The Prem North has been ultra competitive, and this last game of the season is likely to be no different. Both teams go into the game, knowing that a win for either team would have differing implications for their teams futures.
The Giants come into the game sitting second bottom of the division, with a record of 2-7. This however, doesn’t give a realistic view on their season so far. Their average margin of defeat is just over 7 points, but they came very close to beating league leaders Tamworth (leading until the dying moments of the game), lost to Edinburgh by a point and kept a high octane Manchester offence to just 6 points in one of their games. Couple that with a 2 point victory over Leicester (14-12), and you would be foolish to think that this Sheffield defence isn’t ready to ball! Their offence also came to life in their last game against Manchester, keeping pace with the Titans until deep in the second half in a 49-30 reverse. Sheffield know that a victory on Sunday will be enough to keep them in the Prem North for another year, whereas a defeat leaves them open to all kinds of pitfalls to Division One.
The Nighthawks, on the other hand, know that nothing except a win is good enough this weekend, if they want to extend their season. Coming off the back of a defeat at the hands of league leaders Tamworth last weekend, Merseyside have dropped to 3rd place following Manchester’s win over Leicester on the same day. Even a victory this weekend may not be enough, as a Tamworth loss (away to Manchester) would change the whole outlook of the North. This would hand Manchester the title, whilst pushing the Phoenix to second and eliminating the Nighthawks. The Hawks will be hoping that Tamworth can do them a favour to allow them to extend their season by at least one game.
The last game between these two ended up as a 20-0 win for the Nighthawks, with the Sheffield defence consistently stuffing the Hawks strong running game. However, with the Sheffield offence starting to find it’s feet, and the Nighthawks defence continuing it’s strong showings, we are in for an absolute slobberknocker of a game come Sunday.
Players to Watch :-
Harry O’Neill – Running Back – an expert in the backfield, O’Neill is good with and without the ball. Able to find gaps in the line and exploit them, and strong in pass protection, O’Neill is a valuable asset to the Giants and will need him to fire if they are to put points on the board on Sunday.
Offensive Line – The Giants Offensive Line have really started to get it together, and had a strong game in their last outing against Manchester. Opening up gaps for O’Neill, whilst still being able to protect their QB, the OL will surely cause the Nighthawks problems on Sunday.
Sam Fossey – Defensive Back – Fossey is the Giants defensive player from 2018, and it certainly shows why when he’s on the field. An interception machine last year, Fossey is able to play both ways, highlighted by his two TDs last season.