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News 2014-15

GK IPA Championship preview – Round 9

17/12/2014

The GKIPA Championship resumes after a three-week break for the
British & Irish Cup with leaders Bristol Rugby looking to
extend their club record winning run to 15 matches with victory at
Bedford. Worcester could replace the Ashton Gate outfit at the top
of the table for the first time this season if they win at
third-placed London Scottish and Bristol lose to the Blues for the
first time in three years.

Depending on results, Rotherham and Nottingham could swap places
in 4th and 5th, while Yorkshire Carnegie
could climb back into the top half of the table and replace Jersey
in 6th if they beat the Channel Islanders in St Peter on
Saturday and Bedford, Cornish Pirates and Doncaster Knights come
unstuck.

Jersey (6th) v Yorkshire Carnegie
(10th), Saturday December 20, KO 14:30

Yorkshire Carnegie are on a three-game winning run since Scotsman
Tommy McGee took on the head coach duties at Headingley, whereas
Jersey have lost their last five in all competitions. Carnegie
achieved the double over the Channel Islanders in the 2013/14
season but Jersey did win on home soil, 20-17, in their inaugural
Championship campaign. Former Jersey players Nathan Hannay and
David Doherty are set to make a return to St Peter, while the home
side's coaching team contains highly regarded former Leeds U19
skipper Steve Boden.

London Scottish (3rd) v Worcester Warriors
(2nd), Saturday December 20, KO 15:00

Third plays second as London Scottish and Worcester come together
for the first time in a league fixture. Scottish have failed to
score more than two tries in each of their last four games,
although the return of No.8 Mark Bright from England Sevens duty is
set to give them a much-needed boost against what is the meanest
defence in the league (120 points conceded in eight games). Bright
goes into the game as the Championship's top try scorer with 10.
Worcester are five points above Saturday's hosts and will extend
their winning streak to 14 matches with victory at The Athletic
Ground.

Nottingham Rugby (5th) v Doncaster Knights
(9th), Sunday December 21, KO 15:00

Nottingham have won seven out of the last nine in all competitions
- including a 52-7 thrashing when the sides last met in a league
fixture at Meadow Lane. Doncaster's last league win over Nottingham
was a 46-42 victory on 2 October, 2010. Tries could be at a premium
on Sunday though, as Nottingham have only scored four at home in
the league all season and Doncaster have managed just five on their
travels. Knights have shown excellent form in the B&I Cup to
qualify for the quarter-finals as top seeds and need to translate
that form into the league after four straight losses. 

Rotherham Titans (4th) v Moseley
(11th), Friday December 26, KO 14:00

Play-off hopefuls Rotherham are on a seven-game winning run
against Moseley, who are eight points off the foot of the table.
The last four games between the sides at Clifton Lane have been
fairly tight affairs, with the Titans winning by a margin of 11
points or less. Moseley's last win in the fixture was on 11
February 2011, when three Ollie Thomas penalties handed them a 9-5
win at Billesley Common. Overall, Rotherham have won 23 out of the
31 league meetings since the first game between the two sides in
1996. Moseley head coach Kevin Maggs played 22 games for the Titans
between 2008 and 2010.

Bedford Blues (7th) v Bristol Rugby
(1st), Friday December 26, KO 15:00

GKIPA leaders and B&I Cup quarter-finalists Bristol go into
this game on the back of 14 straight victories - a new club record
in competitive fixtures. Andy Robinson's men did the double over
the Blues in 2013/14, winning 45-27 in the club's 125th
anniversary match before prevailing 32-19 at Goldington Road in the
return fixture. Blues have not beaten Bristol since a 39-22 victory
at Goldington Road on Boxing Day in 2011. Bristol are the top try
scorers (38) in the Championship this season. Eighty percent of
Bedford's tries (16 out of 20) have been scored by their
backs.

Plymouth Albion (12th) v Cornish Pirates
(8th), Saturday December 27, KO: 15:00

Cornish Pirates are unbeaten in their last 11 matches against
cross-Tamar rivals Plymouth. Plymouth's last win of any description
was a 16-8 victory at Brickfields on 3 October, 2009. There has
been a history of close matches in recent times, with Plymouth
claiming a losing bonus point in each of the last five fixtures.
Pirates won 26-20 on their last visit to Brickfields.

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