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RFU Championship: Round 22 Review

28 February 2012

  • George Watkins hattrick seals Bristol win
  • Healthy average attendance of 2,538 for final round in Stage 1 of the Championship

Bedford Blues on the attack

Photo: RFU Archive

Boosted by the biggest crowd at London Welsh's ground for many years, the final round in Stage 1 of the Championship attracted a healthy average attendance of 2,538 spectators.

London Welsh's match against Leeds at Old Deer Park on Saturday was the perfect appetiser for the Six Nations clash between England and Wales later that afternoon. But the result did not live up to the expectations of the majority of the 4,400 spectators although feelings of disappointment at their side's defeat were soon lifted by Triple Crown celebrations.

There were maiden tries for Ed Williamson and Halani Aulika, a brace for Jordan Davies and a score from Stevie McColl marking his return from injury as Leeds won 39-29.

London Welsh were the only side in the top four to lose, with top seeds Bristol too strong for a Doncaster side that was playing its fourth game in ten days.

A crowd well in excess of 4,000 turned out to watch George Watkins score a hatrick in Bristol's 52-26 victory over Doncaster.

The Premiership hopefuls boast the highest average attendance in the division at 5,217, with an aggregate of 57,394 fans flocking through the Memorial Stadium gates in 2011/12 – an increase of 18% on last season’s figure and only marginally down on 2009/10 when Bristol returned to the Championship after they were relegated from the Premiership.

The top average attendances largely reflect the league standings, with Bedford showing the next best average attendance figure with 2,640 and Cornish Pirates in fourth with 2,248.