GKIPA Championship preview - Round 20


Plymouth Albion's 13-season stay in the second tier of English club rugby could come to an end this weekend if they fail to beat Bristol for the first time in a decade and relegation rivals Moseley win at Bedford. Albion go into round 20 of the GKIPA Championship seven points adrift of the Birmingham-based side and without a point to their name in their last three outings.

Meanwhile, third-placed London Scottish will book their place in the promotion play-offs alongside Bristol Rugby and Worcester Warriors with victory over top four rivals Nottingham Rugby. Nottingham are currently in fourth, one point ahead of Rotherham and six points better off than Yorkshire Carnegie.

The latest round of GKIPA Championship fixtures is one for the traditionalists with five of the six games kicking off at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

Bedford Blues v Moseley, Saturday April 11, kick-off 3pm
Moseley won 26-13 on last visit to Goldington Road - their first success over the Blues, home or away, since 2006. Bedford claimed the points on the opening weekend of the New Year when the sides met at Billesley Common, two tries inside the first 12 minutes setting them on their way to a 23-15 victory.

Jersey v Cornish Pirates, Saturday April 11, kick-off 2.30pm
Pirates have won the last four meetings in all competitions, with Jersey's last success coming in St Peter on November 16, 2013, when tries from Mark McCrea, Joe Buckle and Tom Brown saw the Islanders prevail by 27-25. This season's first encounter at the Mennaye Field ended in a 30-12 win for the Pirates. Jersey have earned more losing bonus points (7) than any other side in the league.

London Scottish v Nottingham Rugby, Saturday April 11, kick-off 3pm
Nottingham signed off at Meadow Lane with a 22-21 win over London Scottish, after Will Maisey's 78th-minute penalty proved to be the decisive kick. Nottingham have a won five, lost two head-to-head record against the Exiles in the Championship. London Scottish No.8 Mark Bright is the competition's leading try-scorer with 22: a record individual tally in the history of the Championship. Fellow back-rower, Nottingham's Brent Wilson, is joint third on 12.

Plymouth Albion v Bristol Rugby, Saturday April 11, kick-off 3pm
Bristol Rugby's 14-match winning run against Plymouth Albion stretches back over 10 years to March 5, 2005, when they lost 15-9 at the semi-final stage of the now defunct Powergen Shield competition. Bristol have not been beaten in the league by Plymouth since the Devonians won 12-7 at the Memorial Stadium on September 26, 2004. Bristol ran in nine tries in beating Albion 55-18 at Ashton Gate.

Rotherham Titans v Doncaster Knights, Saturday April 11, kick-off 3pm
Rotherham have won the last five South Yorkshire derbies but the Knights have taken losing bonus points in the last two. Two tries from former Knight Michael Keating and 13 points from the boot of James McKinney earned Roth' a 23-21 win when the sides met at Castle Park just over three months ago. Doncaster last won a regular season meeting at Clifton Lane on December 27, 2008.

Worcester Warriors v Yorkshire Carnegie, Saturday April 11, kick-off 3pm
Worcester came back from a 14-0 half-time deficit to win 36-17 the last time these sides met at Headingley on December 27, 2014. Sam Smith scored four tries of the Warriors' six tries. Carnegie's last visit to Sixways, on September 11, 2009, ended in a 27-7 defeat. You have to go back to January 8, 2000 to discover their last win at the Warriors' 'fortress'.

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