RFU Championship News. Previews of all the Round 21 games. All the teams plus news and comment
|Friday 3 February 2012||Saturday 4 February 2012|
|Bristol v Moseley OFF
Sunday 5 February 2012
Nottingham v Leeds Carnegie OFF
|Bedford v Plymouth Albion OFF
Esher v London Scottish OFF
London Welsh v Doncaster OFF
Rotherham v Cornish Pirates OFF
Saturday 11th February
Bedford v Plymouth - 2pm
Esher v London Scottish - 2pm
Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates - 2pm
Sunday 12 th February
Bristol v Moseley - 3pm
London Welsh v Doncaster - TBA
Nottingham v Leeds Carnegie - TBA
Nottingham still need a point from their remaining four games to be absolutely certain of a place in the top eight, with Moseley still having a mathematical – if extremely unlikely - chance of catching the Green & Whites.
Glenn Delaney’s men will have taken plenty of encouragement from last weekend’s 21-6 win at London Scottish, which ended a barren run in the league stretching back to early December. This weekend, though, they are up against Leeds, who they have not beaten in six league and cup meetings at this level. Leeds earned a hard- fought 21-17 win over Bedford in the last round, full- back Tommy Bell supplying all their points via seven penalties. Bell has now scored in every game he has played in for Leeds this season and contributed exactly half his side’s points (199 out of 398).
Leeds now have designs on a top four spot which would see them carry two points through to the play-offs. Leaders Bristol made sure of their place in the top four thanks to a bonus- point win at home to Rotherham and they will almost certainly go into the play-offs as top seeds if they beat Moseley at the Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Second placed Cornish Pirates head to Rotherham where they came unstuck last year.
Elsewhere, the Championship’s bottom two do battle at Molesey Road when Esher take on London Scottish, London Welsh will look to make it seven wins on the bounce against Doncaster and Bedford play Plymouth.
The Bristol Evening Post reports that Since the season started, Bristol have added Will Helu, Ruki Tipuna, Jason Harris-Wright, Matty James and Glen Townson to their squad, in addition to the recently-signed quartet, while Redford Pennycook has also been registered for action. And, while several of those new signings are yet to make an impact on the field, academy coach Matt Sherratt has reported that they have all quickly immersed themselves in the club's culture and environment.
"Culturally, they've all fitted in really well," he said. "Part of the recruitment process is about looking at players' characters and making sure they will fit into the environment here.
"Getting them up to speed technically and tactically is secondary to that and playing is the only way to do that, especially players in more decision-making positions.
"Matthew Jones, for example, warmed up with the squad on Sunday and we'll be looking to get him some part to play on Friday night."
Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk
Bedford - With temperatures dropping and snow on the horizon, Bedford Blues pulled out all the stops to try and ensure that Saturday’s encounter against Plymouth Albion was able to go ahead.
With the play-offs just around the corner, the last thing that anybody would want is a re-organised fixture. So the Blues board hired special covers that spread the length and width of the pitch and to prevent the ground freezing.
Cash-Strapped Albion are budgeting for the possibility of relegation, chairman Dr Graham Stirling has admitted.
A financial contingency plan is being drawn up in case Albion, currently third from bottom, fail to survive the looming Championship play-offs.
Bosses are working with financial troubleshooters in a bid to plug a £250,000 black hole and secure professional rugby's presence in the city.
Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk
This match between has been called off after a referees inspection at 3.00 p.m. Friday 4th February.
Despite frost covers being deployed the ground is still frozen and the match is now rescheduled for next week Saturday 11th February 3.00 p.m
Following an 11.30 pitch inspection by RFU Championship referee Andre Jackson, the match has now been postponed
Severe overnight temperatures has made the Clifton Lane surface rock hard and with further minus temperatures forecast for Friday night, there’s no possibility of a rugby match going ahead.
The fixture will now take place next Saturday 11th February, kick off 2pm.
This match has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.
With npower League 1 side Notts County having their game at Meadow Lane Stadium postponed on Saturday, February 4, an independent RFU Championship panel referee then inspected the ground at 2pm on Friday, February 3.
Due to a deep frost penetrating the pitch covers, which have been laid on the ground for the duration of the week, the fixture has fallen victim to the biting cold which has claimed sporting fixtures right across the county.
And with weather forecasts indicating an even frostier spell overnight, the referee took the decision to postpone the fixture with 48 hours notice.
Nottingham Rugby chief executive Simon Beatham said: “It’s desperately disappointing to have our biggest game of the season, with over 1600 pre-sold tickets and looking like we would get well over our 2500 target for the fixture, fall victim to the weather. It’s such a shame for all the supporters and everyone involved in the club after all the hard work to promote the game as our Family Big Day Out”.