Greene King IPA Championship Round 12 Preview

22nd December 2015

London Scottish will be looking for back-to-back victories in the Greene King IPA Championship for the first time since October, as they look to build on the 21-16 win over Rotherham Titans earlier this month.

Ealing last tasted victory at London Welsh on November 7 and will be looking to make amends for a 37-17 defeat at the hands of Scottish earlier in the season – their first home match of the Greene King IPA Championship.

That day London Scottish ran in five tries – including two for captain Mark Bright, as well a one from Drew Locke, Jason Harries and James Hallam.

Bristol Rugby will bid to head into the new year still sitting pretty atop the Greene King IPA Championship table as they sign off 2015 by hosting London Welsh on Sunday.

Despite heading into this clash at Ashton Gate off the back of a 34-17 defeat to Bedford Blues in the British & Irish Cup last time out, Bristol have won their last two Greene King IPA Championship games against London Scottish and Moseley.

And Andy Robinson's side can take comfort from the fact that their first win of the season came at London Welsh back in September, with Charlie Amesbury, Tom Varndell, Adrian Jarvis and Jack Tovey all scoring tries for a 36-22 victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

London Welsh's return to the Greene King IPA Championship hasn't all gone according to plan as they sit ninth in the table, but they head to Bristol buoyed by doing the double over Nottingham Rugby in the British & Irish Cup, the last victory seeing the Exiles triumph 24-0 thanks to two Gus Jones efforts and a penalty try.

The other side with hopes of ringing in the new year at the summit are Doncaster Knights who can go top with a bonus-point victory over Nottingham on Saturday.

The Knights will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to double figures as they haven't tasted defeat since losing to Yorkshire Carnegie on October 9.

In that time they have won their last five league clashes and welcome Nottingham to Castle Park having recorded a double over Newport Gwent Dragons in the British & Irish Cup.

As for Nottingham, those two defeats to London Welsh meant they exited the cup competition but they head north just outside the top four in the league having edged out Yorkshire Carnegie 14-13 last time out thanks to Paul Grant's second-half try.

Bedford Blues currently occupy fourth in the table and they will be hoping to stay there come the new year as they travel to Moseley on Saturday.

Bedford's form in the Greene King IPA Championship has taken a hit after back-to-back defeats to Doncaster Knights and Cornish Pirates, but they did beat Moseley in their second game of the season 38-32 – Jake White crossing for one of six tries as well as kicking four conversions.

The first action of Sunday sees Cornish Pirates entertain a Jersey side on a four-game winning streak as well as winning their last two league trips on the road at Rotherham and Ealing.

Despite losing last time out to Cardiff Blues in the British & Irish Cup, Cornish Pirates are also on a good run of form having won five straight before then, however it wasJersey who claimed the spoils earlier in the season as they edged their home fixture 17-15.

And in the final game of the round third-place Yorkshire Carnegie welcome local rivalsRotherham Titans as the hosts bid to get back to winning ways in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Carnegie have lost their last three league outings but they have been close calls, losing to both Bedford and Nottingham by just a single point and falling by only three to London Welsh.

In September's reverse fixture Chris Walker and Charlie Beech scored tries as Yorkshire Carnegie beat the Titans 20-11, with Rotherham making the short journey this time around in seventh after back-to-back league defeats.

Round 11 fixtures

Saturday December 26
Doncaster Knights v Nottingham, kick-off 2.30pm
London Scottish v Ealing Trailfinders, kick-off 3pm
Moseley v Bedford Blues, kick-off 3pm

Sunday December 27
Cornish Pirates v Jersey, kick-off 2pm
Bristol Rugby v London Welsh, kick-off 3pm
Yorkshire Carnegie v Rotherham Titans, kick-off 3pm

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