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Greene King IPA Championship play-off 2 preview

13 May 2014

  • Bristol hold three-point advantage going into second leg
  • London Welsh host Leeds Carnegie, trailing by seven points
Greene King IPA Championship play-offs

Photo: John White Media

Bristol will take a slender three-point lead into the return leg at Sheffield RUFC’s Abbeydale Park ground on Saturday, kick off 6.05pm, after a 17-14 victory over Rotherham at the Memorial Stadium, while Leeds hold a seven-point advantage thanks to a 38-31 win over London Welsh at Headingley.

Rotherham stunned the home faithful after building up a 9-0 half-time lead through the boot of Juan Pablo Socino. But the second-half sin-binning of Josh Thomas-Brown proved costly for the Titans, Bristol scoring twice in his absence – with prop Gaston Cortes rumbling over from a driving maul and Luke Eves finishing off a thrilling counter-attack.

Mitch Eadie supplied a third try for the West Country outfit, Nicky Robinson converting to stretch Bristol’s lead to eight points. But Rotherham refused to lie down and hit back with a last-gasp try in the corner for Jamie Broadley.

Andy Robinson’s men are on a five-game winning streak in all competitions against their opponents, the Titans’ last victory coming on October 6, 2012. Rotherham have yet to beat a fellow top four side this season.

Greene King IPA Championship play-offs

Photo: Getty Images

Glyn Hughes' unerring accuracy with the boot helped Leeds win a thrilling contest at Headingley. Hughes, the former Northampton fly half, kicked nine from nine to add to tries from centre duo, Rob Vickerman and Fred Burdon and three points from the boot of Alex Lozowski, who struck with the last kick of the match as Leeds beat London Welsh at the third time of asking this season.

The regular season meeting between the two sides at the Kassam Stadium back in January ended in a 19-10 win for London Welsh. Justin Burnell’s side has only lost once in Oxford in ten outings: 13-5 v London Scottish, on December 21, 2013.

However, the four previous clashes when London Welsh were the home side all ended in Leeds’ favour – and by a considerable margin: 39-29 (2011/12), 38-0 (2008/09), 38-18 (2006/07) and 35-12 (2000/01).

Play-off semi-finals second leg

Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby, Saturday, May 17, KO 6.05pm. Live on Sky Sports HD
London Welsh v Leeds Carnegie, Sunday, May 18, KO 12.45pm. Live on Sky Sports HD