Ten weeks have flown by seven remain and the majority of teams have played more than half of their fixtures. For some the playoffs remain a real possibility, for others it is now about playing for respect. Week 10 has some great games and the battle for Division 1 continues to burn bright.
Leicester Falcons (1-1-2) vs Tamworth Phoenix (3-2) Premiership North
Leicester picked up a big win last weekend against Doncaster that put them on the board in the Premiership. It also put them straight back into contention as well. Tamworth have lost their last two games and are a little fragile, which spells a great opportunity for Leicester to sneak into second in the region but they have a long way to go. Tamworth are keen to get back on track to avoid slipping back into the pack with every team still mathematically in contention.
Doncaster Mustangs (2-2-1) vs Birmingham Bulls (0-3-2) Premiership North
The Bulls are better than their record. They have been unfortunate not to come up with wins, instead getting stuck with two ties that have now put them bottom of the division. As they prepare to face Doncaster twice in their remaining games they may sniff an opportunity. Doncaster showed they were beatable last weekend against Leicester thanks in part to a reduced squad making the trip. The Mustangs will want to put that game behind them as soon as possible. A loss here pushes Birmingham out of contention for the post season while a loss for Doncaster would make a top two finish look unlikely.
Ipswich Cardinals (2-5) vs Bristol Aztecs (3-2) Premiership South
Ipswich have found the premiership a hard task so far. They have yet to get to terms with the other sides at this level. Their closest game came on opening weekend against their opponents this week though. If they can get on the board again and fight for the win at home it will be a great result. Bristol will not want the result to be in any doubt, however, their chances at the post season are slipping away and they need to keep winning now.
London Olympians (3-2) vs London Blitz (5-1) Premiership South
London Blitz have come back well from their earlier losses. They are still strong and are post season candidates. The Olympians had a big loss to the London Warriors last week but this Premiership year is acting as a great learning experience for them. It will be very tough for them to get a result in this game but getting a couple of scores on the board will be enough for them.
Lancashire Wolverines (4-1) vs Coventry Jets (4-2) Division 1 North
Division 1 has been fantastic this year, there are so many competitive sides playing at a close level and as the season goes on it is still not possible to tell where everyone will end up when the dust settles in six weeks. These two sides are both still in the fight. Lancashire have largely played the lower ranking sides thus far but they also have an easy upcoming schedule they remaining five games see them play teams with a combined record of 10-17 so they can be expected to be in the fight at the end. Coventry meanwhile have beaten themselves so far, their loss against Lancashire early on was partly down to mistakes made by the side. If they can pull it together they can finish near the top. They cannot afford to lose now though. Like Lancashire they face two more top sides and this game is absolutely key for both of them.
Kent Exiles (2-5) vs Sussex Thunder (4-1) Division 1 Central & South
When these two play eachother there are usually fireworks. A number of players have gone from one to the other in the past and there is a rich rivalry here. This season the two sides are not quite on the same level. Sussex came into this year as favourites and barring a loss against Berkshire they are living up to expectations. Kent meanwhile were promoted this year and have not been able to adjust to this level yet. While Sussex battle at the top Kent have a strong battle themselves against Essex and Hampshire for sixth. A surprise result may occur here but Kent should be happy coming out of a close game as they continue to build.
South Wales Warriors (3-2) vs Essex Spartans (1-4) Division 1 Central & South
The Spartans are unfortunately sat at the bottom of the pile at the moment. They are not yet on a par with the bigger sides at this level but they still look good. A trek to Wales is definitely going to test them, their rivals Kent Exiles lost 56-12 there three weeks ago and the Warriors cannot afford a third loss at this point in the season. This should be a Warriors win but this year in this division would you count the Spartans out before kickoff?
East Kent Mavericks (4-1) vs Hampshire Thrashers (2-5) Division 1 Central & South
Hampshire are another side who suffered a difficult start, they wouldn't have expected to mix it with the big boys this year but might have hoped to fare better against the new sides away from home. East Kent have improved a lot over the winter and are now one of the favourites with half their games gone. They need to pick up this win as their schedule gets tougher from here. After this game they face South Wales twice, Sussex once and Berkshire once, that is a tough schedule to finish things off.
