Welcome in everyone. Just want to say a continued thanks to those watching, reading and interacting with the content we put out. Great to see engagement and appetite for the game, even if it’s a questionable product we are getting (if at all).
For those of you that follow my predictions, I got 14/16 corrects last week, with Cambridgeshire/Norwich an incorrect selection and I was never going to be able to predict the tie between Blitz B and Stallions. On the season, I am 43/54 (80%) on the season in total which is a pretty decent effort and I also extended my lead in the 5 Fixture Prediction Competition to 15 points, going 5/5 in week 4 giving me a 17/20 record on the season.
Moving on to week 5 then, if you don’t know, Halton Spartans have withdrawn from the season citing struggles in overcoming the pandemic both on and off the field, which is a shame as the team were certainly on the upward trajectory from 2019. Couple of cancelled fixtures to tell you about, Jurassic Coast Raptors doing themselves no favours after their win against Torbay as they request a downgrade of the fixture to a controlled scrimmage, only for the Bristol Apache to decline. I didn’t realise we were at such a luxury in the sport where we just pick and choose who we want to play and when.
Alas, the other fixtures joining them in the bin is the one between Sheffield Giants and Humber Warhawks which was addressed in a classy fashion, with Humber informing Sheffield early so that alternative arrangements can be sought, including a nice little Spotify memed playlist above. Finalising the trifecta is DC presidents game against the Northumberland Vikings. However, it’s not all bad news, Vikings fans….read on.
With the housekeeping all done, let’s take a look at what we do have in store on week 5 fixture list.
A few anomalies here which we’ll address straight out of the gate.
There is a Saturday game! Dare we say it got flexed like a week 17 NFL game :). Not sure as to the reasoning of that, hopefully there will be a stream too, which you can find courtesy of Onside Productions here in a game named as the Dan Smith Memorial as the Sandwell Steelers and Tamworth Phoenix get it on. .
Sandwell have recently had a change up in their coaching staff which sees former HC Paul Kent step down and replaced by Stuart Andrew and the appointment of new OC David Butler has the unenviable task of preparing for the mighty Phoenix on short notice. Coach Butler was a guest on our weekly preview podcast this week so go check out our YouTube for more on that, or wherever you get your podcasts.
You’ll also notice there is a controlled scrimmage game between the Manchester Titans and the Northumberland Vikings. Vikings as previously mentioned were supposed to be tackling DC Presidents but apparently the two teams had a conversation and seems to be all systems go for a friendly game of football between two decent outfits. Happy days.
Taking a look around the rest of the fixtures, we have a repeat fixtures from week 4 with Shropshire Revolution and Staffordshire Surge going at it once more, with Shropshire taking care of things last week comfortably 44-0 and in the Thames Valley, arguably one of the more exciting divisions this season, sees the London Hornets and Hertfordshire Cheetahs reacquaint themselves, the Cheetahs edging home 25-20 in a good game by all accounts last Sunday.
We have some new teams embarking on their first fixture including 2 London teams in the aptly named “London” division with the Olympians (vs Blitz) and Britball juggernauts Warriors (@ Exiles) both stepping on to the field for the first time (hopefully). Will the Warriors continue their strong recent dominance of the sport? or have the chasing pack closed the gap a little bit? The Exiles have had tough battles with the Blitz in recent weeks including last weeks 14-14 tie. The Blitz and Olympians played out some low scoring cagey battles back in 2019, will it revert to that form? With Blitz taking both victories back in the Prem South 2 years ago.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Leigh Miners will welcome the Lancashire Wolverines, who are “fresh” (can we call any team fresh in this day in age?) off their morale boosting win against Halton in week 4 and the South Wales Warriors return to the field as they travel to Worcester to face the Black Knights. Could be another difficult week for the Black Knights unless they were able to draw a lot from their opening game a few weeks ago in week 3 in their heavy defeat to Hereford.
