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News 2014-15

GKIPAC Play-Off Final – 2nd Leg Preview

25/05/2015

Worcester Warriors take a one-point lead into the second leg of
the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final after a first match
against Bristol that lived up to all the hype - and more -
with an eight-try spectacular keeping the capacity crowd at Ashton
Gate and Sky Sports' viewers enthralled until the very last
play.

Chris Pennell's conversion of Niall Annett's late try saw Worcester
return home up the M5 having pick-pocketed a 28-29 victory from the
hosts; this means Bristol must do what they have never done before
and win a Championship play-off match if they are to finally
achieve their goal of winning promotion back to the Aviva
Premiership.

Last Wednesday's defeat to Worcester was the fifth time Bristol
have come unstuck at this stage of the competition after previous
back-to-back losses against Exeter Chiefs and London Welsh in 2010
and 2014 respectively.

Worcester Warriors

Despite his side snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at
Ashton Gate, Warriors boss Dean Ryan believes the one-point
advantage counts for nothing - other than acting as a confidence
booster.

"The result doesn't actually mean anything until Wednesday. It's on
level terms effectively," he said.

"I'm pleased that we've got a bit of a psychological lift by the
nature of winning it at the end, because they've beaten us in two
tight games. But it's going to be a straight shootout and whoever
wins next week will be in the Premiership."

Bristol rugby

Andy Robinson's side can take comfort from the fact they have
won at Sixways already this season, 30-26 in Round 22, as well as
prevailing by 23-19 on home turf on the opening day of the
season.

"It's disappointing to lose by one point but we won at their place
recently and that gives us a massive confidence boost," said Mitch
Eadie, scorer of Bristol's first try at Ashton Gate.

The winning margin in the second leg of each of the last four
finals has been nine points or less. Last year's was the closest of
the lot, as Bristol went down 20-21 to London Welsh to lose 48-28
on aggregate.

With a combined total of nine points separating the sides across
the three meetings this season all the indications are that another
full-on, competitive battle awaits a sold-out Sixways. Worcester
have a good track record in getting off to a fast start, scoring
the first try in six of their last seven matches, and to do so
again would put Bristol under real pressure.

However, Bristol are used to playing 'catch-up' rugby having
conceded the first try in their last four outings. Not since
in-form winger Charlie Amesbury scored the first of his two tries
against Jersey on 17 April have Bristol crossed for the opening
try.

GK Ball

 
Championship play-off semi-finals (two legs)
Sat 2nd May 1.45pm - London Scottish vs Worcester
(Richmond Athletic Ground) - 22-27
Sat 2nd May 1.30pm - Bristol vs Rotherham (Ashton Gate)
(SS) 32-20

Fri 8th May 7.45pm - Worcester vs London Scottish
(Sixways) 38-15 - Worcester win 65-37 on aggregate
Sun 10th May 1.45pm - Rotherham vs Bristol (Abbeydale,
Sheffield) (SS) 16-24 - Bristol win 56-36 on
aggregate

Championship play-off final (two legs)
Wed 20th May 7.45pm - Bristol v Worcester (Ashton Gate)
(SS) 28-29

Wed 27th May 7.45pm - Worcester v Bristol (Sixways)
(SS)

SS = live on Sky Sports

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