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News 2013-14

GKIPA Preview – Round 11

16/12/2013

Greene King IPA Championship Round 11
preview

Issued on behalf of The Greene King IPA Championship by Nicol
McClelland

London Welsh hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Greene
King IPA Championship table going into the festive programme, which
begins for the Exiles on Saturday with a home clash against local
rivals London Scottish, live on Sky Sports. Welsh were beaten 28-26
by Bedford in Round 10 - their first league loss of the season -
and will be looking to put the record straight on their return to
the Kassam Stadium a month after their last game there: a 28-0 win
over Ealing. Scottish have enjoyed success at the expense of Welsh
already this season, having come away from Monks Lane, Newbury with
a 32-26 win in the B&I Cup. In their Championship-winning year
of 2011/12, Welsh recorded the double over Scottish, although both
were closely-fought affairs with Scottish claiming a losing bonus
point on each occasion.

Scottish are currently in a four-way tie for second place with
Yorkshire duo, Rotherham Titans and Leeds Carnegie, and Bristol
Rugby. On paper, Bristol would appear to have the easiest task of
the weekend, as they travel to west London to play basement side
Ealing. Bristol have come unstuck against lower-ranked teams in the
past though, and Ealing will be buoyed by their first win of the
season in Round 10: a 28-18 victory away to Jersey. On Friday they
defeated Moseley 21-18 in the B&I Cup to get their home
campaign up and running.

Moseley welcome Jersey to Billesley Common on Saturday, who parted
company with head coach Ben Harvey after their loss to Ealing,
leaving the visitors six points off the bottom of the table.
Highly-rated forwards coach Steve Boden has been overseeing team
affairs since then. Moseley won 23-19 in last season's
corresponding fixture.

Boxing Day's double bill features the West Country showdown
between Cornish Pirates and Plymouth Albion, while high-flying
Rotherham are up against last season's beaten finalists Bedford.
Pirates won narrowly in both of last season's cross-Tamar derbies:
19-17 on home soil and 9-5 in monsoon-like conditions in the return
match at Brickfields.

For the second season running Rotherham and Bedford play each
other on Boxing Day. Twelve months ago it was the Blues who took
the points after a 22-16 win at Goldington Road. Earlier that year
James McKinney's late penalty earned the Titans three points from a
thrilling 38-38 draw at Clifton Lane. The sides have already met
once at Clifton Lane this term, Juan Pablo Socino kicking all of
the Titans' points in a 12-11 win in the B&I Cup.

Bristol's match against Moseley on Saturday December 28th
completes a hectic schedule of five games in 20 days for Andy
Robinson's men. Moseley achieved the double over Bristol last
season to continue their fine record over the West Country outfit
since the sides came together at this level: Moseley have won five
and drawn one of the last nine meetings.

Revenge will be on the minds of Leeds Carnegie's players when they
take on Nottingham on Saturday 28th in front of the Sky Sports
cameras. Carnegie began the season with an opening day 24-16 defeat
against the Green & Whites at Castle Park, Doncaster in what is
widely viewed as their worst performance of the season. But they
have improved immeasurably since then and are currently on a
four-game winning streak in all competitions.

Round 11 fixtures (December
21-28)

Saturday December 21
Moseley v Jersey RFC, KO 15:00
Ealing Trailfinders v Bristol Rugby, KO 15:00
London Welsh v London Scottish, KO 17:00 (Live on Sky Sports
HD)

Thursday December 26
Rotherham Titans v Bedford Blues
Cornish Pirates v Plymouth Albion

Saturday December 28
Leeds Carnegie v Nottingham Rugby, KO 14:00 (Live on Sky Sports
HD)
Bristol Rugby v Moseley, KO 15:00

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