It is still all to play for in Pool 8 with three teams
still having realistic claims on a quarter-final spot.
Nottingham sit in third place and are within
striking distance of moving into the next round after recording
back-to-back wins over two-time defending Scottish Premiership
champions Melrose during December.
Welsh Principality Premiership side Llandovery lead the way by
three points from Doncaster with Nottingham a further point
Llandovery are at home to Melrose, who they beat 29-14 at The
Greenyards, while Doncaster entertain fierce rivals Nottingham at
Both previous clashes between the Green and Whites and the
Knights this season came at Meadow Lane, with the Knights winning
the B&I Cup tie, 27-13, and Nottingham running out
winners 52-7 in the Championship fixture less than a month
IN OTHER CUP ACTION
Ulster Ravens and Bristol go head-to-head at Deramore Park,
Belfast on Friday night in a match that is likely to decide the
winner of Pool 1. Bristol have won all four of their games to date,
including a 34-28 victory over the Ravens in Round 2. But Ulster's
tally of five bonus points means they are just one point behind the
West Country side at the top of the table. A win for Bridgend over
Cardiff at the Arms Park would guarantee the capital club finish
bottom of the pool.
Bedford Blues need just a single point from their remaining two
games to be mathematically certain of finishing top of Pool 2. The
2011 finalists boast the only perfect record left in the
competition, with four straight bonus-point victories. The Blues
travel north to play Stirling on Saturday and will do well to
emulate their scintillating performance against the Scots back in
October, when they ran out winners by 87 points to 10. Bedford
scored 13 tries that day, 11 of them converted by captain James
Pritchard, who crossed the line twice for a personal haul of 32
points. Stirling have lost their last four league games at
Bridgehaugh Park. Bedwas and Neath only have local pride to play
for in the other Pool 2 fixture.
Victory for Cornish Pirates over Dundee in the Pool 3 tie at the
Mennaye Field would seal a place in the last eight for the Duchy
outfit. The inaugural British & Irish Cup champions go into
Round 5 seven points clear of Carmarthen who play Swansea away in
one of four Welsh derbies taking place this weekend. Pirates beat
Dundee 32-6 in their first match-up, while Carmarthen recorded
41-17 win over Swansea when the sides met in October - a scoreline
they repeated a week later in the league.
Newcastle's two-point deduction for fielding an ineligible
player means they still need a single point to be certain of
topping Pool 4. They should complete the formalities with ease this
weekend having beaten Connacht Eagles, their opponents at Kingston
Park on Saturday, by 34 points to 3 when the sides clashed in
Ireland. Newport, 10 points behind Newcastle in second, take on
last year's surprise finalists Cross Keys at Rodney Parade. The
first Gwent derby ended in a 24-20 win for the Black &
Pool 5 sees Leinster A and Pontypridd meet in what appears to be
a winner-takes-all clash at Donnybrook. The sides are tied on 15
points apiece at the top of the table - eight points clear of
third-placed Jersey who host Leeds. A last-gasp try by centre
Dafydd Lockyer secured the Valleys outfit a dramatic 25-23 victory
when the sides met at Sardis Road.
It is top versus bottom in Pool 6 with leaders Moseley up
against Championship rivals London Scottish at Billesley Common.
The game in Richmond in Round 2 ended in a 78-point thriller, with
Moseley claiming maximum points from a 41-37 victory. The win was
particularly sweet as they came from 20-0 down to beat an Exiles
side that contained five former Moseley players. Scottish gained
revenge just over a month later with a 23-18 win in the league.
Pool 7 leaders Munster A travel to Aberavon, who prop up the
table, knowing that a win would almost certainly put them through
to the last eight. Munster defeated the Wizards 19-11 first time
out. Second-placed Plymouth will look to keep the pressure on the
reigning champions with victory over Rotherham. Revenge will be on
their minds, too, after a 59-26 thrashing at the hands of the
Titans at Clifton Lane in Round 2.