Preview: NI Razorbacks @ Louth Mavericks

Not a full gameweek this weekend (Gameweek 7.5, if you will) as the rescheduled Razorbacks @ Mavericks game take place in Dundalk on Sunday. Postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Razorbacks in Gameweek 6, the match takes place in a different context in Division 2 to what it would have 2 weeks ago. Let’s see why, and if it affects this writer’s prediction for the game.

With the Razorbacks upsetting the Jets last week, this Sunday’s game is a #2 @ #1 matchup, with the ‘Hogs’ sitting in the #2 seed behind the #1 Mavericks. Last weekend’s win was crucial for the Razorbacks chances of making the Division 2 Bowl game, climbing to a 2-1 record above the Antrim outfit and above the #3 Giants on points difference. QB Mark Thompson will be feeling good going into a tough matchup this Sunday after having scored a touchdown each though the air and the ground. The Razorbacks defense has shown the ability to swarm the ball and force turnovers too, taking the ball away 4 times from the Jets at home last Sunday. That eagerness to take points off the Mavericks’ board will be crucial in giving the offense a chance this Sunday.

As for the Mavericks, they are currently cruising undefeated and in the driving seat for the Division 2 Bowl game appearance, as many expected they would be. Having not played in more than a month they will certainly be looking to get momentum rolling again, and it may be the only disadvantage they carry going into Sunday. With a relentless rushing attack that has notched up 11 TDs between 4 players in 2 games played, the Mavericks offense is a huge threat to any defense in Division 2. When you add that their own defense has clamped down on opposing offense, the odds of the Razorbacks’ coming out of this one with a win aren’t the greatest. It certainly won’t be impossible — they weren’t favoured by many going into the Jets game and caused an upset — and hopefully this game closer resembles Mavs/Jets than Mavs/Pirates. Still, it’s hard to go against the Louth side until proven otherwise.

Razorbacks 14 – Mavericks 24