While all the promotion play-off places have now been secured
with two rounds of the regular season to go, with Bristol Rugby,
London Welsh, Leeds Carnegie and Rotherham Titans assured of their
place in the top four, Round 22 of the GK IPA Championship still
holds plenty of intrigue at both ends of the table.
First plays second at the Memorial Stadium on Good Friday, as
Bristol host London Welsh in what could be a dress rehearsal for
the Championship final on May 29/June 4. Leeds and Rotherham will
have plenty to say about that though, and the two Yorkshire rivals
come together at Abbeydale Park, Sheffield in Saturday's televised
battle of third versus fourth.
Welsh only beat Bristol once in four attempts during their
Championship-winning campaign of 2012 but they were winners by 22
points to 7 when the sides met at the Kassam Stadium back in
November. A 19-10 win for Leeds over Rotherham that same weekend
moved them ahead of the Titans in the historical league
head-to-head standings with 10 wins to Rotherham's nine since the
first clash between the sides in 1994.
At the foot of the table Championship newcomers Ealing
Trailfinders continue to fight tooth and nail to preserve their
place in the division. Saturday's thrilling 35-33 bonus-point home
win over Nottingham Rugby has put the west Londoners just three
points behind Jersey with two games to play. Ealing, who have taken
10 points from their last three games, travel to Plymouth Albion
this weekend while Jersey welcome London Scottish to St Peter on
the back of a three-game losing run. Scottish won 29-3 at the
As things stand, Nottingham still need three points from their
remaining two fixtures to be mathematically safe from the drop.
Moseley ended an 11-game losing streak at this level against the
Green & Whites when they won 29-15 at Billesley Common in Round
Former Championship finalists Bedford Blues and Cornish Pirates
meet at Goldington Road with nothing more than pride at stake.
Pirates are assured of a top half of the table finish despite
losing at home to Rotherham last time out, while the 9th-placed
Blues look set for their lowest placed finish to a season in
Mike Rayer's 10 years in charge. Pirates won 16-13 at the Mennaye
Round 22 fixtures
Friday April 18
Bristol Rugby v London Welsh, KO 19:45. Live on Sky Sports
Nottingham Rugby v Moseley, KO 20:00
Saturday April 19
Jersey v London Scottish, KO 14:00
Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates, KO 15:00
Plymouth Albion v Ealing Trailfinders, KO 15:00
Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie, KO 17:15. Live on Sky Sports
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.