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RFU Championship Round 3 preview

10 September 2012

  • Bristol and Pirates go head-to-head live on Sky Sports
  • Newcastle look to continue unbeaten start
RFU Championship Round 3 preview

Photo: Brian Tempest

Newcastle have made a perfect start to their maiden Championship campaign with two bonus-point victories, while opponents Doncaster are without a win following defeats to Plymouth and Bristol. Only last month Newcastle comprehensively beat the Knights, 52-17, in a pre-season friendly and it would be a major shock if the tables were turned at Kingston Park on Friday night.

Bedford entertain London Scottish the following day, while Saturday’s other fixtures are Jersey v Moseley and Plymouth v Leeds. The Blues did the double over the Exiles in the Championship last season, racking up more than 40 points in each of the games. Jersey and Moseley, both still searching for their first ‘W’, have never met in the league before, while Plymouth will be looking for a repeat of last season’s victory over Leeds at Brickfields when they entertain the Yorkshire club in another 3pm kick off.

There are two games to savour on Sunday, with Nottingham at home to Rotherham Titans and Bristol up against Cornish Pirates at the Memorial Stadium. Last season’s corresponding fixture between Nottingham and Rotherham ended in a 30-all draw.

The Titans took part in another high-scoring draw in Round 2, sharing the spoils with Bedford in a 38-all thriller. Nottingham go into the match having added Moseley to the scalp of Leeds to hand new head coach Martin Haag a great start to his tenure at Meadow Lane.

Unquestionably the feature game of the weekend is the televised clash between Bristol and the Pirates, with Sky Sports’ coverage of the Championship kicking off with two of last season’s semi-finalists going head to head.

The sides met five times in total in 2011/12, with wins for the home side in each – three to Pirates and two to Bristol. The Pirates last victory at the ‘Mem’ came way back in February 2005. Wes Davies and Alan Paver are the only two survivors from the starting line-up that day in the current squad.

Round 3 fixtures


Friday, September 14

Newcastle Falcons v Doncaster Knights, KO 20.00

Saturday, September 15

Bedford Blues v London Scottish, KO 15.00
Jersey v Moseley, KO 15:00
Plymouth Albion v Leeds Carnegie, KO 15:00

Sunday, September 16

Nottingham Rugby v Rotherham Titans, KO 15:00
Bristol Rugby v Cornish Pirates, KO 15:15 (LIVE on Sky Sports)