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Preview: Greene King IPA Championship final

02 June 2014

  • London Welsh 19-points up at “half-time”
  • Bristol to play final game at Memorial Stadium in front of sell-out crowd
Championship Final, preview

Photo: Getty Images

Bristol Rugby will hope to give the Memorial Stadium a fitting farewell with a promotion-clinching victory over London Welsh in the second leg of the Greene King IPA Championship final.

Wednesday evening’s game, kick-off 7:45pm, will be the last to be staged at the West Country club’s home of 93 years before this summer’s relocation to Ashton Gate.

A repeat of the scoreline in Bristol’s first-ever game at the ground, a 19-3 win over Cardiff in 1921, would not be enough, though, for the former Premiership club to kiss goodbye to English rugby’s second tier, because at “half-time” in the final London Welsh hold all the aces and a 19-point lead following a tremendous 27-8 win in the first leg at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford.

Roared on by a sell-out crowd approaching 12,000, Bristol will be confident of a far better showing second time around and go into the match with the knowledge that Welsh have not beaten them on home soil since a 36-14 victory at the Memorial Stadium on April 1, 2011.

"We’ll be ready for the war that’s coming...” – Trevett

Championship Final, preview 1

Photo: Getty Images

But 2012 Championship winners Welsh would love nothing better than to play the role of party-poopers and become the first side to win the title twice.

Prop Nathan Trevett, a try-scorer in the first leg, insists Welsh will head west intent on taking the game to Bristol.

“We’ll be ready for the war that’s coming at the Mem,” he said.

“The rain suited us last week and Justin Burnell (head coach) likes big, physical lads who get stuck in. But we’ve got Plans A and B and if it’s a dry night we can deal with that too.

“With a 19-point lead we’re pretty confident. We’ll take the game to them and not just try to defend, because if you sit off them they’ll score tries.” 

Bristol Rugby v London Welsh, Wednesday, June 4, KO 7.45pm. Live on Sky Sports HD

Past Championship finals

Exeter Chiefs 9 Bristol Rugby 6
Bristol Rugby 10 Exeter Chiefs 29

Cornish Pirates 12 Worcester Warriors 21
Worcester Warriors 25 Cornish Pirates 20

Cornish Pirates 21 London Welsh 37
London Welsh 29 Cornish Pirates 20

Bedford Blues 9 Newcastle Falcons 18
Newcastle Falcons 31 Bedford Blues 24