By Richard Grainger
Week four of the Greene King IPA Championship leaves one side unbeaten and another three still winless. The second tier of English rugby continues to provide more try value than the Aviva Premiership, with 38 tries scored compared to 16 in the top flight.
After all, when two sides score four tries and still lose, it says a lot about the entertainment on offer in this division.
Rotherham Titans 27, London Welsh 32
Rotherham’s unbeaten run crashed to an end at Clifton Lane on Saturday despite outscoring London Welsh by four tries to two. Titans’ Head Coach Lee Blackett watched his men relinquish a lead held since the second minute when Exiles’ replacement scrum half Alex Davies sent over a 50 metre penalty in the 67th minute.
Despite conceding three tries in the opening 12 minutes, the Exiles did enough to stay in touch with the Yorkshire outfit and clawed it back to 20-16 by half time.
But the final quarter belonged to the visitors whose dominant scrum laid the foundation to complete the comeback turning a 27-19 deficit into a 27-31 victory.
Reflecting on two points dropped, a downbeat Blackett said: “… when you score four tries at home you should win. It’s not good enough to concede 32 points.”
Leeds Carnegie 64, Ealing Trailfinders 3
It was no Ealing comedy at Headingley on Friday night as the West Londoners conceded nine tries on their first league visit to Leeds. The rampant Yorkshiremen, who had secured the bonus point by the interval, were much too strong for the visitors and the men from Vallis Way are still desperately seeking a first Championship win.
Plymouth Albion 20, London Scottish 22
Canadian international Brett Beukeboom went from hero to zero within minutes at Bricklands on Friday night. Beukeboom, who touched down for Albion in the 42nd minute, now faces a four-week suspension after seeing red for a tip tackle moments later.
Albion head coach James Shanahan apologised to the Plymouth faithful for a dismal first 40 minutes and a lack of discipline which meant that Albion were reduced to 14 men for all but 30 minutes of the match.
Despite only four scrums being completed, Exiles’ acting head coach James Buckland refused to blame the officials and praised his men for recording their first away win against Plymouth.
Cornish Pirates 28, Moseley 13
Moseley’s trip to west of the Tamar left them in search of their first win as the Cornish Pirates ran out comfortable winners despite having Alex Cheeseman and Aaron Carpenter cohabiting the sin bin after the break.
The Pirates notched their second consecutive try bonus point when Mike Pope cantered home from the halfway line in the 71st minute.
Bristol Rugby 45 Bedford Blues 27
Bristol celebrated their 125th anniversary and their final game at the Memorial Stadium, with a seven try thumping of Bedford Blues. The pre-eminent West Country club, who have have not moved since 1921 will re-locate to Ashton Gate to ground share with Bristol City.
Bedford, despite scoring four themselves, still seek their first win. Close to 5,000 turned out to enjoy Bristol’s emphatic performance that takes head coach Andy Robinson’s men into third slot in the division.
Nottingham 19, Jersey 22
Jersey, who have found away points as hard to come by as unsolved Bergerac cases, recorded a famous victory at the scene of their heaviest defeat in their first Championship season.
The hosts held an interval lead of 13-9 at Meadow Lane on Sunday, but ultimately paid the price for having two men in the bin and Jersey held out to record their second win of the season.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.