- Bedford Blues seek to reduce deficit on top placed Newcastle
- Crunch fixture at Billesley Common
Photo: Brian Tempest
Second-placed Bedford Blues trail Newcastle by 17 points going into Saturday’s game against London Scottish following the Falcons’ 28-10 win at Doncaster on New Year’s Day. However, the Blues will fancy their chances of reducing the deficit as they go into the fixture at the Athletic Ground on the back of a six-game winning run in all competitions.
The three previous Championship meetings between the sides resulted in comprehensive wins for the Blues: 41-15 and 43-10 in 2011/12 and 55-20 in Round 3 of this season’s competition.
Nottingham will be out to make amends for their worst performance of the season when they take on Rotherham at Clifton Lane in the second of three Saturday fixtures. The Green & Whites lost 27-16 to the Titans at Meadow Lane back in September, but since then they have been in good form with six wins from their last nine league games.
Two of those defeats came against the sides immediately above them in the table – Bedford and Newcastle, while they were far from disgraced a month ago in going down to a one-point defeat at Cornish Pirates. Rotherham have the better head-to-head record with 11 wins from 19 league meetings. Nottingham have not won at Clifton Lane in the league since 9th September 2007.
Leeds look to bounce back
Saturday’s other game sees Moseley and Jersey go head-to-head at Billesley Common in a game that neither of these struggling sides can afford to lose. Moseley won the corresponding fixture at St Peter 31-12.
On Sunday, Leeds Carnegie will look to bounce back into the top four after Cornish Pirates took their play-off place with a 32-17 victory over Bristol on New Year’s Day. Leeds’s game against Plymouth Albion marks their long-awaited return to Headingley following a three-month absence due to pitch improvement work.
Plymouth are more than capable of spoiling their homecoming party having beaten the Yorkshiremen 32-31 earlier in the season. But Leeds did outscore Plymouth five tries to four on that occasion and would have come away from Brickfields with maximum points had Joe Ford successfully converted Jacob Rowan’s try in the final minute.
Round 13 fixtures
Saturday, January 5
Rotherham Titans Vs. Nottingham 14:00 Clifton Lane
London Scottish Vs. Bedford Blues 15:00 Richmond Athletic Ground
Moseley Vs. Jersey 15:00 Billesley Common
Sunday, January 6
Leeds Carnegie Vs. Plymouth Albion 15:00 Headingley