By Richard Grainger
It was seventh heaven for London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday as Bristol’s bubble burst, leaving the Exiles seven from seven and six points clear at the top of the GKIPA Championship table.
London Welsh 22, Bristol 7
There is a lot of Championship rugby to be played before April 26th but London Welsh are looking a good bet to bounce back into the Aviva Premiership at the first attempt.
In a scrappy game at the Kassam, Exiles’ scrum half Alex Davies went over from a scrum to give the hosts an early lead before Bristol hooker Ross Johnston replied with a short-range rumble.
Then Seb Stegmann raced clear when Gordon Ross picked off a pass from Ruki Tipuna to give the hosts a 14-7 interval advantage.
Davies stretched the lead with a penalty but Welsh were forced to work hard to in defence when Sonny Parker saw yellow and Bristol upped their game.
“We had a lot of possession and territory,” said Bristol Director of Rugby Andy Robinson, “but ultimately a couple of set-pieces didn’t go our way and we didn’t take our opportunities. Credit to London Welsh for the way that they defended. They took their chances well.”
Having survived Bristol’s one-man advantage, Exiles had the final word with a late try from Ollie Stedman.
Mose move towards middle
Moseley 29, Nottingham 15
Two wins on the bounce have re-booted Moseley’s season and leave them a couple of wins away from sixth place.
The Birmingham-based outfit had 22 year-old replacement fly-half Caolan Ryan, who kicked 19 points, to thank for the win.
Moseley head coach Kevin Maggs thought Ryan was outstanding: “He’s a very good player. He’s come in today and done a great job for us.”
Anthony Carter and Adam Parkins crossed for the hosts while Nottingham’s points all came from the boot of Matthew Jarvis.
Trailfinders still in search of a winning path
Ealing Trailfinders 5, Plymouth Albion 20
A 77th minute try from Josh Elliott was not enough for Ealing to begin to find the trail that will lead them from the foot of the GKIPA Championship.
But Ealing will take heart that the crowd of around 500 who made the trek to Vallis Way on Friday night were treated to a vastly improved defensive display which saw the hosts go down by two tries to one.
Despite still being pointless in the division, Ealing are only a couple of wins from worrying Jersey and Nottingham.
London Scottish 29, Jersey 3
Jersey’s only points at the Athletic Ground on Sunday came in the second minute when Niall O’Connor put the islanders ahead with a penalty. Thereafter it was largely one-way traffic and the Exiles dominated the encounter, notching a bonus point with two tries from Mark Bright to add to a touchdown from PJ Gidlow and an interception try from prolific winger Miles Mantella.
Guess that’s why they call it the Blues
Cornish Pirates 16, Bedford Blues 13
There were more blues for Bedford on Sunday at the Mennaye Field when they were unable to convert second-half pressure into points and allowed the Pirates to hold onto a slender second half lead.
It was one try a-piece, with Darren Fearn crossing for the Blues, trailing by ten points at the time, in reply to Tom Kessell’s earlier try for the Pirates.
Leeds Carnegie 19, Rotherham 10
Leeds did themselves and London Welsh, who won narrowly at Headingley last Sunday, a massive favour by defeating high-flying Rotherham in this Yorkshire derby on Sunday.
Alex Lozowski kicked four penalties and converted David Doherty’s first half try to seal the win over an under-strength Titan side forced to re-organise following late injuries.
Rotherham were awarded a penalty try, which Juan Pablo Socino converted to add to an earlier penalty.
Pick of round eight
On Saturday London Scottish welcome Leeds to Richmond (12.30ko) and Rotherham travel to Bristol for a 3pm kick-off on Sunday.