View Full Version : RFU Championship Round Up - Round 2

13-09-11, 07:46 PM

Championship Round Up – Round 2

This weekend saw the attention go away from Club Rugby in the Northern Hemisphere, with players from across the leagues taking part in the Rugby World Cup 2011 (I know you can’t escape it). The Championship is the home a number of players from across the smaller nations, including the likes of John Arlidge (Nottingham), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh) and Andrew Suniula (Cornish Pirates) to name a few. This just cements the fact that the Championship is growing as a competitive base for top players from around the globe. However this didn’t mean we didn’t have an exciting weekend of Rugby.

Last weekend provided a couple of shocks including London Welsh coming home with a result from Leeds, new boys London Scottish starting off their campaign with a close win against Rotherham, and promotion favourites Bristol getting off to a 5 star start against Doncaster. This weekend saw Bristol host new boys London Scottish, Leeds having to travel to Rotherham, Cornish Pirates hosting Doncaster, Plymouth Albion making the trip to London Welsh, Esher hosting the Bedford Blues and Nottingham travelling to Moseley.
After their 5 Try Rout last weekend, Bristol got to host the Championship new boy London Scottish, who also caused an upset in their opening game of the season. Scottish started the stronger of the two sides enjoying more possession than Bristol, with Captain Gary Trueman forcing his way through the Bristol midfield. The first points of the match went to Scottish from the boot of Dan Mugford, who converted a penalty. Bristol nearly struck back immediately but Tristan Roberts effort went wide, however he soon made amends in the 15th minute after Scottish conceded a penalty. Bristol then started to find their momentum, opting to kick for the corner rather than points, which lead to a catch and drive from the Bristol pack, with Iain Grieve crashing over for the first try of the game. At half time Bristol had extended their lead to 13 – 3. The Second half of the game saw Bristol come out with full determination, which soon resulted in Matt Williams crashing over for the second try of the game, as the half progressed Bristol started to exhaust their dominance, with some great forward drives and some flowing, attacking rugby, which saw another couple of try’s to take the scoreline to 32 -3. Scottish rallied round late on, after the sin binning of Jack Tovey with 2 unconverted try’s in the final 5 minutes. Bristol secure another bonus point win, Final Score: Bristol 32 – 13 London Scottish.

After failing to get off to winning ways last weekend, both Leeds and Rotherham, would be looking to secure local bragging rights. Rotherham started the match well and exerted forward pressure onto the Leeds side, forcing a couple of early penalties which were converted by Garry Law, to give the Titans a 6 – 0 lead. Leeds struck back with a drop goal but struggled to dominate and break down the Titans defence. The Titans continued to push forward and dominate in the territory and possession, with the Leeds scrum feeling the pressure of the dominant Titans scrum, who forced several mistakes which lead to penalties, which were duly converted to extend the Titans lead. It wasn’t long before the Titans got their reward with a Try in the corner, which resulted from some well recycled ball, the extras were converted by Law, to take the Titan’s lead to 19 – 3 at Half Time. Leeds gained some good field position in the second half and managed to close the gap with a penalty only to have it cancelled out again by Law. Leeds became a threat as the Titan’s scrum weakened, and saw replacement prop Shane Cahill sent to the bin for repeated technical infringements, which resulted in Leeds winning a Penalty Try. Momentum seemed to grow with the visitors making full advantage of the additional man on the pitch, going over on the 80 minute mark with a catch and drive try, reducing the Titan’s lead to 4 points, however the game finished with the Titan’s taking the local bragging rights for now. FT Score: Rotherham 22 – 18 Leeds.

This weekend’s game at the Mennaye Field in Penzance was probably the match of the round, with a total 9 Try’s, 7 Conversions and 2 Penalties scored. It was Pirates who started out the block the strongest, scoring 5 Try’s in the first half to take in a 36 -11 margin at Half Time. However it was Doncaster’s turn to shine in the second half putting the Pirates on the back foot, before long the changes at 9 and 10 for the Knights made an immediate impact on the game, with Gidlow charging down Cook’s clearance inside the Pirate’s 22 to get the first score of the half. A little later and McIlwaine’s ran through the Pirate’s defence breaking a couple of tackles to score just right of the sticks, it seemed like the Knight’s charge was in full momentum. Cook tried to steady things up, with a penalty on the hour, but the Pirate’s weren’t able to build any momentum, instead finding the Knights gaining ground on them. Another penalty from Cook 2 minutes from time would of doubled the Pirates haul, but luck was not on their side after it rebounded of the left upright. This was truly a game of two halves with both sides gaining a bonus point for Try’s scored, Final Score: Cornish Pirates 39 – 32 Doncaster Knights.

