GK IPA Championship preview - Round 19

23/03/2016

To download statistics from round 18, please click here. 

DOING the double over a team always leaves a good taste but it will be extra sweet for Doncaster Knights if they can close the gap to Greene King IPA Championship leaders Bristol Rugby with victory in the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

Coming into Round 19, the Knights sit ten points adrift of their title rivals with four regular season games left to play.

If reeling in that difference was not motivation enough, hosts Doncaster will welcome their opponents to Castle Park still smarting from a disappointing British and Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cornish Pirates.

There will also be scores to settle for Bristol too though after the Knights ended their seven-match winning run ended in spectacular fashion with a 39-27 in their first league meeting back in November.

Both teams are guaranteed their play-off spots but the race for the Championship top spot will be on their minds when they meet on Sunday.

The game is one of a Sky Sports-televised double header with third-placed Bedford Blues travelling to face Yorkshire Carnegie – a team ranked just one place below them.

They both go into the game level on points – and 12 clear of fifth-placed Jersey – with Yorkshire Carnegie in buoyant mood after booking their place in the final of the British and Irish Cup last weekend following a 33-32 win over Jersey.

A single point was all that separated Yorkshire Carnegie from Bedford back in November too with the latter snatching the 22-21 win after a last second penalty from Steffan Jones.

On Friday, Jersey will attempt to put the pressure on the top four by picking up valuable points at home to London Scottish.

Despite losing in the British and Irish Cup semi-final, they are still in with a shout of making the play-offs having won half of their league games so far.

One of those included a 20-5 victory over London Scottish back in Round 9, with tries for Ross Adair and Garry Graham.

London Scottish meanwhile find themselves in eighth place having lost their last two league games to Nottingham Rugby and Doncaster Knights.

It also promises to be a crucial weekend at the other end of the table with bottom side Moseley on the lookout for points away at Cornish Pirates.

The Birmingham outfit were on the receiving end of a heavy 50-3 defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie in the British and Irish Cup quarter-final last time out.

However they will be buoyed by the fact that they beat hosts Cornish Pirates 24-19 earlier in the season courtesy of a last-minute try from hat-trick hero Kyle Evans.

Second-bottom Ealing Trailfinders meanwhile play host to London Welsh, looking to bring their opponents back down to earth after their British and Irish Cup semi-final win over Cornish Pirates.

While the final fixture of the weekend sees third-bottom Rotherham Titans looking to increase the nine-point gap to Moseley when they play host to Nottingham Rugby.

Greene King IPA Championship round 19 fixtures

Friday March 25
Jersey v London Scottish, kick-off 3pm

Saturday March 26
Cornish Pirates v Moseley, kick-off 3pm
Ealing Trailfinders v London Welsh, kick-off 3pm
Rotherham Titans v Nottingham, kick-off 3pm

Sunday March 27
Doncaster Knights v Bristol Rugby, kick-off 1.45pm. Live on Sky Sports HD.
Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues, kick-off 4pm. Live on Sky Sports HD.

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