RFU Championship Round 15 preview
Moseley will take another important step towards preserving their Championship status if they manage to complete a league double over Bristol at Billesley Common this Saturday.
The Birmingham-based outfit won 22-21, when the sides met at the Memorial Stadium at the back end of September, and they have not been beaten at home by the former Premiership team in the last three years. Moseley, coached by former Bristol stalwart Kevin Maggs, go into the fixture on the back of a hard-fought win over Plymouth, while Bristol edged out Leeds in their last Championship outing by 12 points to nine.
A point from their trip to Bedford will keep Jersey off the bottom of the table regardless of how 12th-placed Doncaster fare 24 hours later at Cornish Pirates. The Blues won 29-19 when the sides met in Round 5, but Jersey can take some encouragement from the fact Mike Rayer’s men have suffered back-to-back Championship defeats.
London Scottish’s survival hopes received a major boost on Friday night following their 14-9 win over Doncaster. The Exiles now entertain a Nottingham side that has won all three previous meetings at this level.
Rotherham produced their finest attacking display when they last played Plymouth at Clifton Lane, running in nine tries in a 59-26 British & Irish Cup victory. Albion last won at Clifton Lane on New Year’s Day, 2011. In 21 league meetings, Rotherham boast the slightly better head-to-head record with 11 wins to Plymouth’s 9 with one draw.
Sunday’s double bill sees a lunchtime kick off between Leeds Carnegie and Newcastle Falcons at Otley, followed by Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights. The change of venue may not be a bad thing for Leeds as they have only won once in 10 attempts at home to the Falcons: a 16-15 victory in March, 2008.
Fans’ favourite Alan Paver is set to make his 300th appearance for the Pirates against Doncaster. The form book suggests the 35-year-old prop should celebrate the milestone with a win, but the Pirates had to rely on a last-gasp Kieran Hallett penalty to earn a share of the spoils when the sides last met at Castle Park just over four months ago and they will not take the Knights lightly.
Saturday February 9
London Scottish v Nottingham Rugby, KO 12.15
Rotherham Titans v Plymouth Albion, KO 14.30
Bedford Blues v Jersey, KO 15.00
Moseley v Bristol Rugby, KO 15.00
Sunday February 10
Leeds Carnegie v Newcastle Falcons, KO 12.00
Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights, KO 14.30