Teams that will also face uphill battles this week seem to include the Sussex Thunderbolts as they host the East Kent Mavericks, whilst Crewe Railroaders welcome in the Leicester Falcons team and who knows what the status is with their week 1 star QB/WR duo. Birmingham Bulls host the Bristol Aztecs and will be interesting to see how long the Bulls can keep with Bristol as they’ll look to continue enjoying those shorter trips in and around them, rather than off to London each week.
Ticking off the rest of the fixtures then, and the Hereford Stampede will want to put their result against the Birmingham Bulls behind them as they travel to Swindon Storm, who bounced back from their loss to the Aztecs to thump Worcestershire in the Severn division.
The Essex Spartans will be looking to continue their form against the East Essex Sabres in a battle atop of the South East aka the Essex Bowl. Essex won both ties back in 2019, both as shutouts and have whilst their only opposition has been the Sussex Thunderbolts so far this year, you’d expect them to take the win against a Sabres team who are 2-0, after wins against that very same Sussex Thunderbolts and East Kent Mavericks.
Intriguing fixture down in the South West which sees the Torbay Trojans hosting the Somerset Wyverns. The Trojans have had a rough time thus far, conceding 45 points on average in each of their first 3 losses of the year, Somerset may improve for the run after their first game in week 4 in a loss against Bristol Apache. Probably expect the Wyverns to take it considering the form of Torbay. That being said, Torbay won this fixture 12-0 back in 2019k but a lot of turnover in Torbay since then.
If there is going to be a tie in week 5, just like in week 4, it could come in the Ouse Valley game as they face the Colchester Gladiators. The fixtures in 2019 saw both teams take a win in relatively close games. Ouse Valley haven’t troubled the scoreboard too much but seemingly have improved every game thus far and were perhaps unfortaunte to not come away with victory against Ipswich Cardinals last time out. Colchester’s sole fixture thus far was a shutout loss to the Apache. Possible low scoring game on the cards here.
Not sure if this would be permitted as an upset but I am going to take the Bournemouth Bobcats to take victory against the Sussex Thunder. Sussex have been battered twice by Solent, which considering the numbers game in Sussex being a struggle, is not surprising. Bournemouth beat Portsmouth Dreadnoughts which again, isn’t any too much to write home about before being defeated by Rushmoor 31-8 in their 2nd game. Could be a close one but i think i would fancy Bobcats to heap more misery on Sussex.
Finally, the impressive Wembley Stallions welcome in the Oxford Saints as its top vs bottom in the Thames Valley. Wembley are 2-0-1 thus far with wins against Hertfordshire and Blitz B and having that tie last week against Blitz B, I fully expect the Stallions to march on through to victory here.
Before i let you go, I said Iwould give a shout out to a Uniball cause. The University of Portsmouth have a gofundme page for their Destroyers team as they are looking to fundraise to help pay for a new set of helmets. If you can and want to help, you can do so by clicking this link or the image for more information).
So there we have it, another week previewed for you. Thanks for reading and if you want to check out my podcast over on YouTube, you can find it here. Please subscribe to the channel. We have over 100 subscribers now so thank you to those people! If you want to catch us on Socials, @F10YBritball is the place to go, but also make sure you keep an eye out @Full10Yards as we have a HUGE announcement coming on Sunday, especially if you like your NFL.
Week 5 predictions
- Tamworth to beat Sandwell
- East Kent to beat Sussex B
- Bristol to beat Birmingham
- Leicester to beat Crewe
- Swindon to beat Hereford
- Essex to beat East Essex
- Hertfordshire to beat London Hornets
- Warriors to beat Knet
- Lancashire to beat Leigh
- London Blitz to beat London Olympians
- Ouse Valley to beat Colchester
- Bournemouth to beat Sussex
- Somerset to beat Torbay
- South Wales to beat Worcestershire
- Shropshire to beat Staffordshire
- Wembley to beat Oxford