Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Final Regular Season RP Poll

Seeing as this is the final RP Poll, I’ll leave you with a special present that has provided plenty of laughs in the DC towers.

Istanbul Cup opportunity


FOOTBALL CUP, GUARANTEED FREE ACCOMMODATION (3 NIGHTS), ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT IN THE CUP. DATE: MARCH 22-24TH 2013 

This is an official invitation to the ISTANBUL CUP 2013, for which we formally now offer teams a spot for the remaining 2 unfilled slots for the Cup. This Cup is designed to offer teams good competition, with a Cup format. It will be a good international lineup. We have already confirmed a team from Helsinki who play in their highest league, the Maple League. We also have sealed a deal with sponsors, to give 3 nights accommodation for free to all participants.

This Cup comes from the sponsor KOC University, which is a private university and the richest university in Turkey. The games will be played on state of the art facilities, and should offer a fun and easy viewing atmosphere, while allowing teams the ease in their time off to enjoy the city. 

"This is going to be a great cup, and it will offer an international flavor, using a kind of a national team group format for the weekend, giving all teams 2 games. What a great experience. Along with football, we will give the possibility to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Istanbul. A city with an incredible night life. A city built on 2 seas and is truely beautiful. Something really important is that for the teams participating the Cup, the housing is free! So football, travel, fun, and free housing for the cup! We worked so hard to get this right.” says John D. Harper H.C. of the Koc Stallions, and Cup Representative.

For more information please visit: http://www.kocfootball.com/#%21istcup/cu5e

or click here to contact John Harper directly.

Celtics bury Saints


by Richard Choksey

The Durham Saints stood on hallowed ground on Sunday as they lined up against the Leeds Celtics in the final match of the regular season. The Graveyard has seen Celtics rise to top of their division and win the championship, and fall out of contention to rebuild a season later. As they faced the Saints, this year’s team stood on the dividing line between glory and obscurity. A win would open the door to the playoffs whilst a loss would end the season there and then.

Warwick Wolverines vs. Coventry Jets Preview


by Andrew Gambrill
This Sunday sees the Varsity match up between Coventry University Jets and University of Warwick Wolverines.
Coventry University Jets

Last time around the heavily favoured Wolverines with what was thought to be a superior passing attack came up short when the Jets’ tenacity pulled them through in a tense affair.

We enter this year with a similar scenario. Warwick has proven technical ability and more game time under their belts however, Coventry’s team spirit whilst still in tact could be lacking the passion of their predecessors.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Know your Options: Inverted Veer

One of the mistakes TV commentators and pundits make is labeling all plays where a quarterback makes a read a "read option play". This generic labeling has led people to believe that it is often the result of just one play that could eventually be out schemed by the brain trust of NFL defensive coordinators.

One of the more exciting facets of the option plays are that they can be run a number of ways and pick on any defender in the box.

The 49ers started to use a new wrinkle on an old favorite with the inverted veer play.

Inverted Veer Video of the play here

GB Uni Travelling squad


Congratulations to all those players making the final travelling squad for the GB University team!


Quarterbacks
James Slack - Loughborough
Joe Thompson - Hertfordshire
Tristan Varney - Birmingham

Offensive Line
Hamish Coull 
- Napier
James Connolly - Loughborough
Alec Butcher - NTU
Thomas Levick - Birmingham 
Sam Molnar - Loughborough
Harry Levick - Southampton
Craig Harris - Birmingham

Running Backs
Daniel Conroy 
- Birmingham
Adam Hope - Loughborough
Jamie Welsh - Napier

Tight End
Rob Cartwright 
- NTU

Wide Receivers
Stefan Rowden 
- Birmingham
Williams Hussey - Birmingham
James Draper - Loughborough
James Cherry - Kingston
Dominic Husbands - Hertfordshire
Tom Singleton-Wells - Derby
Kieran Cutlan - Wales Trinity



Defensive Line
Joshua Vines - Birmingham 
Jonathon Varney - Loughborough
Ike Obialo - DMU
Edward Cheadle - Birmingham
Chukwuemeka Ezenwoye - Brighton
Lloyd Scott - Portsmouth



