It is still all to play for in the Greene King IPA Championship
play-offs after narrow victories for Bristol Rugby and Leeds
Carnegie in the first of the two-legged semi-finals.
Bristol will take a slender three-point lead into the return leg at
Sheffield RUFC's Abbeydale Park ground on Saturday, kick off
18:05pm, after a 17-14 victory over Rotherham at the Memorial
Stadium, while Leeds hold a seven-point advantage thanks to a 38-31
win over London Welsh at Headingley.
Rotherham stunned the home faithful after building up a 9-0
half-time lead through the boot of Juan Pablo Socino. But the
second-half sin-binning of Josh Thomas-Brown proved costly for the
Titans, Bristol scoring twice in his absence - with prop Gaston
Cortes rumbling over from a driving maul and Luke Eves finishing
off a thrilling counterattack.
Mitch Eadie supplied a third try for the West Country outfit, Nicky
Robinson converting to stretch Bristol's lead to eight points. But
Rotherham refused to lie down and hit back with a last-gasp try in
the corner for Jamie Broadley.
Andy Robinson's men are on a five-game winning streak in all
competitions against their opponents, the Titans' last victory
coming on October 6, 2012. Rotherham have yet to beat a fellow top
four side this season.
Glyn Hughes unerring accuracy with the boot helped Leeds win a
thrilling contest at Headingley. Hughes, the former Northampton
fly-half, kicked nine from nine to add to tries from centre duo,
Rob Vickerman and Fred Burdon and three points from the boot of
Alex Lozowski, who struck with the last kick of the match, as Leeds
beat London Welsh at the third time of asking this season.
The regular season meeting between the two sides at the Kassam
Stadium back in January ended in a 19-10 win for London Welsh.
Justin Burnell's side has only lost once in Oxford in 10 outings:
13-5 v London Scottish, on December 21, 2013.
However the four previous clashes when London Welsh were the home
side all ended in Leeds' favour - and by a considerable margin:
39-29 (2011/12), 38-0 (2008/09), 38-18 (2006/07) and 35-12
Greene King IPA Championship play-offs, 2nd leg (Live on
Sky Sports HD):
Saturday May 17: Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby, KO 1805
Sunday May 18: London Welsh v Leeds Carnegie, KO 1245
02 Dec 2022
Rivalry between two clubs enters its third decade