The Greene King IPA Championship looks on course to have a
healthy representation in the quarter-finals of the B&I Cup,
with English sides topping four of the pools with two rounds to go
and Leinster, winners of the competition for the last two years,
heading a fifth.
Bristol, Rotherham Titans, Worcester Warriors and Doncaster
Knights all maintained their perfect records in the competition,
while Leinster 'A' remain in command of Pool 5 after scoring 10
tries in a 67-12 romp against Carmarthen Quins.
Check out the latest league tables HERE
Bristol v London Scottish, Friday 5 December, KO
Bristol are guaranteed their place in the quarter-final draw with
a round to spare if they beat London Scottish for the third time
this season and extend their winning run to 13 matches. Bristol won
22-18 when the sides met earlier in the competition, while the
league meeting at Ashton Gate ended in a 42-17 victory for the West
Pontypridd v Connacht Eagles, Saturday 6 December, KO
Pontypridd need to bounce back from the disappointment of losing
at Bristol with victories in their last two matches if they are to
entertain any hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages as one of
the three best-placed runners up. Hooker Liam Belcher scored a
hat-trick of tries and there was one each from full-back Aled
Summerhill, lock Craig Locke and winger Lewis Williams in
Pontypridd's 42-16 win over Connacht Eagles in Round 2.
Aberavon v Rotherham Titans, Saturday 6 December, KO
Aberavon have conceded more points (179) than any other side at
this stage of the competition, and worse could be to come with pool
leaders Rotherham Titans arriving in Port Talbot on Saturday.
Titans have won all three previous B&I Cup meetings between the
sides, although their only other visit to the Talbot Athletic
Ground in October 2012 was a close run affair. Titans fell 13-0
down before fighting back to win 25-21.
Yorkshire Carnegie v Ulster Ravens, Sunday December 7, KO
Yorkshire Carnegie welcome Ulster to Laund Hill, Huddersfield as
they take to the road again in the B&I Cup. Two tries from
winger Dan Tai earned Carnegie an impressive 22-17 win at the
Kingspan Stadium when they last met Ulster in Round 2. Carnegie are
the top points scorers in the competition with 153 from four
Nottingham v Moseley, Sunday 7 December, KO 15:00
The bottom two sides in Pool 3 meet for the second time in as many
weeks in what is effectively a dead-rubber. Nottingham took the
honours in the league fixture at Billesley Common, edging a
fractious encounter 27-26. The respective fly-halves that day, Sam
Olver (Moseley) and Dan Mugford (Nottingham) both received
Championship Player of the Month for November nominations - the
winner is expected to be announced next week.
Munster 'A' v Worcester Warriors, Friday 5 December, KO
Munster 'A' need to beat Worcester to keep their hopes of topping
the pool alive. The former champions are five points behind the
Warriors, who have won all four of their games to date. Munster's
only defeat in the competition came at the hands of the Warriors,
when they lost 27-23 on 18 October, after Ben Sowery saved the day
for the Championship side with a late try.
Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights, Saturday 6 December, KO
A fifth straight victory would guarantee Doncaster a presence in
the quarter-final draw for only the second time in their history.
Pirates won 24-22 when the sides met in the league on 4 October,
while the Knights gained revenge with a 29-25 victory in the cup a
fortnight later. If beaten, Pirates still have a good chance of
qualifying for the knockout stages as one of the best
Bedford Blues v Cross Keys, Saturday 6 December, KO
Bedford have only won twice at home in five attempts this season
and are without a win to their name in the B&I Cup. Cross Keys
snatched a 23-22 victory with stoppage time try from captain Leon
Andrews when the sides met at Goldington Road back in October. Keys
will be looking to take their first English scalp at Pandy Park
having lost at home to Doncaster and Cornish Pirates.
Jersey v Leinster 'A', Saturday 6 December, KO
Jersey need to halt a run of three straight defeats if they are to
remain in contention for top spot in Pool 5. The Channel Islanders
are five points behind the two-time B&I Cup champions in the
standings, having slipped to a disappointing defeat to Plymouth
last time out. Leinster won 26-6 on a wet and blustery night in
Dublin in Round 2.
See more detail about the Jersey game this weekend HERE
Plymouth Albion v Carmarthen Quins, Saturday 6 December, KO
The winner of this tie could still be in contention for a
quarter-final place if Jersey beat Leinster, preferably without
either side picking up a bonus point. Improving Albion picked up
their first win of any description for nearly nine months when they
defeated Jersey 23-14 at St Peter in Round 4. Plymouth shipped 20
unanswered points in the final quarter to lose 29-16 when they last
met Quins at Parc y Scarlets on 18 October.
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