Linebackers
Ryan Strachan - Napier
Sam Marshall 
- Birmingham
Dominic Gould - Hertfordshire
James Armah - Gloucester
Matthew Eva - Loughborough
Greg Pearson - Birmingham
Maxwell Petitjean - Birmingham

Cornerbacks
Greg Freeman - Birmingham
A-Jay Crabbe - Birmingham
Marcus Boswell - NTU
Joe Parsons - Loughborough

Safeties
Stefan Rivera-Gonzalez - Hertfordshire
David Jennison - Hertfordshire
John Kenyon - Loughborough
David Saul - Sheffield


Specialist
Alexander Lenkowski - Loughborough

Lion Cub: Life of a rookie at the Birmingham Lions


By Ben Raskino

After watching the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI I knew I wanted to play American football, and after being accepted at the University of Birmingham I had the opportunity to join one of the most decorated teams in the country in the form of the Birmingham Lions. 

Before the ‘taster session’ held in Fresher’s Week you could sense the nervousness in the would-be players, almost all of them having never played the sport before, and all of them uncertain as to what the nature of the Lions would be. The taster session afforded all of us with an informal trial of all of the basic positional drills, but with a glimpse of the intensity of a genuine Lions training session with the veteran linebackers screaming at us to tackle the bag with more ferocity, and potential Lions unsurprisingly struggling to prevent Tristan Varney’s high velocity passes slipping through their fingers. I incidentally opted to play as a Defensive Back.

Those who decided to persevere were then inaugurated into the full Lions program. This includes weekly classroom sessions focused on not only installing new plays but also studying game film of opposing teams, adding a true sense of depth and professionalism that I wasn’t expecting, but was certainly excited by. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Playoff Seedings 2013


National Championship Seedings
1 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes*
2 – Derby Braves*
3 – UH Sharks *
4 – Stirling Clansmen*
5 – Birmingham Lions
6 – Bath Killer Bees
7 – Portsmouth
8 – UWE Bullets
9 – Sheffield Sabres
10 – Kingston Cougars
11 – Loughborough Aces
12 – Leeds Carnegie
* teams have secured a bye week

Games to be played on the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd.
Carnegie (12) @ Bham (5)
Loughborough (11) @ Bath (6)
Kingston (10) @ Portsmouth (7)
Sheffield (9) @ UWE (8)

National Challenge Trophy Seedings
13 – Glasgow Tigers *
14 – Cambridge Pythons*
15 – Warwick Wolves*
16 – Southampton Stags*
17 – Manchester Tyrants
18 – Gloucester Gladiators
19 – UEA Pirates
20 – Leeds Celtics
21 – Edinburgh Predators
22 – NTU renegades
23 – BNU Buccaneers
24 – Kent Falcons
* teams have secured a bye week

Games to be played on the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd.
Kent Falcons (24) @ Manchester Tyrants (17)
BNU Buccaneers (23) @ Gloucester (18)
NTU Renegades (22) @ UEA Pirates (19)
Edinburgh Predators (21) @ Leeds Celtics (20)

UWS Pyros vs EN Knights


There may have been nothing at stake in this matchup but it was far from end of season fare as the Pyros and the Knights served up a real rip snorter of a contest that hung in the balance until the final play.

The opening kickoff went for a huge 95yard return by Dominik Wiest but the Pyro’s player-coach Bud McFerrin ripped his own long run with a 65 yard score on the subsequent possession.

The Knights took the ball and put together a solid drive which was punched in by the fine running of GB hopeful Jamie Welsh, but in what was to become a game of ‘anything you can do’ the Pyros also pieced together a scoring drive finished by Strachan.

The 2nd quarter was to see 4 Touchdown scores, as the Knights rose to the challenge with a 35yard run from Welsh which he hurdled into the end zone. The ensuing kickoff was returned by McFerrin  as the Pyros refused to let the Knights pull clear. The half finished with one more score from Welsh this time from 40 yards as he dove to the endzone pylon putting Napier ahead 30-20.

The fireworks of the 1st half weren’t quite replicated in the 2nd and it was the Pyros who pulled within two and then took the go ahead score both from McFerrin who finished on 211 yards rushing on the day.

