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Bristol top table with time to spare

16 February 2012

  • Bristol top the table with two league fixtures remaining
  • Doncaster v Rotherham live on Sky Sports HD
Bristol's Junior Fatialofa slips through Gavin Cattle's grasp

Photo: RFU Archive

Bristol Rugby have secured a top table finish with two fixtures left to play in the regular season.

The former Premiership outfit top the Championship league table with 75 points, 10 clear of Cornish Pirates who trail on matches won, meaning that even if the Cornishmen win their next two fixtures with bonus points, they cannot overtake the West Country side.

It is fitting then that the same top two will meet this weekend in what could well be an early indication of things to come in May. The two clubs were in the same league positions when they last met back in November at The Memorial Stadium. Bristol got out of jail that time, scoring 20 unanswered points to win a thrilling match 37-33.

A bonus-point win would guarantee Pirates second place in the Championship regardless of how third placed Bedford fare away to Moseley, who have won twelve games on the trot in the league against the Midlands club.

Special achievement - Middleton

Commenting on his side’s rise to the top of the Championship table, head coach Liam Middleton said:

"There are no prizes for winning the RFU Championship but it is still a special achievement.

"The players can be proud of the way that they have performed so far but now it's important that we push on again for the play-offs.

"Cornish Pirates will be a big test for our squad - Mennaye Field is a difficult place to go so we will need to be at our best."

Elsewhere, Doncaster play Rotherham at Castle Park on Saturday (kick- off 12.05pm) in a game that will be televised live by Sky Sports.

The Knights go into the local derby having played Nottingham in midweek – the first of three games in the space of nine days with a trip to Bristol to come next Friday.

Rotherham flanker Robin Copeland scored two breathtaking tries in the corresponding clash at Clifton Lane, which ended in a 23-10 win for the Titans, and the Irishman warmed up with another touchdown – his eleventh of the season - in Monday’s 14-19 reverse at the hands of the Cornish Pirates.

London Welsh’s first ever game as a club was against London Scottish in October 1885, yet league meetings between the two rivals have been few and far between.

They have played each other on just four occasions, resulting in two wins for Welsh, one for Scottish and a draw. Elsewhere, Plymouth entertain Nottingham and Leeds play host to Esher.