Greene King IPA Championship Round 11 Preview

04th December 2015

Scottish are looking to secure their first Greene King IPA Championship win since October when they host Rotherham Titans at the Athletic Ground tomorrow afternoon.

The Scots, who were semi-finalists last year – find themselves currently down in ninth in the table and in serious need of a victory when Rotherham come to town.

The Titans lost to Jersey in round 10 to snap a two-game winning streak but have not won at the Athletic Ground since October 2013.

Table toppers Bristol got back to winning ways in the Greene King IPA Championship last weekend against London Scottish and will head to Moseley looking to stretch their fine recent record against the West Midlands side.

It was Doncaster Knights in round 9 who snapped the seven-game winning streak for Andy Robinson's side but they bounced back last weekend, proving too strong for the Exiles.

Mitch Eadie returned to down twice in the bonus point win while Gavin Henson added 17 points from the kicking tee.

And, having beaten Moseley in each of the last four league meetings between the two teams, Bristol will be confident of repeating the trick on Saturday against a team that lost to the Knights last time out.

Second-placed Doncaster claimed a 34-11 win over Moseley for yet another five-point haul as the irrepressible Latu Makaafi claimed his 12th score of the season to move joint top of the try-scoring charts.

They will find it tougher this weekend however at Goldington Road against a Bedford Blues team who currently sit fourth in the table.

The Blues claimed two bonus points in a narrow 32-31 defeat to Cornish Pirates last Sunday but are unbeaten at home in the league this season and have knocked off the Knights in the past two league campaigns at home.

The Pirates, full of confidence after that dramatic win over Bedford that owed much to a Matt Evans hat-trick, travel to a London Welsh side looking to build momentum.

Relegated from the Premiership last season, the Exiles have struggled in the Championship this year and that reached its nadir in defeat to Ealing Trailfinders in round 9.

But last weekend Welsh found their form and a hard-fought 10-7 win over Yorkshire Carnegie, who at the time were second in the table, has breathed new life into their season.

Chris Elder's try and a late Joe Carlisle drop goal did the damage last time out but the Pirates have already beaten Welsh this season at home in the British & Irish Cup.

In-form Nottingham have won four of their last five in the league – including last weekend's 34-22 win over the Trailfinders – but that fine run will be severely tested against Carnegie this weekend.

The Yorkshire side have now lost two in a row to slip down to third in the table and will need to be wary of the division's other top try scorer Paul Grant who took his season's haul to 12 with a double against Ealing in their previous clash. 

Both sides won their home fixtures in the league last year but Carnegie did the double the season before and will be desperate to get back to winning ways.

Jersey are up to seventh in the table after back-to-back away wins and they return to fortress St Peter looking to continue that form against the newly-promoted Trailfinders.

Trailfinders have been in good form of late – beating Welsh in round 9 – but defeat to Nottingham on Saturday means they stay bottom of the table.

They will take heart however from the fact that they did the double over Jersey the last time the two sides met in the 2013/14 Championship season.

Round 11 fixtures

Friday December 4
Jersey v Ealing Trailfinders, kick-off 7.45pm
Nottingham v Yorkshire Carnegie, kick-off 7.45pm

Saturday December 5
London Welsh v Cornish Pirates, kick-off 2pm
Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights, kick-off 3pm
London Scottish v Rotherham Titans, kick-off 3pm
Moseley v Bristol Rugby, kick-off 3pm

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