With the game on the line the Knights drove to the Pyros 10 but 2 incompletions saw an end to their day and an end to a disappointing season. Napier now go into their off-season recruitment mode and bid farewell to their outgoing senior class and exchange students and await the new season in September 2013.

College Football in London

Make sure you check out their website: http://bit.ly/15JFNkS

We're starting a movement.

Why should competitive football finish at graduation for those who aren't 260lbs and run a 4.4 forty?

Want to strap on your helmet and relive those moments? How about combining this with studying in one of the great cities of the world?

One more chance.....


The Final Powerless Ranking

We’ve reached the end. This is the final powerless ranking of the 2012/13 University season. What do we do now? Maybe go to bed at a decent time as we won’t have as many articles to write!

Anyway, before we go onto the list, we believe we should add some things that deserve to be on the powerless rankings from the season that’s just passed us by.

The winter break – This is too long, it needs to be made shorter. Why? Because we could be playing games in these weeks instead of having too many awarded games being decided, or mid-week games at the end of the season. Someone needs to change it; maybe we could start the revolution!

The weather – The weather this year has made one thing clear – it’s about time all Uni teams played in a dome. Too many postponements when a droplet lands on the floor means some teams have been unable to complete a full season this year. That shouldn’t be happening. It does raise a question though, do teams get money back/discount next season for them paying for an eight game season, yet they don’t play eight games...

UK Gridiron Memes – Y U NO START SOONER? You missed everything from before Christmas! We still love what you’re doing at the moment though, keep it up!


There’s many more that could be added, but we think it’s time for the list!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Latest Playoff Seedings

Ladies and Gentleman, children of all ages...we can now reveal the playoff standings (not including the Hull-Durham outcome).

Championship Playoffs
1 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes, 2 – Derby Braves, 3 – Hull Sharks, 4 – Stirling Clansmen.
5 – Birmingham Lions vs. 12 – Leeds Carnegie
6 – Bath Killer Bees vs. 11 – Loughborough Aces
7 – Portsmouth vs. 10 – Kingston Cougars
8 – UWE Bullets vs. 9 – Sheffield Sabres

Plate Playoffs
13 – Glasgow Tigers, 14 – UEA Pirates, 15 – Warwick Wolves, 16 – Southampton Stags
17 – Manchester Tyrants vs. 24 – Cambridge Pythons
18 – Gloucester Gladiators vs. 23 – BNU Buccaneers
19 – Kent Falcons vs. 22 – NTU renegades
20 – Leeds Celtics vs. 21 – Edinburgh Predators


Taking the Hull - Durham tie into account.



Championship Playoffs

1 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes, 2 – Derby Braves, 3 – Stirling Clansmen, 4 – Birmingham Lions.
5 – Bath Killer Bees vs. 12 – Leeds Carnegie
6 – Hull Sharks vs. 11 – Loughborough Aces
7 – Portsmouth vs. 10 – Kingston Cougars
8 – UWE Bullets vs. 9 – Sheffield Sabres

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Final Regular Season weekend predictions

Saltire


Glasgow Tigers vs Stirling
Although a clash of the top two in the Saltire, these two teams could not be further apart. Stirling have absolutely torn the Scottish division apart leaving behind them battered and bruised teams with nothing to hold onto more than the relief of not giving up triple digits to the rampant clansmen.

Glasgow sitting in second are not one of those teams in releif. In the last game against the green machine Stirlings offence put up exactly one hundred points and conceded only a single score of their own. Not even a contest.
Stirling to win by a cricket score

UWS vs EN Knights
Battle for the prestigious wooden spoon the last meeting between these two was an instant classic with UWS winning 14-13 for their only victory of the season. The Knights have the added impetus of avoiding a goose egg in the win column and will be hoping for one last push to pull something (ANYTHING) positive out of this season.
Knights by a point, just one!

Shamrock Bowl Conference South Preview


by Nathan James Sharrocks

It’s been an undesirable start to the new IAFL season, and that’s before a game has even been played. The curtain opener last weekend had to be postponed as adverse weather conditions took its toll on and left the pitch unplayable for the Trinity-UCD game.

