GKIPA Championship preview - Round 4

24/09/2015

YORKSHIRE Carnegie top the pile in the Greene King IPA Championship after three rounds and will put the league's only remaining unbeaten record on the line against London Scottish this weekend

Carnegie beat Ealing Trailfinders 40-28 last time out to make it a perfect three from three, tries from David Doherty, Jonah Holmes, Max Green and Andrew Forsyth wrapping up a bonus point before the interval.
 
Seb Stegmann and Phil Nilsen also crossed after the break as the Yorkshire side overcame two yellow cards to claim victory, former Edinburgh fly-half Harry Leonard taking his season tally to 34 points from the tee.
 
The home team has won all of the last five meetings between these two sides in the league, stretching back to when Leeds came to the capital in November 2012 and claimed victory.
 
Scottish, third last season, lost on the opening weekend but have since beaten Ealing and Bedford Blues.
 
Mark Bright, top try scorer last season, took his tally to four for this campaign while Matt Williams was also on the scoresheet in the win over the Blues. That defeat meant that Bedford, previously top of the table after two bonus-point wins to start the campaign, slipped outside the top four.
 
And they will have their work cut out for them against a London Welsh side who beat the Blues narrowly in the 2011/12 Championship play-offs and have won the last three meetings. Welsh beat Moseley 17-6 in round three, Ben West and Koree Britton the try scorers to bounce back from their defeat to Bristol.
 
Also on Saturday, there is a Yorkshire derby as Rotherham Titans welcome Doncaster Knights – the hosts fresh from a narrow 26-24 win over the Cornish Pirates last weekend. Joe Parker and Jordan Davies scored the tries for Rotherham but it was the boot of Will Goodwin that did the real damage.
 
The Knights are sitting pretty in third place having beaten Jersey 31-27, Latu Makaafi's try double moving him to the top of the league scoring charts with five in all. Doncaster will be out for revenge against a Titans side that did the double over them last season by a combined total of only three points.
 
Beaten by Doncaster last time out, Jersey welcome powerhouses Bristol on Saturday. Andy Robinson's side appear to have recovered from their opening-weekend defeat as they beat Nottingham 46-31 last weekend to go second in the table.
 
Oliver Robinson scored two of their six tries while Gavin Henson kicked 16 points from the tee and they will look to continue their revival against a Jersey side who currently sit tenth in the table and have not beaten Bristol in their last six league meetings.
 
Jersey's first win this season came against the Cornish Pirates in round two and the Pirates followed that up with a second loss against the Titans.
 
Alex Cheesman, Tom Riley and Alex Stevens all crossed as the Pirates, despite losing the fixture, outscored their opponents by three tries to two. They will be desperate to get back to winning ways against Ealing this weekend.
 
The newly-promoted Trailfinders are yet to win this season although they can take heart from racking up a four-try bonus point in defeat to Yorkshire last weekend – the usually-prolific Phil Chesters notching his first of the season.
 
In the only game on Sunday, last year's play-off semi-finalists Nottingham are still searching for their first win of the new campaign when they take on Moseley.

The 46-31 defeat to Bristol made it three losses from three for Nottingham although they did score five tries. Martin Haag's side faced Moseley four times last season, winning both league match-ups but losing twice in the British & Irish Cup.

Saturday 26 September
London Welsh v Bedford Blues, kick-off 1pm.
Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates, kick-off 3pm
Jersey v Bristol Rugby, kick-off 3pm
Rotherham Titans v Doncaster Knights, kick-off 3pm
Yorkshire Carnegie v London Scottish, kick-off 6pm

Sunday 27 September
Nottingham v Moseley, kick-off 3.30pm

For statistics from Round 3, please click here.

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