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News 2013-14

GKIPA Championship preview – Round 20

25/03/2014

London Scottish need to complete a hat-trick of victories over
rivals London Welsh at the Athletic Ground on Sunday if they are to
realistically keep their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs
alive. With four rounds of the regular season to go Scottish are
nine points off the top four places, and with a visit from leaders
Bristol to come on the final weekend it is vital they pick up as
many points as they can over the next three weeks. Scottish's most
impressive win of the season to date came against Welsh at the
Kassam Stadium on December 21, when a Miles Mantella try and
determined rearguard effort saw them beat the then league leaders,
13-5. Scottish also came out on top (32-26) when the sides met at
Monks Lane, Newbury in the first round of the British & Irish
Cup, although Welsh did gain revenge with a 21-18 victory in the
return leg, Nearly 2,500 spectators turned up that day and another
big crowd is expected at the Athletic Ground on Mother's Day, as
all ladies will be admitted into the ground free of charge.

To stay in the hunt for the play-offs, Scottish still need either
Rotherham Titans or Leeds Carnegie to slip up. Both Yorkshire sides
are away at the weekend although their respective trips to Bedford
Blues and Nottingham Rugby do not look as foreboding - on paper
anyway - as in previous years. Last year's beaten finalists Bedford
are 9th in the table after losing for the 13th time against London
Welsh, while Nottingham, who made the play-offs in 2012/13, are a
place below the Blues in 10th and are without a win in five games.
Rotherham have won the last three times they have played the Blues
in all competitions, but it is seven-and-a-half years and seven
games since the Titans last won at Goldington Road in the
league.

As for Nottingham, the Green & Whites will be looking to bounce
back from a 51-7 beating at the hands of Rotherham in their last
home game when they welcome Leeds to Meadow Lane on Sunday.
Nottingham beat Leeds 24-16 on the opening day of the season before
Carnegie levelled the series with a 30-19 victory at Headingley
over the festive period.

A 25-23 win over relegation rivals Jersey in Round 19 handed Ealing
Trailfinders a stay of execution at the foot of the table, although
the west London club's task does not get any easier with a trip to
GKIPA leaders Bristol Rugby this weekend. Andy Robinson's men will
look to avoid the lacklustre second half performance that saw them
fail to score any points after the break for the second game
running when they last played the league's cellar dwellers at
Vallis Way back in December. Bristol won 21-7.

Jersey will go a long way to securing their place in the division
for a third year should they beat Moseley - something they have so
far failed to do in the Championship, at St Peter on Saturday.
Charlie Hayter scored a splendid hat-trick when Moseley won 31-12
in last season's corresponding fixture.

Cornish Pirates, meanwhile, will be looking to stretch their
unbeaten run against Plymouth in league and cup to 10 games in
league and cup in the cross-Tamar derby at Brickfields on Saturday.
Prop Jack Andrews' try proved to be the difference last time out,
Pirates winning a real war of attrition at the Mennaye Field,
10-3.

Round 20 fixtures

Saturday March 29th
Jersey v Moseley, KO 15:00
Plymouth Albion v Cornish Pirates, KO 15:00
Bedford Blues v Rotherham Titans, 17:00

Sunday March 30th
London Scottish v London Welsh, KO 14:00
Bristol Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders, KO 15:00
Nottingham Rugby v Leeds Carnegie, KO 15:00

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