Further to that the DCU Saints have pulled out of the Shamrock Bowl Conference South this year, advising the IAFL that they will unable to fulfil the schedule of competitive football in the season. Fixtures were adjusted though, and the calendar for football in Ireland looks like it’s going to be a great one.

First up in the SBC we have the University of Limerick Vikings. The Vikes have been to the last six Shamrock Bowls, and despite being beaten closely in the last three finals, they’re a team that knows how to win. Ciaran O’Sullivan has stepped down from the Head Coach position, but the rest of the line up is pretty much the same as last year, and they’ll be hungry for success.

Photo by Nathan James Sharrocks

With quarterback Marc Ashworth, fullback Adrian Garvey, wide receiver Sean Goldrick and their fearsome offensive line, the UL Vikings were free-scoring last year.

And with the defence, led by veteran Liam Ryan who now steps awa from playing to take the HC position, shutting teams down at will they were able to go undefeated until the Shamrock Bowl. Will this year be a similar story? They begin the season this Sunday at University College Dublin, in the oldest college rivalry in the IAFL, a game that UL have had the upper hand on in the last few years, beating them 38-16 in Dublin last time around.

UCD also have a new Head Coach. John Collins steps down to be replaced by Eoin Cunningham. But the Sentinels are a tough enough team to deal with this change. However of their four wins last year they will only play one of these opponents, the Cork Admirals, again this year. Will Trinity and UL prove too much for UCD?

Photo by Ariane Boudias

Well the Sentinels have always kept their losses to close-run games and rarely get shut out. If they can take the next step up this year, stop conceding points early in games and put points on the board then playoffs are definitely in sight.

Trinity College Dublin are a team that have quietly gone about their business the last few years, having despatched teams around them in the League but falling to the more dominant teams such as UL and the Dublin Rebels.

Having beat Cork 42-19 and their cross-city rivals UCD 22-8 last year, their challenge this year will be to stand up to the dominant UL Vikings in the SBC South. However the Admirals and Sentinels will not roll over for TCD and their off-season preparations will have had to have been a success for them to reach the playoffs again this year.

Trinity’s offence is led by running back Rob McDowell, whose insane speed and ability to break tackles has made him a formidable force in the League for the past few years, not only in the run game but the return game on special teams.

Photo by Ariane Boudias

His play will be boosted this year with the return of Craig Marron, who missed last year due to injury. The receiver has the ability to stretch the field and will cause havoc with some defensive backs this year.

On defence Trinity will be looking to cause major disruption with their giant defensive tackle, Cormac Coughlan. Linebacker Stephen Carton will be key for them too. Having been a starter since his rookie year, Carton is great against both the pass and rush and will be a great asset this season

The Cork Admirals struggled to three wins last year with a tough schedule but they’ll more than take heart from their 20-16 win over the Carrickfergus Knights and their 26-0 upset win over the strong defensive unit of the West Dublin Rhinos.

The Admirals have strengthened this off-season, using local media outlets to spread word of their team and run a successful rookie camp. Strong coaching will be required but a year to adjust to the new SBC layout before promotion and relegation may be just what Cork needs.

Photo by Ariane Boudias

Their offence was only shut out twice last year, against the two Shamrock Bowl competitors, and they managed to score on the Dublin Rebels. The Admirals are no slouches and are capable of throwing their muscle around in the SBC South but after last year they’re coming in to the season as somewhat of an unknown quantity. They’ll make interesting viewing for sure, as will the entire South conference.

NFL: Franchise tagged players


With the NFL franchise tag window opening Monday, we take a look at what the franchise tag actually is and players that could be playing under one come next season

The term ‘franchise tag’ may be unfamiliar to amateur fans of the NFL, but it is certainly a major part of the off-season that can have a great influence in free agency.

The franchise tag is essentially a ‘hands off’ sticker, when an unrestricted free agent (any team will be able to sign them in free agency) is given the tag no other team is allowed to talk to the player or make a bid on them in the free agency process.

It allows teams to lock up that one player that they cannot and do not want to risk leaving. For example, if a team’s franchise quarterback’s contract is up but they haven’t worked out a deal yet, he can be given the tag so that other QB needy teams can’t come in and sweep him away with a massive contract offer. Think Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens this off-season.

