The season ahead

General Manager Steve Guy took some time out of his busy pre-season schedule to pen his thoughts on the season ahead.

Anglia Ruskin Rhinos

Regular Season Record Last Season: 2-6

All-time record v Pythons: Pythons lead the series 1-0

Score last time they played the Pythons: Pythons won 40-0 (2012/13 season, at Cambridge)

 

The Rhinos are also based in Cambridge and share with the Pythons Coldhams Common as their home venue – the annual game against the Pythons has already been named ‘The Coldhams Bowl’. With a group of experienced coaches, the Rhinos will be looking to improve upon their debut season with more victories this time round. Word is they have recruited well.

 

BNU Buccaneers

Regular Season Record Last Season: 6-2 (made the Plate Playoffs)

All-time record v Pythons: 0-0

Score last time they played the Pythons: Have never played the Pythons!

 

Since being formed eight years ago, the High Wycombe team have been the model of how a team at a smaller university should be run. Last season was their best yet, with a 6-2 record which included an 82-0 thumping of OxfordUniversity, plus points galore in other games as their double-wing offense ran riot at times. Things are up in the air this season though with a new head coach and a move to a new conference.

 

Canterbury Christchurch Chargers

Regular Season Record Last Season: 3-5

All-time Record v Pythons: Pythons lead the series 1-0

Score last time they played the Pythons: Pythons won 18-7 (2012/13 season, at Cambridge)

 

Their game with the Pythons last season was a very hard-fought affair that belied the Chargers final 3-5 standing. Chargers star quarterback Josh Adamson was easily one of the best players the Pythons faced all of last season, a threat both passing and when running with the ball (and scoring their touchdown). With him now having completed his university studies, look for the Chargers to be much a much more run-orientated team.

 

Essex Blades

Regular Season Record Last Season: 4-3-1

All-time Record v Pythons: Series is tied 1-1

Score last time they played the Pythons: Pythons won 16-6 (2012/13 season, at Essex)

Last season the Blades seemed to suffer as a number of experienced stalwarts had graduated and a sizeable cohort of new players were bedded in. Last season’s game against the Pythons was a dour winter battle with the smothering defensive line of the Pythons proving key as offense for both teams spluttered in the winter mud. The expectation is for the Blades to be much more battle-hardened this season.

 

Herts Hurricanes

Regular Season Record Last Season: 8-0 (finished National runners-up)

All-time Record v Pythons: Pythons lead the series 3-1-1

Score last time they played the Pythons: Herts won 61-6 (2012/13 season, at Cambridge)

 

The gold standard in UK college football. Five time National Champions, the Hurricanes flattened the Pythons 61-6 last season on route to the National Championship Game where they narrowly lost to Birmingham. They will be itching to get back to the big game this season. With a fine set of coaches and a loaded roster they are a realistic shot to go one better this time round.

 

Kent Falcons

Regular Season Record Last Season: 5-2-1 (made the Plate playoffs)

All-time Record v Pythons: Pythons lead the series 2-0

Score last time they played the Pythons: Pythons won 22-20 (2011/12 season, at Kent)

The Pythons travelled to Kent in the 2011/12 as massive underdogs. An established Kent team boasted a 4-0 record and were ranked No.7 in the nation. What followed was one of the biggest upsets in years. A program-defining signature victory for the Pythons, the wild 22-20 win sent the Falcons season into a tailspin and threw a hand grenade into the national playoff picture. Kent were solid again last season going 5-2-1 and would seem to be in the mix again this year.

 

Northampton Nemesis

Regular Season Record Last Season: 3-5

All-time Record v Pythons: Northampton lead the series 1-0

Score last time they played the Pythons: Northampton won 18-0 (2011/12 season, at Cambridge)

Another new face in our conference, but not totally unknown to the Pythons, these two teams having played each other to open the 2011/12 season, with Northampton shutting out the Pythons with a 18-0 win at Coldhams – Northampton’s first ever game and the start of a fairytale run to the playoffs in their debut season. Last season 3-5 campaign was a little bit of a reality check, but this is another team with a group of experienced coaches and they will be looking for a strong showing this year.

 

UEA Pirates

Regular Season Record Last Season: 5-2-1 (made the Plate playoffs)

All-time Record v Pythons: Pythons lead the series 10-3

Score last time they played the Pythons: Pythons won 15-12 (2012/13 season, at UEA)

 

The Pirates have a long-standing historic rivalry with the Pythons, dating back to the early 1990s. The last couple of seasons the Pirates canny coaching staff have harnessed a bruising running attack to power them into the playoffs. Last season the Pythons scored an upset victory in Norwich which almost derailed the Pirates march to the playoffs whilst simultaneously added rocket boosters to the Pythons own playoffs hopes. The season before The Pirates won 42-26 at Coldhams in a game where the Pythons Nick Roope scored three touchdowns. Thrills and spills seem guaranteed when these two collide…