As we showed in our Uniball Playoffs and Relegation article earlier this week, the Div 1 and Div 2 postseasons are a bit complicated. So we are going to take a look at just the Div 1 Northern Conferences in this article and see if we can figure out the potential scenarios.
There are three conferences that make up the Div 1 Northern structure, we’re going to take a look at them one at a time. It should be fairly easy to work out Relegation candidates as well as who could potentially finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
The difficulty will come when we are faced with the seeding side of things, so unless we find some really obvious examples we will most likely avoid analysis on seedings.
BUCS have been in touch and given us some more information on how seeding works in Divs 1 and 2. Ready? So the three conference winners (1st place) are compared vs each other to get seeds 1-3, the runners up (2nd place) compared to each other for 4-6 seeds and the 3rd placed teams compared for 7-8 seeds.
This comparison is done by league points and then average points conceded based on total fixtures played (so excluding walkovers).
Div 1 North Conference
Already having secured the top spot and with one more game to play, we have the Newcastle Raiders.
Then it gets tricky as mathematically, any of the remaining teams could finish 2nd or 3rd. This is a really tight conference, the remaining fixtures are:
Hull Sharks v Northumbria Mustangs (Postponed from Week 11)
Northumbria Mustangs v Edinburgh Napier Knights (Week 12)
Newcastle Raiders v Hull Sharks (Week 12)
If Hull Sharks win their two remaining games then they guarantee themselves the 2nd place spot. If they lose both remaining games they are relegated. If they draw both games they are safe and create a 3-way tie between themselves, and the two Edinburgh teams. If they lose to the Raiders and draw with the Mustangs they are safe. However, if they lose to the Mustangs by 9 points or more and draw with the Raiders then they are Relegated.
If Northumbria Mustangs win their two remaining games then they are guaranteed the 2nd place spot. Any combination of loses &/OR draws in both remaining games and they are relegated. If they beat the Sharks and lose to the Knights and then the Sharks lose to the Raiders then they Mustangs are safe. If they beat the Sharks and lose to the Knights and the Sharks draw or win against the Raiders then the Mustangs are relegated. If they beat the Knights and lose to the Sharks then the Mustangs are safe.
If the Edinburgh Napier Knights win or draw their remaining game then they go 2nd but will drop to third if the Sharks win their remaining two games. If they lose their remaining game and the Sharks get a single point from their remaining two games (a loss and a draw) then the Knights will be relegated as the Sharks have a 6 point aggregate in the Head-to-Head and the Mustangs will have an 18 point plus-whatever-they-beat-Napier-by aggregate.
These 3 games to close off the season are absolutely critical for everyone involved to win. The Raiders will want the highest seeding possible having already lost a game to the Knights this season.
To see the Div 1 North Standings plus all results and upcoming fixtures click here.
Div 1 Yorkshire & Lancashire Conference
Leeds Gryphons have already secured the top spot with one game left to play. Then there are 2 battles being played out, one for relegation/survival and the other to determine who comes in 2nd and 3rd place.
There are 3 fixtures remaining to be played, they are:
Sheffield Sabres v LJMU Fury (Postponed from Week 11)
UCLAN Rams v Leeds Gryphons ( Postponed from Week 11)
Sheffield Hallam Warriors v LJMU Fury (Week 12)
LJMU Fury have the strongest position currently on 8 points with 2 games to play. The first is this weekend against Sheffield Hallam Warriors who are also on 8 points.
If the Fury win or the game is a draw then that instantly secures them in the number 2 spot and the Warriors in 3rd. This is because the Fury own the Head to Head tiebreaker with a 21-20 Home win back in Week 5.
If the Warriors win then they will go 2nd but the Fury have another game in hand against Sheffield Sabres, so have a chance to knock the Warriors back to 3rd.
Then in the relegation fight its Sheffield Sabres and UCLAN Rams. As they are both on 2 points, a win or draw for one team while the other loses means the losing team is relegated.