Nottingham Caesars (6-2) vs Gateshead Senators (2-4) Division 1 North
This is Nottingham's last game before they take a well-earned break. With just two losses to this stage of the season their post season chances are good with just two games to go. Gateshead have the ability to cause Caesars some problems though. Their record may not be great at 2-4 but this side can pack a punch. The majority of the games they have played have been close encounters and they are ready to go toe-to-toe with Nottingham this weekend.
West Coast Trojans (3-1) vs Merseyside Nighthawks (0-5) Division 1 North
Few expected this start for Merseyside but the Nighthawks need to stay strong and plan how they are going to get back on top. They still have five games to go and a single victory could get them off the bottom of the table. West Coast Trojans have got a lot of games in a short space of time. With just two weeks off between 20th May and 29th July their schedule is very congested and momentum will be needed to see them reach the end with a strong standing. They will fancy their chances against the Nighthawks coming to their place but they cannot afford to be complacent as they sit second with a great chance at the playoffs.
Peterborough Saxons (4-0) vs Bedfordshire Blue Raiders (3-2) Division 2 East
The Blue Raiders have done well so far and are still clearly in contention in an insanely tight East region. With four teams fighting for the second playoff spot every game is now vital. The team out front though are this weekend's foes. Peterborough come into this game unbeaten and look the class of the field. They also appear to have gotten their toughest fixtures out of the way early on. While Bedfordshire would love to come away with the win here it will be hard for them to travel to Peterborough and come away with a strong result. A loss here would not kill their chances but it would push them back into the pack.
Clyde Valley Blackhawks (4-2) vs Edinburgh Wolves (6-0) Division 2 North
Clyde Valley went into their two games against Dundee unbeaten and came out with two losses. Now they have two games against Edinburgh and it is going to be hard for them to keep in contention. Third would be a good finish but of course the Blackhawks want more. Edinburgh have yet to lose and have played some superb ball in 2012. Losing their remaining games would still show improvement on last year and they have a great chance to go from fifth last year to top the region this time out.
Glasgow Tigers (3-3) vs Dundee Hurricanes (6-1) Division 2 North
A loss here takes Glasgow out of the picture. With two games against Dundee they have a lot of work to do anyway. The three losses that have taken place have been small margins so they come into this home game with a chance. Dundee need this one too. They are trying to keep up the pressure on Edinburgh at the top of the table. A second loss here might well push the Wolves out of reach.
Bournemouth Bobcats (3-0-1) vs Oxford Saints (2-0-1) Division 2 West
These two sides are both unbeaten at this stage but neither of them have played a many games. In Oxford's case it has not been their fault, they have had three games rearranged or cancelled on them so far. They will be confident that it shouldn't matter though. Having been dropped from Division 1 last year they have come into this region and have seemed in their two games the class of the field. Bournemouth meanwhile are more of a surprise as the current division leaders. Last year's 4-6 record is likely now a distant memory but the Saints are likely to have their number this weekend.
D C Presidents (2-2-1) vs Sheffield Predators (3-0-1) Division 2 Central
DC got the biggest result of their return last week. When they took on Crewe we witnessed the battle of the new boys and they both performed brilliantly as the score got a little out of control. The Presidents were able to come through that to get a big second win. This week they take on unbeaten Sheffield and the perspective changes, this week keeping the game close should be the goal. Sheffield are looking good but still have a lot of games to play so need to stay healthy while keeping on winning.
Lincolnshire Bombers (1-3) vs Manchester Titans (3-1) Division 2 Central
Lincolnshire are trying to pick up fourth in the region, they picked up their first win at the beginning of the year and have a real chance at beating out those around them after six more games. Manchester want to get on top and after being in Division 1 last year they will feel like they should be there. They have a great chance with six games still to play in the next seven weeks, they will need to be on form going into that stretch.
Staffordshire Surge (0-3-1) vs Chester Romans (4-0-1) Division 2 Central
Staffordshire have had trouble getting things going this year. As a small team they know their best chances come against the new sides and Lincolnshire. Chester are one of the big sides in the region and are fighting for the lead with five games to go.