David Pryce brings us his brief preview of University Open Outdoor Nationals being held this weekend in Nottingham.
This weekend 32 open teams will travel from their respective corners of the country to University Nationals. Regionals was (for most) a month ago, the snow has cleared and we have even had some sun. I will now attempt to give a brief preview of the upcoming weekend and, after 7 years of failing, attempt to make some predictions about both divisions.
The schedule and pools are out and in Div 1 we have:
- Pool A: Sussex, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leicester – some would say the pool of death with current champs and a lot of strength in all four clubs. I would say Sussex and Edinburgh to edge it and take the top two spots.
- Pool B: Cork, Cardiff, Surrey, Aberdeen – A very similar pool to last year for Cork, Aberdeen and Cardiff. These three are at a similar strength to a year ago and so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a three way tie here.
- Pool C: Bath, Cambridge, Sussex 2, Sheffield – All props to Sussex 2 for making it this far but I cannot see them getting higher than third in the pool here. With Alex Brooks pushing Bath all the way and Elliott Moore and Dom Dathan doing the same for Cambridge few would bet against one of those two topping the pool.
- Pool D: Dundee, Southampton, Birmingham, Durham – Of the four pools I would say this is the most open but if asked to go for it, I would put Dundee and Southampton as the top two but very closely contested by Birmingham.
From a very open Div 2 we have:
- Pool E: Exeter, Leeds, Strathclyde, Portsmouth – A real tough pool to call here with a lot of strength across the board. Exeter still hold the edge at top for me and one of Leeds or Strathclyde. Too hard to call between the two but 12:10 on pitch 17 will decide for me.
- Pool F: Loughborough, Liverpool, St Andrews, Plymouth – Another hard one however the Loughborough and St Andrews teams have very strong training programs and so I would put my money on them.
- Pool G: Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham, Imperial – I am slightly biased here so for integrity will avoid talking about Imperial directly however I wouldn’t write us off in this pool. Another three way tie between Bristol, Nottingham and Imperial?
- Pool H: Warwick, Glasgow, Limerick, LSE – An Irish team are always a tasty addition to Nationals but I think the strength of Glasgow and Warwick will power through to the top 8.
Push Pass Productions will be filming predominantly on pitches 11 and 12 so look out next week for releases of finals etc, like them on Facebook to stay informed!
Blockstack.tv will also be covering the event with team photos and gameplay photos too: contact Andy Moss for more details.
Twitterazzi have already started commenting with the hashtag #ukuuon and follow all the teams’ tweets for results. David will be at the tournament with Imperial so if you have any ideas or questions go ask him and don’t forget to like and follow us too!!