GKIPA Championship preview - Round 711/11/2014
For the first time this season there was a fall in the aggregate
number of tries scored per round which, given the poor playing
conditions up and down the country, is hardly surprising. Friday
night's five matches and Sunday's game between Cornish Pirates and
Nottingham Rugby produced a combined total of 18 tries - 26 fewer
than the previous round. Rotherham Titans' 6-0 win away to county
rivals Yorkshire Carnegie set a new record for the lowest-ever
Championship score. The previous low was Coventry's 6-3 win against
Moseley, on 3 April 2010.
London Scottish v Jersey, Friday November 14, KO 19:45
London Scottish did the double over Jersey last season, winning 29-3 in the corresponding fixture at The Athletic Ground and 25-17 at St Peter. However, Friday night rugby has not been that kind to the Exiles with a return of just two wins from 10 outings since their return to this level three years ago. Scottish stayed third in the league standings despite losing 16-9 away to Moseley in round 6. Jersey moved into the top half of the table thanks to a 19-0 win at home to Plymouth Albion.
Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie, Friday November 13, KO 19:45
Yorkshire Carnegie have never lost to Bedford at Headingley. The Blues' best result at the ground was a 24-24 draw three seasons ago in the promotion play-offs. In the overall head-to-head standings, Carnegie have won nine games to Bedford's four. Both sides have won two of their first six games and are level on 11 points.
Nottingham Rugby v Bristol Rugby, Friday November 13, KO 20:00
Of the 16 matches played between the sides since Bristol were demoted to this level four years ago, Bristol have won 10 to Nottingham's five and there has been one draw. One of Nottingham's best wins of the modern era came against Bristol, when they rewrote the record books with a 63-7 win on 4 November 2012. Championship leaders Bristol won by the narrowest of margins, 25-24, on their last visit to Meadow Lane. Nottingham's superb 28-13 win away to Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye Field in round 5 lifted them to fifth place in the table. By scoring four tries they also increased their overall try return for the season by 50%.
Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates, Saturday November 15, KO 14:00
Rotherham have won the last three matches against Cornish Pirates, a record they will be looking to continue in a bid to cement their place in the top four. Pirates' last win at Clifton Lane came on 31 March 2012, when they won 17-14 in the promotion play-offs. Pirates have the better overall record with 15 wins to Rotherham's eight. Of all the sides in the top half of the table, Rotherham are the only one to have a negative points difference. Pirates go into the match in 10th, on nine points, after losing at home to Nottingham.
Doncaster Knights v Moseley, Saturday November 15, KO 14:30
The home side has prevailed in the last five matches since Moseley kicked off the 2010/11 season with a 23-16 win at Castle Park. Tries from Ben Pons and Neil Mason and 13 points from the boot of Brad Davies steered Moseley to victory that day. Doncaster's battling defeat to Bristol in round 5 combined with victories for Rotherham, Jersey and Nottingham saw the Knights slip three places in the table to seventh. Moseley, meanwhile, got their league account up and running with victory over London Scottish. Incredibly, they have still to score a try in the first half of any of their league matches, Drew Cheshire's effort against the Exiles coming three minutes after the re-start.
Plymouth Albion v Worcester Warriors, Saturday November 15, KO 17:00
Albion have not won a competitive game of any sorts for six months following their latest setback in Jersey. The 19-0 defeat leaves them five points adrift of Moseley and life does not look set to get any easier with a tough run of fixtures coming up, starting with Friday night's visit from Worcester. Second-placed Worcester secured a bonus-point win over Bedford in round 5 to remain two points behind leaders Bristol. Worcester won 26-19 on their last visit to Brickfields, on 2 September 2010.