All to play for in final round of 2022 Elite Men’s and Women’s NTS
The destination of the 2022 overall titles is still in the balance in the Elite Men’s and Women’s National Touch Series.
The teams return to Oxford this Saturday, with NQ Rebels and London Scorpions tied on 46 league points each, with Wigan Warriors just six points behind.
Rebels and Scorpions have been going toe-to-toe this season, with Scorpions beating the Rebels in the Round 1 Cup final, and the north-westerners reaching the Round 2 Cup final while the Londoners finished third.
Almost inevitably Rebels and Scorpions have been drawn in the same pool as each other, which means that the path will be open for a potential winner-takes-all clash in the final.
However do not discount Nottingham Hoods asking plenty of questions in the other Pool B clash, and of course there is the wild card of Old Wesley, who may be too far behind in the league standings to win the overall title but who showed their class in winning the Cup title in Burton a fortnight ago.
The Dubliners have Wigan and Galaxy London in their pool, so their passage is not going to be straightforward either.
A tight competition is expected in the Men’s Plate, too, where traditional powerhouses London Eagles and Cambridge will be coming up against Oxford and Canterbury, who both have plenty of England team experience in their ranks.
The Women’s Cup is more clear-cut, thanks to NQ Rebels having won the Cup titles in both Rounds 1 and 2. Rebels have been the Women’s team to watch for the last year, having also won the Cup title in the 2021 Men’s and Women’s NTS event played at Oxford RFC.
Saturday’s competition will follow the same format as Round 1, with the nine teams divided into three pools of three, with the morning round-robin deciding who will go into an afternoon round-robin in the Cup (first-place teams), Plate (second-place teams) and Bowl (third-place teams).
London Eagles have finished second and London Scorpions third in both Rounds 1 and 2 and they could once again come head-to-head in the showpiece matches in the afternoon having been drawn in separate pools in the morning.
However with Nottingham, Cambridge, Old Wesley, Galaxy London, Hot Custard and Thames Valley Vikings also all in the competition expect some close games!
Cup Pool A – Old Wesley, Wigan Warriors, Galaxy London
Cup Pool B – NQ Rebels, London Scorpions, Nottingham
Plate Pool – London Eagles, Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury
Pool A – NQ Rebels, Old Wesley, Thames Valley Vikings
Pool B – London Eagles, Nottingham, Galaxy London
Pool C – London Scorpions, Cambridge, Hot Custard
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