Roses Preview 2016: American Football

The vitriol has already flown on social media, but the real battle is to come between York’s Centurions and Lancaster’s Bombers

York Centurions facing Lancaster Bombers at Roses 2015, a game they went on to lose 26-6. Image: York Centurions

Fixtures

Saturday, 13:00, Rugby League Pitch

2015 Results

Lost 26-6 (Last 5 Roses: LLLWL)

Points Available: 4

Inside Track: Stephen Bates, Club President

How have the club performed this season? 

The season has been strong, our record stands at 5 – 3 and we finished second in the division. Offensively, we have had one of our highest scoring seasons ever as well as setting our record for the most passing touchdowns in a single game with 4 against Bradford. The defence have been stout and aggressive throughout and have chipped in with a couple of scores themselves.

What do you expect from Lancaster?

On paper they are a team that scored zero points this season. They had a tough schedule and are going to be viewing this matchup as a season saving game. They’ll be fired up and aggressive and desperate to score but unfortunately for them my defence are a mean and angry bunch and fancy another shut out. We expect their defence to be familiar with what we do and set up accordingly, whether they’ll be able to stop us is a different story.

Which individual players could stand out?

On offense, Running Back Dami Oloko is always good for highlight reel plays, if he has a monster 200 yard game he’ll go over 1,000 yards for the season. Expect towering rookie Wide Receiver Max York to be catching passes all day too. On defence, watch out for Defensive Lineman Joe Atkinson to be bringing the pain upfront and Linebacker Joe Ford to be dishing out hits all over the field. Sadly for myself I don’t think Lancaster’s Quarterback will be brave/stupid enough to be throwing the ball into my zone.

Why should people come and watch the American Football? 

This is our Superbowl. Its aggression, passion and pain for the whole 60 minutes. American Football perfectly embodies the War of the Roses spirit as it’s a meticulous, tactical battle as much as a hostile, physical one. It as a sport is becoming more popular all the time here in the UK but if you aren’t already a fan of the game they’ll be an announcer there to help you follow it. We owe everybody that supported us last year a win this time out.

Year in a Tweet

The Centurions stepped it up as early as February; mocking Lancaster Bombers ‘pointless’ season with a cruel jibe that really flew on Twitter. Their account is known for its shall we say informal approach to providing meticulous updates of the team’s progress, give it a look and see if you approve of their chat. If you’re a fan, they’ve got Snapchat as well. Come Saturday afternoon, there will be no horsing around- that’s for sure.

Nouse Verdict

York went into last year’s game on the back of a chastening BUCS season and their lack of confidence seemed to be borne out in a 26-6 defeat.

It’s a different story approaching this year’s Roses; they came second in their league, winning four of seven contests and in Dami Oloko they have a running back of high quality. This one really could go either way and is a game in which the crowd could play a key role.

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