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THE GREENE King IPA Championship served up a feast for fans this week with one of the most dramatic Exiles derbies in recent times, and the action is set to continue this weekend with plenty more mouth-watering fixtures.
The 70th Battle of the Exiles ended in an epic victory for London Scottish, as they came back from 17-12 down at half-time to beat London Welsh 17-19, Peter Lydon's last-gasp conversion snatching the victory at Old Deer Park.
And Scottish will be refreshed for their fixture against Cornish Pirates this weekend having trained with Premiership side Harlequins this week.
There's not much to separate the two teams, with the Pirates edging the last encounter in October 21-17, and sitting just two points ahead in the Championship table.
London Welsh meanwhile host Nottingham at Old Deer Park on Saturday afternoon, who will be looking to get points on the board having lost three of their last four matches.
A win on Saturday could help them close the gap on Yorkshire Carnegie, who are currently 12 points ahead in the all important fourth play-off place, but Welsh will also be desperate for a win having lost their last two Championship clashes.
Elsewhere, last weekend Bristol Rugby stretched their lead at the summit of the Championship table to ten points with a victory over Rotherham Titans, extending their unbeaten run to six games in the process.
Andy Robinson's men scored five tries in total, with Mitch Eadie crossing twice, and Tom Varndell, Ben Mosses and Jack Lam also touching down.
They line-up against Ealing Trailfinders at Ashton Gate under the Friday night lights, with the west London outfit set to continue their tricky start to February.
Trailfinders gained a precious two points in a 17-17 draw with Doncaster Knights last week to put a one-point gap between themselves and Moseley at the foot of the table.
The most important fixture this week may well be between the sides propping up the Championship, with Moseley and Rotherham Titans squaring off at Billesley Common in a must-win game for both with neither side having tasted victory since November.
It will be a second against fourth clash at Castle Park when Doncaster host Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday afternoon.
Seven points separated the two sides during their last encounter in October, with Yorkshire Carnegie coming away with a 27-20 win at Headingley Stadium.
A win for Carnegie could see them move into second place in the table, with them currently sitting just two points behind Doncaster.
That would depend on the result of third-placed Bedford Blues, who are in good form ahead of their fixture with Jersey.
They have won their last four matches scoring a barnstorming 146 points in the process, but will have their work cut out against the sixth-placed islanders – who will be looking to better their away record having only secured three wins out of eight on the road this season.
Round 16 fixtures
Friday February 12
Bristol Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders, kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday February 13
London Welsh v Nottingham Rugby, kick-off 2pm
Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie, kick-off 2.30pm
Bedford Blues v Jersey, kick-off 3pm
London Scottish v Cornish Pirates, kick-off 3pm
Moseley v Rotherham Titans, kick-off 3pm
23 Mar 2023
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