The two most successful University programs meet on Sunday in Leeds, for the right to be named National Champions.
For the Stirling Clansmen they are hunting an unprecedented third straight title, whereas for the Birmingham Lions it’s a case of trying to reclaim a title they have not won since 2013.
Birmingham really set the standard in British Uni ball reaching six straight title games from 2009-14, winning three times. Then the Clan came along and swept all before them as they took the Lions crown in a thrilling game which can be viewed below, and then retained their Championship last season with a 46-6 demolition of Hertfordshire.
A look back at how the teams reached the Final shows that even though they had the same record, the paths differed. Birmingham got off to a flyer with back-to-back shutouts in their opening two games, before close rivals Hertfordshire managed to put up some points against them. Stirling got off to a slow start with a single point win at home to Derby and a two point victory in their third game against Durham.
After that Stirling went on a scoring rampage averaging 38.2 points per game, with a defense that only allowed 6.5ppg in those remaining five games. The Lions have always been known for their stingy D and conceded just 5.6ppg all season.
|Lions in the trenches v Durham|
Action from the Lions Semi-Final game against Durham. Courtesy of Andy Neale – Whizzyfingers Photography https://www.flickr.com/photos/whizzyfingers/sets/72157663362100283
The playoffs were to be another show of offensive strength from the Clan as they put up 101 points in their two games. Not to be outdone the Lions scored just one fewer, but alarmingly allowed their opponents to score 22 on them in each of their postseason matchups.
Here is the full list of games that led the teams to the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds this Sunday, with kick off at 12pm.
v IMPERIAL 47-0
v KINGSTON 36-0
at Hertfordshire 32-12
at Bath 27-9
at Imperial 20-6
v BATH 41-8
at Kingston 2-0
v HERTFORDSHIRE 27-10
v LOUGHBOROUGH 42-22
v DURHAM 58-22
v DERBY 21-20
at Loughborough 26-7
v DURHAM 30-28
v HALLAM 41-12
at Durham 32-10
at Hallam 33-8
at Derby 43-0
v LOUGHBOROUGH 42-3
v BATH 59-21
v HERTFORDSHIRE 42-13
Following the Premier Championship Final, the two teams that gained promotion to the Premier Divisions next season will face off for the National Championship.
Swansea Titans will join the South after they dispatched Surrey handily last weekend 45-9. The North will have a new team to worry over after the NTU Renegades defeated Glasgow 13-9 in a great game that went right to the wire. NTU had a great playoff run this season and will look to cap it off with the National title, but in Swansea it could be a game too far. This game is at the same venue and will kick off at approximately 4.15pm.