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RFU Championship semi-finals review

08 May 2012

  • Bristol crash to a 21-point defeat at The Mennaye
  • London Welsh's fine form continues into knock-out stages
Rob Cook on the charge for Cornish Pirates

Photo: Brian Tempest

Bedford Blues 3 - London Welsh 13
Cornish Pirates 45 - Bristol Rugby 24

Bristol will have to overturn a 21-point deficit in the second leg of the Championship semi-finals on Sunday if they are to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Liam Middleton’s men crashed to a 45-24 defeat to the Cornish Pirates in the first leg at the Mennaye Field, meaning they have conceded 95 points in two visits there this season following an earlier setback in the British & Irish Cup.

Bristol scored two early tries to get off to a fantastic start, but they now have it all to do against a Pirates side on the verge of a second successive final appearance.

Pirates scored five second-half tries, Rob Cook getting one as well as kicking twenty points, with further tries coming from Carl Rimmer (2), Dave Doherty and Grant Pointer.

Gordon Ross strikes for London Welsh

Photo: Michael Paler, Action Images

London Welsh took their fine away form from Stages 1 & 2 into the first leg of the Championship semi-finals, sealing a 13-3 win over Bedford at Goldington Road with a try from Hudson Tonga’uiha and eight points from Alex Davies.

Welsh won more away games (7) than any other side during the regular season and were unbeaten in three away play-off games, and Lyn Jones' side now has one foot planted firmly in the Championship final following another fine performance on the road.

But the Blues have chalked up some noticeable scalps of their own away from home this season, including a 33-30 win against Welsh at Sunbury in the B&I Cup back in October, and they will not go down without a fight. Make sure to log on to on Sunday May 13 to watch the live streaming of the fixture from Old Deer Park.

RFU Championship semi-finals - second leg
Bristol Rugby v Cornish Pirates, Sunday May 13, KO 1245 - LIVE on Sky Sports
London Welsh v Bedford Blues, Sunday May 13, KO 1500 - LIVE here