Franchise tags can be pretty unpopular among players wanting to hit the market and land a massive contract, which results from the supply and demand bidding frenzy system of free agency. This usually results in aging free agents getting massively overpaid, particularly when going to the smaller name, worse-off teams that have to offer higher salaries to get the players to sign, i.e. Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills last off-season.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Updated Playoff Rankings

Following the release of the new tie-breakers and last weekend’s fixtures, we can finally reveal the playoff seedings for the championship and plate playoffs.

First thing to remember is that the tie-breakers state WLT record percentage, not record. Therefore, a 7-0 team can be ranked higher than an 8-0 team due to the fact they’ve both got a 1.000% record. The next tie-breaker is the average points conceded against the top four teams before the average points conceded per game regular season game.

Therefore, using these tie-breakers, we can reveal the rankings are as follow. Remember, the top four teams earn byes.

Also remember that it goes – seven conference champions plus the top five second place records go to the champ playoffs. The next two second placed teams plus the third placed teams and the three best records from the fourth seeds go to the challenge trophy playoffs.

Clansmen overpower Pyros in double-header

The Stirling Clansmen overcame the UWS Pyros on Sunday in two back-to-back matches.  The double-header victories, scheduled because of bad weather fixture congestion, have moved the Clansmen to 6-0 for the season.

In game one, the Clan’ hit the ground running with the Defence holding strong before the offence scored on its first drive. Fullback Zake Muluzi powered the ball in on Stirling's 6th play of the match.  The Clansmen then recovered the onside kick, which was to be a tactical decision repeated for much of the game, as Stirling - with one eye now firmly set on the play-offs - looked to improve their overall seeding.  

On the very next play, quarterback Stephenson threw a slant to standout RB Grant Isdale who ran in for a 48-yard score.  The defence again managed to force the Pyros to punt, and once again Isdale was the scorer for the offence.  The defence managed to hold again and block a UWS field goal attempt however the offence ran out of time whilst in the UWS red-zone as the referee blew for half time. 

Stirling received the ball at the start of the second half but were turned over when back-up quarterback Kenny Mackay was intercepted.  Once again though, the Clan defence stopped the UWS run game and forced them to punt.  Rookie running-back Craig Findley ran the ball in on the next offensive drive for the score.  Running-back Isdale scored twice more and linebacker Kevin Ferber scored with an interception to round off the scoring and the match, which finished 48-0 to Stirling.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

DCW Poll: Top 25

A name change to better describe the Double Coverage Writers poll, we polled all our regional writers to name their top 25's to give us a more balanced view of the league standings

  1. Birmingham -
  2. Hertfordshire -
  3. Loughborough -
  4. Derby -
  5. Stirling +1
  6. Hull -1
  7. Bath -
  8. Sheffield +1
  9. UWE +1
  10. Kingston +2
  11. Portsmouth +6
  12. Southampton -4
  13. Cambridge +9
  14. Kent -3
  15. NTU -
  16. Warwick +2
  17. Carnegie +2
  18. Glasgow -2
  19. BNU +1
  20. UEA -7
  21. Manchester +2
  22. Brighton -8
  23. Plymouth -2
  24. Gloucester NEW
  25. Leeds NEW


The biggest news is #TeamPHD flying up the rankings by nine spots. Having defeated the UEA Pirates, a team many had them pegged to lose to the Cambridge Pythons have deservedly moved up the rankings and look set to claim a playoff spot in only their second year!

In contrast to their SEC rivals, the UEA Pirates have taken the biggest tumble with the biggest fall of the week. A loss to a team ranked below them and a potential fall from Playoff contention will have played a part here.

The other biggest gainer is Portsmouth flying up the rankings in the wake of games actually being played. Defeating the Stags must have played a big part in this and we can expect them to continue their steady progress if they can go 4-4 in their "hell week".

The top 9 spots remained largely unchanged with only the Stags loss moving several teams up a couple of spots. Gloucester and Leeds make appearances at the bottom as their records begin to improve.

Edinburgh Napier Knights vs Glasgow Tigers: Match Report


The Knights put in a valiant effort at the playoff bound Glasgow Tigers but came away with another loss.

