B&I Cup semi-finals preview11/03/2015
Semi-final one: Worcester Warriors v Leinster A, Friday
13 March, kick-off 7.45pm
Worcester will have to do what no other English side has managed to do in four years of trying and beat Leinster 'A' if they are to progress to the final of this year's British & Irish Cup.
The Irish province's second string outfit have won their last 11 matches in the B&I Cup against GKIPA Championship opposition, and are unbeaten in 17 - a run that stretches back to a 50-15 quarter-final defeat at the hands of Bedford in March 2011. Worcester became the Blues' next victims in the semi-finals that year, in what was their only other previous appearance in the cross-border competition.
Leinster were in the same pool as Jersey this season, winning 26-6 on home soil in Dublin and edging a close contest at St Peter by 21-22. The Irish province are just two wins away from landing a hat-trick of titles, having won the 2013 and 2014 editions. When you measure that pedigree against Worcester's home advantage and club record 23-match winning streak, Friday night's game looks an extremely tough one to call.
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)
Semi-final two: Doncaster Knights v Bristol, Saturday 14 March, kick-off 2pm
When Bristol prevailed by 27-12 at Castle Park in the Championship last month it was the West Country club's eighth win in a row against the Knights. Bristol were never really troubled that day, however previous clashes have been much tighter affairs, Bristol needing late tries from Dwayne Peel and Olly Robinson to save their blushes against the Knights in the first league encounter at Ashton Gate back in November.
In reaching the last four, Doncaster have matched their previous best performance in the B&I Cup: a semi-final loss to eventual winners Cornish Pirates in the inaugural 2009/10 competition.
This is the fourth time in six attempts that Bristol have made the knockout stages. The 2011 champions suffered a semi-final loss at the hands of Leeds Carnegie in last year's competition.
Referee: Andrew Jackson (RFU)
The Organising Committee has confirmed that in the event of a
tie at full-time in this weekend's semi-finals, the winner shall be
determined after playing extra time (10 minutes each way).
If the scores remain tied after extra time the Club that has scored the most tries (including extra time) shall be deemed the winner and progress to the final. If the number of tries are equal, the winner will be the Away Club.
The B&I Final
The British & Irish Cup final will take place at the winner of semi-final two on Friday, April 3 (Good Friday), kick-off 5.10pm. Live on Sky Sports HD.