Who’s the Best in London? Beating Warriors a Top Priority, says London Blitz Chairman

London Blitz chairman Ed Morgan says Sunday’s domestic clash with city rivals London Warriors holds greater importance than next month’s bid for European glory.

Blitz cross the river to face their south London adversaries this weekend in a re-run of last season’s BritBowl final, when the Warriors triumphed 10-8.

Although the Finsbury Park side are also looking forward to the IFAF European Champions League final four weekend, which takes place next month, there is no doubt that Morgan views overcoming the Warriors as a clear priority.

“We always look at Europe as something that’s extra to the domestic stuff,” said the Blitz chairman.

“It doesn’t mean anything to us winning a European title if we can’t be British champions.

“The harsh reality is that we haven’t beaten the Warriors in the regular season since 2011 and that is a big, big challenge. We don’t have that personal rivalry when we play against French and Spanish sides.

“I fully expect the BritBowl this year to be contested between ourselves and the Warriors, and I’d have said the same thing back in January, or last September.

“It’s always the first one that everyone looks out for – people plan their holidays and even their weddings around it. The nice thing this year is that, with the league structure as it is, we get to play them home and away rather than just once.”

Morgan, who retired from Blitz’s elite team after eight years at safety last season, is a veteran of several memorable meetings with the Warriors, including the BritBowl final of 2012 – the last time his side were national champions.

And he feels much could rest on how the Warriors respond to their recent heavy defeat by Swarco Raiders at a tournament in Austria.

“A lot depends on the mentality and which team starts the best – and the Warriors have just played in an amazing stadium in Austria, so how will they react to very different surroundings at Streatham Croydon Rugby Club?” added Morgan.

“I feel that we probably respect them more than they respect us – you’re playing for a championship but, as much as that, it’s pride.

“The fact it’s down at their place does make it more difficult. But we’ve had some absolutely brilliant practices the last few weeks – there was a concern that those could suffer when we introduced the B team, but that hasn’t been the case – and that’s very encouraging.”

Sunday’s BAFA National League Premier Division South game gets under way at 2.30pm.

Morgan turned out for the Blitz B team last weekend as they went down to a 33-22 defeat by Wembley Stallions. They travel to Essex Spartans this weekend.

Source: islingtongazette.co.uk

Ben is a London based sports journalist who covers both the London Blitz and London Warriors.