Napier took the opening drive and seemed to score an opening Touchdown through Running Back Danny Flannery but with no official signal being given the Knights came away empty handed when a 4th down conversion was kept out on the 1 yard line.

A scoreless 1st quarter gave way to a brace of scores in the 2nd when Glasgow began to flex its powerful running game, including one for Quarterback Euan Beasley, finishing the half 14-0 to Glasgow.

The tigers continued where they had left off at the start of the 2nd half with a long breakout run for Newland Pratt.

The Knights offense did show more life than it has done all season and some impressive drives were capped off with a long scoring strike to the returning team Captain Dominik Wiest in the 3rd Quarter.

RP Poll, Week Ten, Part One



We're getting so close to the end and I don't like it! Although, I do enjoy the end of season playoff scramble, so I guess the closing week's of the season aren't that bad.

Enough jibber jabber, let's move on to this list.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Brunel vs Portsmouth: Tuesday night lights prediction

The top half of the TVC will be tuning in to this clash tonight, as the playoff implications for this game are huge.

The most important factor to deciding the outcome of this match is Portsmouth’s nigh suicidal 4 games in 8 games. If they win out they take the TVC title and the carrot could not be bigger. Southampton, the toughest of those 4 opponents fell on Sunday and the big question is whether Portsmouth left enough in the tank after stopping them.
 
Brunel also need to win out to have any hope of a first post season trip in their history. Regarded as the most athletically talented TVC team they will have the ability and health to cause the more experienced Destroyers a number of problems. 

With star RB Orion Modebe injured the workload will fall upon Arland Craik and Marcus Kumolu and  they’ll need both to be on form in a bid to break a defence that is notoriously stingy and concedes less than 8 points a game. 

Portsmouth won’t have faced a decent aerial attack this year. Southampton without Dana Neale were limited in their ability to throw downfield, so the arm of Charley Calles for Brunel could be the deciding factor.
 
Expect this to go down to the wire in a low scoring game.
 
Portsmouth by 6

Current Playoff Seedings


Following the release of the new tie-breakers and last weekend’s fixtures, we can finally reveal the playoff seedings for the championship and plate playoffs.

First thing to remember is that the tie-breakers state WLT record percentage, not record. Therefore, a 7-0 team can be ranked higher than an 8-0 team due to the fact they’ve both got a 1.000% record. The next tie-breaker is the average points conceded against the top four teams before the average points conceded per game regular season game.

Therefore, using these tie-breakers, we can reveal the rankings are as follow. Remember, the top four teams earn byes.

Also remember that it goes – seven conference champions plus the top five second place records go to the champ playoffs. The next two second placed teams plus the third placed teams and the three best records from the fourth seeds go to the challenge trophy playoffs.

The Writers Poll - Week Ten


Our latest writers’ top 25 sees a huge change following a week of shocking victories. Once again, Birmingham and Hertfordshire top the list after completing their undefeated regular seasons and winning their respective conferences.

The surprise of the top five is the fact that Loughborough still remain in the number three spot after their loss to Birmingham. Even more surprising when we see that Stirling moved above Hull despite both teams winning at the weekend.

The biggest movers on this week’s rankings are the Cambridge Pythons following their three point victory over the UEA Pirates. The Pirates dropped seven places after this loss. 
Other teams dropping down on the list are Southampton, Kent, Brighton and Plymouth due to their losses last weekend.

Finally, two new teams prop up the bottom of the rankings as the Gloucester Gladiators and Leeds Celtics end week ten with a ranking next to their name.

The poll.

1.     Birmingham -


2.     Hertfordshire -


3.     Loughborough -


4.     Derby -



5.     Stirling +1



6.     Hull -1



7.     Bath -



8.     Sheffield +1



9.     UWE +1



10.  Kingston +2



11.  Portsmouth +6



12.  Southampton -4



13.  Cambridge +9



14.  Kent -3



15.  NTU -



16.  Warwick +2



17.  Carnegie +2



18.  Glasgow -2



19.  BNU +1



20.  UEA -7



21.  Manchester +2



22.  Brighton -8



23.  Plymouth -2



24.  Gloucester NEW



25.  Leeds NEW


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