China: Favorites starting to pull away in CNFL

A week ago, two of the top teams in the Chinese National Football League, CNFL, demonstrated their strength in dominating in a weekend shortened by a pair of forfeits.

The Taipei Predators and Wuhan Berserkers pulled further away in lopsided victories clinching playoff spots and turning into true contenders for the overall CNFL title.

In their first week of action after the Golden Week holiday break, the CNFL originally had four games scheduled, but the Guangzhou Apaches-Hong Kong Warhawks and the Foshan Tigers-Hong Kong Combat Orcas games both ended in forfeits when neither Hong Kong team were able to make the trip.

Taipei Predators 46 Hong Kong Cobras 6, Taipei Municipal Stadium, Taiwan

In the last regular season game for the Taipei Predators, the Predators put on a show and crushed the Hong Kong Cobras at home in Taipei to all but clinch a postseason birth in their first season in the CNFL. The Cobras came to Taipei a bit undermanned, and a serious injury on their drive that put the game on hold for further exacerbated their lack of depth.

The Predators took full advantage of their home field advantage as they charged out to a 26-0 halftime lead, as the Predators offense effectively utilized their fullback for 2 bruising touchdowns.

After a slow 3rd quarter, the Predators offense erupted for a flurry of touchdowns, and only a late Cobras 75 yard highlight reel touchdown would allow them to avoid being shut out.

With this win, the Predators (3-2) have all but clinched the 2nd playoff spot from the South and finish the regular season 3-2.

The Cobras (2-2), on top of the division just a few weeks ago, suddenly find themselves having lost 2 in a row, plummeting to 4th place and out of the playoffs. With one more game left against the 1-3 Hong Kong Combat Orcas, the Cobras can only tie for third place with a win to finish 3-2 and will need help in order to make the playoffs.

Wuhan Berserkers 54 – Mountain City Furies 24,  Chongqing Second Normal University, Nanshan Campus.

In Chongqing there were no surprises as the Wuhan Berserkers beat the Mountain City Fury 54-24.

The Berserkers (3-0) clinched the 2nd playoff spot in the West and their final regular season game will a highly anticipated match up against the Chengdu Pandaman (3-0) to determine the West division champion.

For the Fury (0-3), an 0-3 start was to be expected against 2 of the league’s powerhouses, and their final regular season matchup against the Zhengzhou Steamer (0-3) will be a play-in game for 3rd place and the final playoff spot in the West.

AFI
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