- Strong RFU Championship semi-final line-ups
- Bedford, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham all aiming for promotion
Photo: Michael Paler
Despite their unbeaten record coming to an end at the hands of Bristol Rugby on Saturday, Newcastle Falcons’ position in the semi-finals was guaranteed some weeks ago, with the former Premiership club securing a top-of-the-table finish in their debut Championship season. The men from the North East will meet Leeds, also a former Premiership club, in the semi-finals following their 30-26 victory over Nottingham Rugby, who also progress to the knock-out stages.
Leeds needed a win to finish in the top four, or else rely on Bristol falling to Newcastle at Kingston Park. With the West Country side knocking the Falcons from their winning perch, pressure fell to Leeds to pick up the four points needed to finish fourth. Tries from Fred Burdon, James Currie and 15 points from the boot of Joe Ford saw Leeds take the victory at Headingley, despite a second-half comeback that saw the Green & Whites cross the whitewash three times.
Elsewhere, Bedford Blues cemented their place in the knock-out stages of the competition with a 41-29 win over Moseley. The bonus point win ensured the Blues finished the league stage in third position, with closest rivals Nottingham Rugby lined up for the two-leg semi-final clash.
2012-13 RFU Championship semi-finals
Bedford Blues vs Nottingham Rugby, Saturday, May 4, KO 3pm
Leeds Carnegie vs Newcastle Falcons, Monday, May 6, KO 3.15pm, Live on Sky Sports HD
Nottingham Rugby vs Bedford Blues, Friday, May 10, KO 7.45pm
Newcastle Falcons vs Leeds Carnegie, Sunday, May 12, KO 1.15pm, Live on Sky Sports HD
2012-13 RFU Championship Final
Thursday, May 23, KO TBC
Wednesday, May 29, KO TBC