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Championship Play Off 2

May 6 2015

Greene King IPA Championship Play-Off 2 Preview. . . . . . . . . . Worcester Warriors v London Scottish,  Friday 8th May & Rotherham Titans v Bristol  Sunday 10th May



It is all to play for in the Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-finals with top seeds Bristol Rugby and Worcester Warriors still having plenty of work to do before they are assured of their place in the final.

Bristol overcame a nervy first 60 minutes to open up a 12-point gap between themselves and Rotherham after a 32-20 victory in the first leg at Ashton Gate, while at The Athletic Ground, Richmond Worcester had to rely on a stoppage time penalty try to beat London Scottish 27-22 and take a five-point lead with them back to Sixways.

Both Rotherham and London Scottish can take heart from the fact that in the last two seasons of Championship rugby, a side that has lost the first leg of the semi-final has gone on to make the final and win the title.

Newcastle were the first to achieve the feat in May 2013 when they overturned a five-point deficit from the first leg against Leeds Carnegie to win through London Welsh denied Leeds again the following year, despite trailing 38-31 from the first encounter.

Worcester Warriors v London Scottish
Friday 8 May, kick-off 7.45pm

Friday night rugby returns to Sixways as Worcester Warriors try and seal the deal and make it through to their second GKIPA Championship final.

The Warriors had to overcome a magnificent Scottish recovery to edge a seven-try thriller and take the slenderest of leads back to Sixways.

At 17-3 up after 26 minutes, Worcester appeared to be coasting to a routine victory. However Scottish stunned them with three unanswered tries before a late penalty try put the visitors in command ahead of Friday's rematch.

"We're frustrated that the margin wasn't greater but we're pleased to win away from home and be five points up,” said Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan.

"We've done the difficult thing, now we're going back to where we play well to hopefully finish the job. We want to reward our supporters and put on a show.”

Worcester have a played three, won three record at home on a Friday night whereas London Scottish are looking for their first Friday night win on the road in three attempts, having lost twice to Bristol under the Ashton Gate floodlights.

Sixways was the scene of arguably the most exciting Championship semi-final of all time when Bedford came agonisingly close to pulling off a shock win in May 2011.

It took Kai Horstmann's 78th minute try and Joe Carlisle's conversion to edge Worcester into a 23-22 lead after James Pritchard had threatened to kick the Warriors out of the competition.

Even then, there was more drama when, from Myles Dorrian's last-ditch drop-goal attempt, Tom Bedford thought he had scored a winning try for the Blues. But TV replays showed that the kick had landed behind the dead ball line before bouncing back into play.

Cooper Vuna, Worcester's two-try hero from the first leg in Richmond, marked his debut for the club with a try when London Scottish last visited Sixways six weeks ago. Vuna was one of eight different try scorers for the Warriors that day as Dean Ryan's men ran out 56-15 winners.

Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby
Sunday 10 May, kick-off 1.45pm
Live on Sky Sports HD.

Bristol stretched their winning run over the Titans to nine matches with victory in the first leg at Ashton Gate, but the result was in doubt until Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson came off the bench to steer his side home with a superb cameo display.

"The guys coming off the bench made all the difference. It was great to see Nicky come on and orchestrate the game. Overall we are pleased to win by 12 points,” said Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson.

Titans head coach Lee Blackett commented: "We missed 12 points out there with kicks, which would have put a different complexion on it for next week. We created a lot of opportunities but we lost the final third of the match.

"It is a two-legged affair, though. We are still in it but we need an early score next week.”

Nicky Robinson was hugely influential when Bristol visited Rotherham's temporary home at Abbeydale, Sheffield this time last year, the 33-year-old kicking 17 points as Bristol recovered from a 11-3 half-time deficit to win 22-11 on the day and 39-25 on aggregate.

Rotherham have only beaten Bristol by 12 points – the size of the deficit from the first leg – on one occasion: 44-6 on 29 October, 2011.

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Championship Play Off 2
Unofficial Pirates (IP Logged)
06/05/2015 14:50
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: Championship Play Off 2
Pirate15 (IP Logged)
08/05/2015 21:37
Worcester 38 Scottish 15 F/T
Aggregate score 65-37 Warriors into the final.

Re: Championship Play Off 2
Cowship Pirate (IP Logged)
09/05/2015 11:27
How can Roth. go up if they win the final ?

Re: Championship Play Off 2
Dotcom (IP Logged)
09/05/2015 11:52
The RFU has confirmed that Rotherham Titans have satisfied the Minimum Standards Criteria for entry into the Aviva Premiership in 2015/16,

Based on Oakwell Stadium, home of Barnsley FC.

Re: Championship Play Off 2
Stricky (IP Logged)
09/05/2015 23:00

Stricky (Waterloo Pirate)

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