London Welsh were looking to build on their win against Leeds last weekend, with a win over Plymouth, they started off well, with a couple of tries from Edd Thrower and Will Hurrell, to edge the first with a 13 – 3 scoreline. Plymouth gave London Welsh a shock after half time with 13 unanswered points, including a Try from Bevon Armitage, the Welsh responded with a couple of tries from Greg Bateman and Jackson, who both crashed over the line, to give Welsh the lead once again. It looked like it was going to be a close finish after Gareth Evans crashed over the line in the 73rd Minute, but another try from Jackson ensured that Welsh were going to keep their unbeaten stance in the Championship. Final Score: London Welsh 34 – 23 Plymouth Albion.

Other Results from the weekend were:

Moseley 10-20 Nottingham
Esher 6-55 Bedford

This weekend see’s the following fixtures:

Friday, 16 September 2011
Nottingham v Esher, 19:45
Plymouth Albion v Rotherham Titans, 19:45

Saturday, 17 September 2011
Bedford v London Welsh, 15:00
Doncaster v Moseley, 14:30
London Scottish v Cornish Pirates, 14:00

Sunday, 18 September 2011
Leeds Carnegie v Bristol, 13:00

13-09-11, 08:10 PM
With Moseley and Nottingham my two adopted teams until the Bees come back up (if they ever do) this round was never going to be perfect for me :p

I said in another thread before, but it's great to see Bristol getting back to form - it was gutting to see a team with the history they have to perform so poorly after dropping down

Are Leeds the new Bristol, though?

13-09-11, 08:28 PM
Leeds are bottling it this season, they lost quite a few of their big players from last season, but they retained a few good players... I don't think Leeds will be contenders for the Championship this year, I also think they have recently come in to some financial trouble.

As much as I don't like Bristol, it is good to see them getting themselves back to their best, they have a big game at Leeds next weekend, but have to be odds on favourites for it and for the Championship. The Pirates have had a mediocre start, undefeated, however seem to lose the plot in the second half, from what I understand they were dominating the first half, and had such a huge lead, but credit to Doncaster for fighting back...

I am enjoying the Championship this year...

13-09-11, 09:02 PM
You can tell the championship is getting stronger because it's very hard to choose who's coming up - before it was just whoever got relegated, but who knows now

It's a shame what happened to Leeds - they were in a lot of debt when they dropped, their big names left and they couldn't afford to sign replacements of the same level

They've got a deal going on with Sale to borrow some of our fringe players, but the only one that's gone across so far is Iain Thornley, who has about an hours worth of Union experience under his belt (he came across from Wigan Warriors, I think it was) and looked pants throughout, so they're not exactly doing well off of us atm :lol:

13-09-11, 09:07 PM
Would be great to see Bristol come back up, they missed out last year sadly.

13-09-11, 09:50 PM
People are forgetting quite that Bedford and London Welsh are not to be discounted from promotion. Both these two clubs or years have been close to promotion ... this time it could well happen for one of these two.

13-09-11, 10:02 PM
Form first hand experience we are an a better position this season compared to last. In the one game I have seen, compared to last year, we look fitter, we have a 10 who knows this league well unlike Little last season. Our academy graduates have a year of competitive Rugby in them and look confident. That's the main thing now, we looked like we knew we would win on Sunday. This time last year against Rotherham we looked nervous and it allowed teams to come to us and think they had the upper hand before the kick off.

The change in coaching I think has helped, don't get me wrong Hull didn't do a lot wrong and he will always be royalty at Bristol, but there seems to be a shift in focus on style of play, the 10's now are allowed to play a more adventurous role rather than last year when we tried to play a territorial style.

It's early days but I'm happier than this time last season

M Two One
14-09-11, 02:19 AM
It seems rather difficult for teams to move up from this league since there is only one spot. Do you guys think that they should bump it up to two clubs or keep at one?

14-09-11, 02:44 AM
There was a bit of talk about that last season as well

I'm not really sure - Two relegation spots would have certainly seen Sale relegated last season or the one before, so I don't like it :p
But it does make a lot of sence - I think both Warriors and Pirates could have competed in the Aviva this season (along with a few others from the league, but it was those two in the final)

M Two One
14-09-11, 02:58 AM
From what I've seen over the past few seasons a few good clubs are being held back from playing at a higher level.

21-09-11, 09:36 PM
Plan to write Round 3 Write Up with a British and Irish Cup special in it :-)

It will feature a cracking win for Cornish Pirates against Bristol...

22-09-11, 12:41 PM
Plan to write Round 3 Write Up with a British and Irish Cup special in it :-)

It will feature a cracking win for Cornish Pirates against Bristol...

Can I point out that 12 of the starting team were under 21 and in their first full season with us. Ta