The standout fixture of the weekend in the Greene King
IPA Championship sees third-placed Rotherham Titans face fellow
high fliers Bristol Rugby at Clifton Lane on Saturday in a game
televised live on Sky Sports, kick off 4.45pm.
The Titans have beaten Bristol at
Clifton Lane three years in a row, the 44-6 win in October 2011
being particularly memorable, not only for the scoreline but
because of the outstanding tries scored on the day by Irish duo,
Robin Copeland and Shane Monahan, who, like many of their former
team-mates, are now plying their trade at the highest level.
Lee Blackett's boys have only lost
once at home in all competitions this season - against London Welsh
on October 5, while Bristol, who hold a four-point lead over Leeds
Carnegie at the top of the table, have won their last four
Championship games on the road. In total,
Bristol have won nine out of the fifteen league fixtures between
the sides, dating back to the first-ever clash in 1998: a 16-5 win
for the Titans in the old Allied Dunbar Premiership 2.
This weekend's action begins on Friday
night at Brickfields where Plymouth Albion will be looking to put
an end to their long losing run against Nottingham Rugby.
Nottingham's 15-10 victory over Albion at Meadow Lane on November
17th was their eighth straight win over the Devon outfit.
In addition to the tea-time kick off
between Rotherham and Bristol, there are two afternoon fixtures to
look forward to on Saturday.
Bottom-of-the-table Ealing Trailfinders
have still to break their home hoodoo and the form book suggests
they might struggle to end their winless run at Vallis Way against
promotion-chasing London Welsh. Welsh won 28-0 back in November
without really getting out of second gear.
Moseley and Bedford come together at
Billesley Common with both sides looking to put heavy defeats to
Leeds Carnegie behind them. Leeds put 50 points on the Blues and
then went 12 better in dispatching Moseley 62-5 last time out. The
winners of this lower mid-table game will be able to put any
lingering relegation fears to bed. Moseley won 26-13 at Goldington
Road earlier in the season.
Free-scoring Leeds, meanwhile, are at
home to London Scottish on Sunday. Scottish need a win to keep in
touch with the top four promotion play-off places, but they will
have their work cut out against James Lowes' side who have scored
23 tries in their last three fixtures. Scottish won the last
Cornish Pirates' hopes of making
the play-offs took a blow after they slipped to
a 28-20 loss against Moseley at Billesley Common in last weekend's
rearranged fixture. However Jersey, their opponents at the Mennaye
Field on Sunday, still have much to play for. Now coached by former
Pirate Harvey Biljon, Jersey are just six points off bottom spot
with seven rounds of the regular season to go. Jersey avenged a
narrow defeat in the Duchy at the end of last season when they beat
Pirates 27-25 at St Peter in Round 8 of the Championship. Pirates
came out on top though in December's British & Irish Cup
Round 17 Fixtures
Plymouth Albion v Nottingham Rugby, KO 19:45
Saturday March 1st
Moseley v Bedford Blues, KO 15:00
Ealing Trailfinders v London Welsh, KO 15:00
Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby, KO 16:45 (Live on Sky
Sunday March 2nd
Cornish Pirates v Jersey, KO 15:00
Leeds Carnegie v London Scottish, KO 15:00
17 Nov 2022
Old rivals both seek to stretch start-of-season winning run to 10 games