Bristol, Rotherham, Worcester, Doncaster and defending B&I
champions Leinster 'A' have all qualified for the quarter-finals of
the British & Irish Cup as winners of their respective pools
with a round to spare.
The Greene King IPA Championship quartet are unbeaten after five
rounds of action and are on course for a home draw in the
quarter-finals, while Leinster, who are bidding for a hat-trick of
titles, are set to be on their travels in the last eight unless
they can improve their position this weekend and qualify for the
knockout stages as one of the top four seeds.
Eight sides still have a mathematical chance of grabbing one of
the three quarter-final spots available to the best runners-up.
Yorkshire Carnegie are currently in the driving seat with 18
points, Pontypridd have 15 and Munster 'A' and Cornish Pirates, who
met in the inaugural B&I Cup final in 2009, are both on 14.
Bedford, Moseley, Carmarthen Quins and Jersey have slim
mathematical chances of maintaining their interest beyond the
The British & Irish Cup tables can beaccessed HERE
All Round 6 matches kick off at 2pm on
Connacht Eagles v Bristol
Top plays bottom as pool leaders Bristol go in search of the win
they need to be certain of a home quarter-final. Bristol extended
their winning run to 13 matches with a 22-14 victory over London
Scottish in Round 5. Bristol outscored Connacht eight tries to four
in front of a record B&I Cup crowd when the sides met in Round
1. Olly Robinson, son of head coach Andy, scored a hat-trick on his
competitive debut for the club.
London Scottish v Pontypridd
Pontypridd's destiny remains in their own hands with the Welsh
Premiership side knowing that a bonus-point win at the Athletic
Ground would guarantee them one of the best runners-up spots.
Pontypridd won the first match with London Scottish 23-17.
Rotherham Titans v Yorkshire Carnegie
Yorkshire Carnegie need two points from Saturday's trip
to Clifton Lane to be mathematically certain of their place in the
last eight as one of the three best runners-up. If Carnegie head
back up the M1 empty-handed they will have to hope that at least
one of their main rivals, Pontypridd, Munster and Cornish Pirates
fails to win. Titans kept Carnegie try less in both previous
meetings this season: 6-0 at Headingley in the Championship and
20-3 at Silver Royd, Scarborough RUFC in the B&I Cup.
Ulster Ravens v Aberavon
Aberavon's losing run was extended to eight games with Saturday's
42-14 home defeat to Rotherham. The Wizards have not won in any
competition since they beat Ulster 18-14 at The Talbot Athletic
Ground on October 11. Ulster are winless and will exit the
competition at the end of the pool stages for the third year in a
Moseley v Munster 'A'
A first bonus-point win of the season would guarantee Munster a
place in the last eight regardless of how Cornish Pirates fare at
Bedford. Tries have been hard to come by for Munster to date with
just 10 in five matches. They beat Moseley 27-21 at Clonmel in
Worcester Warriors v Nottingham
Worcester are certain of a home tie in the knockout stages if they
beat Nottingham for the third time this season. The Warriors won
55-16 when the sides met in the league at Sixways at the end of
September and they prevailed 26-19 in the cup three weeks later at
Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates
Last Saturday's agonising 31-30 defeat at home to Doncaster has
left Cornish Pirates' hopes of making it out of Pool 4 hanging by a
thread. Realistically the Pirates need to win at Bedford for the
first time since March 2011 - and hope Munster and Pontypridd fail
to beat Moseley and London Scottish respectively - to qualify for
the last eight for the fifth time in their history. The first
B&I Cup tie at the Mennaye Field was a real humdinger with
Pirates winning 35-34. However the B&I Cup Organising Committee
overturned the result after Pirates wrongly introduced an
additional player to the fray when the game had already gone to
Doncaster Knights v Cross Keys
Seven of the 10 matches played in Pool 4 have resulted in a
winning margin of five points or less, and Cross Keys, while bottom
of the pool, have more than held their own this season. Their two
previous away trips to Championship clubs have ended in a one-point
win (v Bedford) and a one-point loss (v Cornish Pirates). Doncaster
won 37-32 at Pandy Park in round one.
Carmarthen Quins v Jersey
The winners of this tie can still go through as one of the best
runners-up, although Jersey, who cannot match the points tallies of
the runners-up in pools 2 (Yorkshire Carnegie) or 4 (Pirates or
Bedford), require an extremely unlikely sequence of results to
progress: five points in Wales; Ponty to get nothing at London
Scottish; and a Moseley win over Munster. Then, and only then,
there could be a points-difference tie-breaker - but it's a very
long-shot. Jersey are on a four-game losing streak, but won with a
bonus point when the sides met back in October.
Leinster 'A' v Plymouth Albion
To qualify as one of the top four seeds Leinster 'A' need to pick
up maximum points against Plymouth and hope that Bristol and
Worcester fail to make it six wins on the spin. Leinster prevailed
31-24 when the sides met at Brickfields in Round 1.
23 Mar 2023
January lessons show danger of banana skin in SW London