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News 2014-15

GKIPA Championship preview – Round 17

05/03/2015

Nottingham skipper Brent Wilson had the honour of scoring the
500th try in the GKIPA Championship this season when he crossed the
whitewash in the 70th minute of the Green & Whites' clash
against Cornish Pirates at Lady Bay a week last Friday.

A total of 532 tries have now been scored after 16 rounds of
action, at an average of 5.52 tries per game, which compares
favourably with the Aviva Premiership's return of 444, at an
average of just under five.

This weekend, the league's top try-scorers come up against the
side with the lowest number of tries, when leaders Worcester (90
tries) entertain bottom club Plymouth (20) at Sixways.

Events at Billesley Common will be of particular interest to
Albion fans, as the two sides immediately above them in the league
table, Moseley and Doncaster, go head-to-head. The Red and Blacks
go into the match in 11th place, two points behind the Knights and
three in front of Albion.

Elsewhere, Rotherham could move back into the play-off zone after
an eight-week absence if they continue their recent good record
against Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye Field, and fourth-placed
Nottingham lose at Bristol. Jersey and Yorkshire Carnegie need home
wins against London Scottish and Bedford respectively to keep alive
their slim hopes of making the play-offs.

Moseley v Doncaster Knights, Friday 6 March, kick-off
7.30pm

Moseley stage Friday night rugby for the second time this season
as they welcome relegation rivals Doncaster to Billesley Common.
The first floodlight game, against Yorkshire Carnegie in round
three, ended in a 28-24 defeat. Sam Olver kicked seven penalties
and converted Chris Brightwell's try in a 28-23 win for Moseley at
Castle Park back in mid-November. Doncaster haven't won at
Billesley Common since November 2008.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Bristol v Nottingham, Friday 6 March, kick-off
7.45pm

Well over half of Nottingham's 34 tries this season have been
scored by forwards, with the league's third highest try scorer,
captain Brent Wilson, accounting for 11 of them. Wilson scored when
Nottingham pulled off a shock 23-19 win at the Memorial Stadium en
route to the 2012/13 play-offs. Bristol won last season's
corresponding game 33-18, and are on a four-game winning streak
against the Green & Whites. Nottingham head coach Martin Haag
comes up against one of his former clubs for the second game
running.

Referee: Thomas Foley

Jersey v London Scottish, Saturday 7 March , kick-off
3pm

London Scottish scored three tries in each half on their way to a
38-17 win in the first encounter of the season. In the overall
head-to-head, Scottish have four Championship wins to Jersey's one,
the Islanders' solitary success coming in the first meeting between
these sides at this level: a 20-17 win on 27 October, 2012. Jersey,
with 12, have conceded the fewest tries of any side at home in the
league, while London Scottish have conceded the second fewest (14)
away, suggesting a tight game could be in prospect.

Referee: Steve Lee

Worcester Warriors v Plymouth Albion, Saturday 7 March,
kick-off 3pm

Top plays bottom as leaders Worcester entertain a Plymouth side 11
places and 55 points worse off than them in the GKIPA Championship
table. Warriors have won all five previous meetings at this level,
and anything other than a home win would be considered the shock of
the season. GJ van Velze, with two, and Sam Betty and Tom Biggs
scored the tries that earned Worcester a 22-10 win at Brickfields
in round seven.

Referee: Ian Tempest

Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues, Sunday 8 March,
kick-off 3pm

Yorkshire Carnegie have never lost to Bedford at Headingley. The
Blues' best result at the ground was a 24-24 draw three seasons ago
in the promotion play-offs. Their last visit, on 2 February, 2014,
ended in a humbling 50-6 defeat. The sides go into the weekend tied
on 31 points, in ninth and eighth respectively, knowing that one
more win will all but guarantee them their place in the division
next season.

Referee: David Procter

Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans, Sunday 8 March,
kick-off 3.15pm (live on Sky TV)

Titans will look to extend their winning run against the Pirates
to five matches as they chase down Nottingham for the fourth and
final play-off spot. Tries from Sean Scanlon, Tom Cruse, Dan White,
Jack Roberts and two from Michael Keating helped the Yorkshire side
to a 40-20 win on their last visit to the Mennaye Field. Cruse and
Keating were on the scoresheet again in this season's clash at
Clifton Lane, which ended in a 21-13 win for Titans.

Referee: Greg Macdonald

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