GREENE KING IPA CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2 PREVIEW
On Friday evening Cornish Pirates and Plymouth Albion will look to back up the victories they achieved during the Exeter leg of the Greene King IPA 1 Big Rugby Weekend when they begin their home campaigns against Leeds and Moseley respectively.
The Pirates, buoyed by a hugely creditable 23-21 victory over much-fancied Bristol, welcome a Leeds side that has not won in the Duchy since November 15, 2008. Jimmy Lowes’ men will need to produce a much-improved performance from the one that saw them beaten 24-16 by Nottingham on the opening day of the season if they are to turn that record around. If selected, four of the Leeds players will be on familiar territory though. The Dohertys, backs David and James, and forwards James Currie and Mike Myerscough are all former Pirates.
Plymouth and Moseley, who meet at Brickfields, enjoyed wildly contrasting fortunes on the opening weekend. Whilst James Shanahan celebrated his first competitive game in charge of Albion with a tremendous 41-27 victory over Jersey at Sandy Park, the day before Moseley were outclassed 42-24 by Rotherham in the Castle Park double-header. Six of the last seven matches between the two sides have been settled by a margin of eight points or less, with Moseley winning four. Moseley won 9-6 on their last visit to Brickfields.
On Saturday Jersey, captained by ex-Blue Alex Rae, tackle Bedford at St Peter. Bedford were second best to London Welsh in the Allianz Park double-header and have not lost their first two games of the season since Mike Rayer took charge in 2005. Bedford won home and away when the sides met last season.
Rotherham and Ealing will face each other for the first time in a competitive fixture when they do battle at Clifton Lane on Saturday. The Titans were mightily impressive in their defeat of Moseley, whereas newly-promoted Ealing were on the wrong end of a 44-13 scoreline against London Scottish.
The London Scottish victory was a fitting send-off for departing Director of Rugby Simon Amor who is set to take over as England Sevens Head Coach. Scottish begin life without him with a trip to Bristol. Bristol will be desperate to put last weekend’s two-point loss to Cornish Pirates behind them and stretch their winning run over the Exiles to five games.
Round 2 concludes with the Meadow Lane clash between Nottingham and London Welsh, who both got off to winning starts on the opening weekend. Welsh have won six of the last eight meetings between the sides, including a 33-25 play-off win in Nottingham en route to the 2012 title.
WEEK 1 RESULTS
Ealing Trailfinders 13 London Scottish 44
London Welsh 23 Bedford Blues 14
Moseley 24 Rotherham Titans 42
Nottingham Rugby 24 Leeds Carnegie 16
Plymouth Albion 41 Jersey 27
Cornish Pirates 23 Bristol Rugby 21
WEEK 2 FIXTURES
Friday September 20
Cornish Pirates v Bristol, KO 19.45
Plymouth Albion v Moseley, KO 19.45
Saturday September 21
Rotherham Titans v Ealing Trailfinders, KO 15:00
Jersey v Bedford Blues, KO 15:00
Sunday September 22
Bristol v London Scottish, KO 15:00
Nottingham v London Welsh, KO 15:15