Being on 2 points also means that if they both win, both draw or both lose then it would go to a tiebreaker. The Head-to-Head results are split for these teams with each winning a game, however the Sabres outscored the Rams across the two games 60-24 which would send the Rams down to Div 2 for next season.
Unfortunately for the Rams the only way they are staying up is if they win or draw their game against the undefeated and very high scoring Leeds Gryphons who lost to 34-0 back in Week 3 (and the Sabres lose to the Fury). It’s hard to see anything but a Rams relegation in these circumstances.
To see the Div 1 Yorkshire & Lancashire Standings plus all results and upcoming fixtures click here.
Div 1 Midlands Conference
Derby Braves make it 3 out of 3 for teams in the Northern Conferences that have secured the top spot. They sit undefeated with 14 points after 7 games with one game left to play.
There are four fixtures remaining and while there’s perhaps too much football left to play for us to paint a clear playoff picture, we will still have a crack at it. The four remaining fixtures to be played are:
Loughborough Uni v NTU Renegades (Week 12)
DMU Lions v Warwick Wolves (Week 12)
Derby Braves v Warwick Wolves (Week 13)
NTU Renegades v DMU Lions (Week 13)
There are the same 2 battles in this Conference as we found above in the Yorks/Lancs Conference. There’s the battle for 2nd/3rd place and the battle for survival.
Warwick Wolves have 2 games in hand, one is against the top of the table undefeated Braves and the other is against the bottom of the table winless DMU Lions. The Wolves currently sit on 8 points, as do Loughborough.
Loughborough are playing NTU Renegades this weekend, a team they beat back in Week 3 with a 7-14 scoreline. NTU have lost 5 games this season, but 4 of them have been by 7 points or fewer and they are perhaps a stronger opponent than their 2 league points would suggest.
If the Renegades win or draw against Loughborough then they are safe from relegation, and Loughborough would likely finish 3rd as Warwick would only need 2 points (1 win or 2 draws) from the final two games.
If Warwick and Loughborough end up on the same points, then Loughborough will win the Head-to-Head with a 21-16 points aggregate.
Amazingly the two relegation candidates play each other on the final day! The Lions first face the Wolves in Week 12 and a win for them would mean they only need a draw against the Renegades to avoid relegation. Given their form this season, it’s hard to see the Lions getting anything from the game against the Wolves so its likely to go to the wire for them.
However the odds are stacked against the Lions as they need to beat the Renegades by 23 points or more to stay up, that is if the Renegades lose to Loughborough in Week 12. If the Renegades win or draw at Loughborough, then as mentioned above, they are safe and Lions are relegated. Those 23 points are going to be hard to come by for the Lions as they have only managed to score a total of 30 points in 6 games so far this season.
Not that it’s within keeping of this article but here are my personal predictions of how it will go down. Given the 4 remaining fixtures, I think the most likely outcome for this Conference is:
1 – Derby Braves (8-0) | 16 points
2 – Loughborough Uni (5-3) | 10 points
3 – Warwick Wolves (5-3) | 10 points
4 – NTU Renegades (2-6) | 4 points
5 – DMU Lions (0-8) | 0 points
To see the Div 1 Midlands Standings plus all results and upcoming fixtures click here.
Seedings & Relegations
Seedings are just too vague at this point to try and paint a picture of, however we do know the following:
Top 3 seeds will consist of Newcastle Raiders, Leeds Gryphons and Derby Braves with the exact order to be determined.
Seeds 4-8 could be Edinburgh Predators, Edinburgh Napier Knights, Hull Sharks, Northumbria Mustangs, LJMU Fury, Sheffield Hallam Warriors, Loughborough Uni, or Warwick Wolves.
The teams not able to seed are Sheffield Sabres, UCLAN Rams, NTU Renegades, DMU Lions.
Relegated teams could be Northumbria Mustangs, Hull Sharks, Edinburgh Napier Knights, Sheffield Sabres, UCLAN Rams, NTU Renegades, DMU Lions.
Week 12 Picks
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