward we can see Rexy pushing TopGuns in the week 3 encounter and easily making the playoffs also before week 4 has even started a game.
Carnegie, Carnegie Carnegie…. 21 Players!!! we are not sure many people saw that coming and it certainly caused some issues. Still they picked up the wins needed to remain in contention for a playoff spot and with Brandon Lamb continuing his fine form and welcoming back Calum Nicol to the team certainly helped. Looking to week 3 Carnegie have the Colts, Silvercats, Blackhawks , Raptors and Chargers so will be hoping for a 5-0 day and with a capped squad list this time around and Scott Mckenzie running point at QB this could be a good week for Carnegie to cement a playoff spot or make it difficult for themselves in week 4 where they would play the Outlaws, Rexy and TopGun!
We do love the Outlaws even without Jamie Archibald!! they can score in bunches and come up with a stop when needed. That last minute catch by Shaun Young over TopGun lifted them to a very impressive win and lift themselves into 4th in our Power Rankings now as the best HNC Division One Team. Week 3 sees the return leg of the Raptors game which saw a 21-20 nail biting win for the Raptors in Week 1 so that could be a game to watch and then what isn’t to love about an Outlaws Vs Rexy Game to end the day also in week 3. These are both pivotal games which could lift Outlaws into top 3 contention and maybe even further.
The Raptors only slip down 1 spot on basis the Outlaws had that mega win Vs Top Gun. We still think the Raptors are playoff bound but only if they can fend off Newcastle and the Silvercats who are both teams that have been unfortunate not to pick up more wins thus far. Games in week 3 against Carnegie, Outlaws, Newcastle and the Killerbees could give us a sign of how they could finish up as all those games could go either way we feel. So far through 9 games though the Raptors sit with a 5 win and 4 loss record which is on pace for them to make the 10 wins they set out for and they could be close to this and certainly are meeting expectations in Winter League and could carry this into BAFA in 2020 and push for the top 2 and promotion.
We do feel for the Blackhawks as thats 5 losses of which only 1 of those has been by more than 1 score! They have been an incredible addition to Winter League and are not far away from changing a 3-5-1 record into a something like a 7-1-1 record!!!. Week 3 the Blackhawks play the Colts, Killerbees, Carnegie and Raptors which we feel as though could easily be a 4-0 day for them if they come to play and this would set them up well for the 6th and final Playoff spot if all goes to plan. The resurgence in the Silvercats could be an obstacle for them to negotiate especially after the Cats clawed their way to a win in the first fixture. We think the Blackhawks have the fire power to beat everyone so they are definitely a team to watch.
On our review show it was mentioned that a QB makes all the difference for most teams, and this goes without saying for the Silvercats. They have some real talent with Scott Forbes, Liam Dixon, Eli Rorie and Cameron Reid on the field on both offence and defence. If they have Jamie Bennett back for the remainder of fixtures the Silvercats could really throw the “Cat” among the “Pigeons”. Winning 4 games in week 2 was enough for the rest of the league to take notice and if they continue this form into week 3 and edge out a Newcastle or the Raptors the playoff push would get very very interesting. A tough week 3 for the Silvercats lies ahead with games against: Rexy, TopGuns and Carnegie while the 4th game is against the West Lothian Chargers who they lost to in week 1. if the Silvers can manage to go 1-3 in week 3, a 4 wins and 1 loss in week 4 could be enough to seal a top 6 spot as we think as 10 wins for any team could be the magic number.
Who doesn’t enjoy seeing Fraser Thomson back playing Flag Football!! In what is a great addition to the Colts in Week 2 and then add in the ever dynamic Andy Brown and you have a recipe for points. The Colts do drop down 1 place on the basis that the Silvercats had a great week 2 and the Colts remain above the Chargers until the Chargers can prove that they can beat the Colts this Winter League. We do have some cause for concern for the Colts only picking up 2 wins so far and conceding 87 more points than the Chargers!! Could this change for the Colts? we certainly think so and with games against the Chargers, Blackhawks, Carnegie and Outlaws to come in week 3 they could pick up a couple wins an elevate them to the 7th spot before week 4.
Its no surprise to see the Chargers in 9th spot given their wins now against the Bees and Silvercats so far and arguably could be one spot higher creeping into the 8th spot?… we are saving that for after week 3 as the Chargers have big games coming up against the Colts and the Silvercats in week 3 which will tell us just how real this Chargers team is and how far they have come since Winter League 2. The most impressive part of the Chargers improvements is the defence conceding only 97 points in 9 games! This will give them a chance to win more games but the downfall could be putting points on the board on offence and teams like the Silvercats. The week 2 win Vs the Killerbees though was well deserved and shows the league they cant be taken for granted.
Premiership new boys the Killerbees seem to have hit a bit of a rough spot, we are not to worried yet for them in BAFA terms as we have a while to go. However in Winter League terms they have struggled for numbers and have suffered with the loss of Kerrance James to TopGun as well Coaches like Andrew Gibson and Nicky Farrell things have got tough. They have still had Callum Bell and Robbie Menzies to lean on this year though and could be a tough final 9 games for the Bees. I would hedge my bets that week 4 and 5 could be different for them as it gets closer to the BAFA season an they would maybe expect to have a full squad preparing for life in the Premiership.