After a long and thoroughly entertaining season, two games over
the course of the next eight days will determine whether it is
London Welsh or Bristol Rugby who win the Greene King IPA
Championship title - and with it promotion back to the Aviva
Both have graced the top flight before, Bristol for many years
with distinction until their fall five years ago while Welsh
have had a brief taste, in 2012/13, and want more.
As the top two sides from the regular season, few people would
dispute that Bristol, the best attacking side in the competition,
and London Welsh, who boast the best defence, are fitting
History points to a tight first leg, at the Kassam Stadium,
kick-off 19:45pm live on Sky Sports, with tries few and far between
in three of the four previous finals. International referee Wayne
Barnes will officiate proceedings in Oxford.
The inaugural final between champions Exeter and Bristol in
2009/10 produced a try-less first leg, with three penalties from
the boot of Gareth Steenson to two from Adrian Jarvis handing the
Chiefs the initiative.
Worcester managed to cross Cornish Pirates' line twice in winning
21-12 in the first leg at the Mennaye Field before going on to
finish the job a week later in a more expansive encounter at
London Welsh bucked the trend in the third Championship final away
to Cornish Pirates, coming away from the Duchy with a 16-point
advantage after outscoring their hosts four tries to three.
Last year's showpiece between Bedford Blues and Newcastle was an
altogether cagier affair first up, with all the points in an 18-9
win for the Falcons coming from kicks at goal. Jimmy Gopperth was
on target with six penalties while Myles Dorrian converted two and
Jake Sharp a third for the Blues.
In each of the last three finals, the away side has won the first
leg and gone on to win the title.
Past Championship Finals
Exeter Chiefs 9 Bristol Rugby 6
Bristol Rugby 10 Exeter Chiefs 29
Cornish Pirates 12 Worcester Warriors 21
Worcester Warriors 25 Cornish Pirates 20
Cornish Pirates 21 London Welsh 37
London Welsh 29 Cornish Pirates 20
Bedford Blues 9 Newcastle Falcons 18
Newcastle Falcons 31 Bedford Blues 24
2013/14 Greene King IPA Championship final
London Welsh v Bristol Rugby, Wednesday May 28, KO 1945
Bristol Rugby v London Welsh, Wednesday June 4, KO 1945
Both fixtures will be broadcast live on Sky Sports HD
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.