Greene King IPA Championship Round 9 preview
Friday night rugby returns to Brickfields as Plymouth Albion entertain Bedford, looking to improve on a record of just one win in their last 11 outings against the Blues.
Last season Bedford came away from Devon with the narrowest of victories, tries from hooker Neil Cochrane, wingers James Stephenson and Josh Bassett, and replacement Darryl Veenendaal proving to be enough to edge out Albion, 28-27.
The first of two Saturday games sees Rotherham centre Juan Pablo Socino, the Championship's leading points-scorer, come up against former club Nottingham. Since 1996, these sides have met each other on 20 occasions in the league, with the Titans winning 11 to Nottingham's eight and one draw. Nottingham won 32-12 on their last visit to Clifton Lane in January this year.
An hour later, in-form Moseley welcome league leaders London Welsh to Billesley Common: a ground where the Exiles have won on their last six visits. Last time the sides met the fixture finished 41-16 to the eventual league champions, although Moseley did gain revenge with a shock 10-7 win at Old Deer Park on New Year's Eve, 2011. Moseley made it three wins in a row with victory over Bedford in Round 8.
Arguably the pick of Sunday's action comes in the West Country with the clash between two former finalists, Cornish Pirates and Bristol. The home side has won in each of the last seven meetings between the sides, including a 32-19 win for the Pirates at the Mennaye Field in last season's corresponding fixture.
Ealing Trailfinders and London Scottish will do battle for the first time in five years. The London rivals have not played each other since Scottish went unbeaten to win the 2008/09 National 3 South title. They did the double over Ealing that year.
Leeds Carnegie and Jersey played each other on four occasions last season with two wins apiece. Jersey ended a four-game losing run on Saturday with a last-gasp, 27-25 victory over Cornish Pirates.
Round 8 Results
Friday November 15
Bedford Blues 13 Moseley 26
Saturday November 16
London Scottish 26 Leeds Carnegie 15
Jersey 27 Cornish Pirates 25
Sunday November 17
Bristol Rugby 36 Rotherham Titans 26
London Welsh 28 Ealing Trailfinders 0
Nottingham Rugby 15 Plymouth Albion 10
Round 9 fixtures
Friday November 22
Plymouth Albion v Bedford Blues, KO 19:45
Saturday November 23
Rotherham Titans v Nottingham Rugby, KO 14:00
Moseley v London Welsh, KO 15:00
Sunday November 24
Cornish Pirates v Bristol Rugby, KO 15:00
Ealing Trailfinders v London Scottish, KO 15:00
Leeds Carnegie v Jersey, KO 15:00