GK IPA Championship (Round 5)01/10/2014
Bristol Rugby leads the way in the Greene King IPA Championship
after the first month of the season. Andy Robinson's men have won
all four of their matches to date and will bid to make it five from
five, before the four-week break for the British & Irish Cup
and the Championship XV game against Canada, when they visit
Moseley on Saturday.
An entertaining spectacle is in prospect at Clifton Lane too as Rotherham and Worcester, two of the leading try scorers in the league, meet. Both sides, like Bristol and London Scottish, have scored an average of four tries or more per game in what has been an entertaining start to the Championship season all round. Worcester go into the match in second place with Rotherham one point adrift in fourth.
Doncaster Knights have made a fantastic start to life back at level 2 and will look to round off the first block of fixtures with a fourth win against Cornish Pirates. Doncaster kicker Dougie Flockhart is the league's leading points-scorer with 58 points - 17 of them coming in the Knights' 32-23 win away to Yorkshie Carnegie in round 4 - and appears to be a strong contender for the inaugural Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Month accolade along with the likes of London Scottish forward Mark
Bright, who tops the try charts with seven. The winner will be announced on Friday.
Rounding off the Saturday fixtures, Bedford Blues have an early chance to avenge their final day defeat to Jersey in the 2013/14 season when the two sides do battle at Goldington Road, in the remaining Saturday afternoon fixture.
On Sunday, third-placed London Scottish play host to rock bottom Plymouth Albion in a match being broadcast live by Sky Sports, while Nottingham Rugby and Yorkshire Carnegie will both be looking to put recent losses behind them in the lunchtime kick-off at Meadow Lane.
Doncaster Knights v Cornish Pirates, Saturday October 4, KO 14:30
With three wins from their first four games, newly-promoted Doncaster are enjoying their best start to a Championship season since the 2008/09 campaign. The Knights drew 18-18 with the Pirates the last time they met at Castle Park. Pirates have not won on Yorkshire soil since they defeated Rotherham 17-14 at Clifton Lane in the fourth round of the promotion play-offs, on 31 March 2012.
Bedford Blues v Jersey, Saturday October 4, KO 15:00
Jersey secured Championship survival with a 41-31 victory at Goldington Road on the final day of last season. Their only previous league match there ended in a 38-21 defeat. Jersey have picked up more bonus points (four) than any other side this season.
Moseley v Bristol Rugby, Saturday October 4, KO 15:00
Bristol won at Billesley Common for the first time in their history in last season's corresponding fixture - a 33-24 victory. Bristol raced into a 26-0 lead with just over a quarter of the match gone before Moseley, inspired by Matt Williams' superb solo score, fought back to close the gap to nine.
Rotherham Titans v Worcester Warriors, Saturday October 4, KO 15:00
Former Rotherham favourites Charlie Mulchrone and Dan Sanderson are in line to make a swift return to Clifton Lane after their summer switch of allegiance. Both Rotherham and Worcester have recovered from opening day defeats to rattle off three straight wins. Worcester eased to a 32-3 win on their last visit to Clifton Lane on 20 November, 2010. Overall, Titans hold the better head-to-head record with six league wins to Worcester's four.
Nottingham Rugby v Yorkshire Carnegie, KO 13:00
These sides met three times last season - with Yorkshire Carnegie, then under the guise of Leeds, winning both home and away after Nottingham had claimed an opening day on neutral ground at Castle Park. In the corresponding fixture, Leeds led 20-3 at half-time then somehow contrived to lose the second period 17-7 for a 27-20 victory.
London Scottish v Plymouth Albion, KO 15:15
Plymouth Albion arrive in south-west London on the back of an 11-match losing run in the league. Last season they lost 38-27 to the Exiles - the biggest margin between the sides in six Championship meetings, the rest having been settled by a score or less. Albion did win at the Athletic Ground the season before last, an Aaron Carpenter try and 11 points from the boot of Declan Cusack helping them to a 16-9 victory.