GKIPA Championship preview - Round 4


Another bumper crowd is expected at Ashton Gate on Friday night as Round 4 of the Greene King IPA Championship kicks off with a top-of-the-table clash between Bristol and early pacesetters London Scottish. Neither side has yet to lose a game, with Scottish taking a maximum 15 points from the opening three rounds and Bristol 13. Well over 15,000 fans have attended Bristol's first two home games against Worcester Warriors and Cornish Pirates.

At the bottom end of the table, Plymouth Albion take on Bedford Blues at Brickfields and Cornish Pirates host Moseley. All four sides have yet to open their accounts for the season.

Elsewhere, Jersey will be looking to build on their impressive victory away to Nottingham in Round 3 when they play Rotherham Titans at St Peter, and in another Saturday afternoon 3 o'clock kick-off Worcester Warriors face Nottingham Rugby at Sixways. The first Yorkshire derby of the season takes place at Headingley on Sunday with Yorkshire Carnegie up against Doncaster Knights.

Bristol Rugby v London Scottish, Friday 26 September, KO 19:45
London Scottish haven't won in Bristol since coming away from the Memorial Stadium with a 17-15 victory in the second leg of the 1997/98 Allied Dunbar Premiership play-off. All six Championship meetings have gone the way of Bristol, the West Country side averaging 36 points per game during that period.

Jersey v Rotherham Titans, Saturday 27 September, KO 15:00
Of the four league matches played between these sides, Rotherham have won three and lost one. Last season's 35-22 win at St Peter underlined the Titans' play-off credentials as it temporarily took them to the top of the Championship table. On their only other visit to the Island they were beaten 13-10, in January 2013.

Plymouth Albion v Bedford Blues, Saturday 27 September, KO 15:00
Brickfields has been a happy hunting ground for Bedford with victories on each of their last eight visits there. Albion have not beaten the Blues at home since they won 22-8 on 30 December, 2006. The Blues won last season's corresponding game, 27-16, on a bitterly cold night in November, with James Short, Mark Atkinson and Patrick Tapley getting on the scoresheet.

Worcester Warriors v Nottingham Rugby, Saturday 27 September, KO 15:00
Nottingham took a losing bonus point from their last visit to Sixways - a 35-28 defeat on 29 October, 2010. Marcel Garvey (2), Miles Benjamin, Aleki Lutui and Graham Kitchener secured a maximum five-point haul for the Warriors. Worcester are bidding to record a third straight home win in the league for the first time since November/December 2012.

Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights, Sunday 28 September, KO 14:30
Current Carnegie full-back David McIlwaine was one of three try scorers when his former side Doncaster last won at Headingley: a 30-16 victory, on 2 October 2011. A year later, though, it was a different story, with Carnegie running in six tries to win 42-6.

Cornish Pirates v Moseley, Sunday 28 September, KO 15:00
Moseley are still awaiting their first win against the Pirates on Cornish soil. The Pirates have come out on top eight times, last season's corresponding fixture finishing 28-13 to the Duchy outfit. Pirates have lost their last four at home, while Moseley have only won once on the road in their last 10 outings.

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