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RFU Championship Launch 2012-13RFU Championship Week 1RFU Championship Week 2RFU Championship Week 3RFU Championship Week 4RFU Championship Week 5RFU Championship Week 6RFU Championship Week 7RFU Championship Week 8RFU Championship Week 9

Week 9

RFU Championship Week 9 Table


Friday 9th November 2012
Doncaster Knights 21-22 Bedford Blues
Plymouth Albion 24-20 London Scottish
Newcastle Falcons 29-9 Nottingham

Sunday 11th November 2012
Cornish Pirates 53-21 Rotherham Titans
Bristol Rugby 39-16 Jersey
Leeds Carnegie 38-12 Moseley




Week 8


Saturday 3rd November 2012
Rotherham Titans 38-20 Doncaster Knights
Bedford Blues 20-29 Newcastle Falcons
Jersey 16-14 Plymouth Albion
London Scottish 14-37 Leeds Carnegie
Moseley 9-9 Cornish Pirates

Sunday 4th November 2012
Nottingham 63-7 Bristol Rugby




Week 7RFU Championship Table Week 7

IF Saturday’s clash between Rotherham and Doncaster is anywhere near half as dramatic as their last meeting then supporters at Clifton Lane will be in for a treat. Gary Law’s boomerang kick to win the match for Rotherham, in front of a record Doncaster crowd of over 4,000, will long be remembered by all those at the ground and watching at home on Sky Sports. The 15-14 victory completed a season’s double for Rotherham over the Knights as they had won 23-10 at home earlier in the campaign. These sides met five times the previous year, with Doncaster the dominant force on this occasion with four victories to their name in all competitions. Rotherham’s only success was a one-point win at home during the regular season. Points from this match will contribute towards the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy.

Four other matches follow an hour later on Saturday afternoon, with the top-of-the-table clash between Bedford Blues and Newcastle Falcons being the pick of the 3 o’clock kick-offs. Bedford lost their unbeaten record in going down 23-13 at Bristol on Sunday, while the Falcons arrive at Goldington Road on the back of a 33-0 victory over Rotherham – their seventh consecutive league win. These sides last met in league action in the Premiership on April 8, 2000, when Bedford won 32-22. Ex-England internationals Paul Sackey and Andy Gomarsall were on the scoresheet for the Blues that day.

Nothing could separate Moseley and Cornish Pirates the last two times that the sides met at Billesley Common, each game ending in a draw: 27-27 in 2011/12 and 26-26 in 2020/11.

Fresh from their first Championship win of the season, Jersey will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to four games when they take on Plymouth Albion in St Peter. Jersey managed to build on two good results in the British & Irish Cup with a 20-17 win over London Scottish.

Finally on Saturday, London Scottish play Leeds Carnegie at The Athletic Ground. Leeds did the double over Scottish in 2011/12 but the Exiles managed to get a losing bonus point on each occasion, suggesting a tight match could be in prospect.

Sunday’s solitary fixture comes in the Midlands where Nottingham Rugby entertain Bristol Rugby at Meadow Lane. The sides are certainly no strangers to each other having met nine times in the last two seasons alone. Nottingham lost three and drew one of the four meetings in 2011/12, but recorded three straight home wins in all competitions over Bristol the previous year.


Friday 26th October 2012
Newcastle Falcons 33-0 Rotherham Titans
Doncaster Knights 24-16 Moseley

Saturday 27th October 2012
Jersey 20-17 London Scottish

Sunday 28th October 2012
Bristol Rugby 23-13 Bedford Blues
Cornish Pirates 21-8 Leeds Carnegie




Week 6RFU Championship Table Week 6

DONCASTER KNIGHTS and Jersey will be looking to translate their good form in the last round of the British & Irish Cup into the RFU Championship when the league programme resumes this weekend.

The Knights managed to get their season up and running with a 27-13 victory over Nottingham at Meadow Lane – their first win in all competitions since the end of January – and will be looking to make it win number two against Moseley at Castle Park on Friday evening. Last season’s corresponding fixture finished 29-21 to the Knights.

Newcastle Falcons entertain Rotherham Titans in the second of the two Championship fixtures being staged on Friday night. The two teams last came together at this level back in the 1996/97 season, the Falcons winning on each occasion on their way to promotion to the Premiership. Rotherham, who went on to finish in mid-table, were beaten 61-13 at Kingston Park on May 4, 1997 – 15 days after they suffered a 45-21 loss at Clifton Lane. The last four meetings between the sides have come in the Premiership. Indeed, the Falcons were Rotherham’s last opponents in the top flight in what is still the only Premiership game to be played at the Don Valley Arena in Sheffield. Newcastle won 26-20 in front of a crowd of 5,200.

Despite both clubs moving up through the London Leagues on their way to the Championship, Jersey and London Scottish meet for the first time in league rugby at St Peter on Saturday. Jersey go into the match buoyed by an excellent B&I Cup display against Leeds. Having drawn at home to Pontypridd in Round 1 Jersey went one better at York RUFC and were well worth their 33-27 win. Fly-half Michael Le Bourgeois was successful with all but one of his nine attempts at goal.

Saturday’s second fixture pits together much more familiar opponents in the form of Plymouth and Nottingham. Nottingham have the upper hand in the head-to-head stakes, winning the last four matches between the two sides. Plymouth’s last success came just under three years ago: 31-25 at Brickfields on October 31, 2009.

Sunday’s double-header features last year’s beaten finalists Cornish Pirates v Leeds Carnegie, followed shortly afterwards by the battle between the top two clubs from Stage One last season– Bristol Rugby and Bedford Blues.
Leeds were thrashed 52-10 by the Pirates in the regular season meeting at the Mennaye Field but recovered well to get a draw in the promotion play-offs.

After back-to-back B&I Cup wins Bristol will be looking for their first league win at the fourth attempt. Blues go into the game after racking up a record home score: 87-10 v Stirling. Bristol did the double over Bedford in 2011/12, but the Blues won 23-16 at the Memorial Stadium the previous year.


Friday 5th October 2012
Leeds Carnegie 42-7 Doncaster Knights

Saturday 6th October 2012
Bedford Blues 55-17 Plymouth Albion
London Scottish 25-24 Cornish Pirates
Moseley 13-53 Newcastle Falcons
Rotherham Titans 23-16 Bristol Rugby

Sunday 7th October 2012
Nottingham 48-16 Jersey




Week 5RFU Championship Table Week 5

This weekend’s action kicks off with a Yorkshire derby between Leeds Carnegie and Doncaster Knights, kick off 8pm at Headingley Carnegie. Leeds, who crashed to a heavy defeat at Newcastle last time out, failed to beat Doncaster in any of their three meetings last season and have only won once in the last five fixtures between the sides. Doncaster travel up the M1 still looking for their first win of the season after drawing 18-all at home to Cornish Pirates.

On Saturday, Moseley entertain Newcastle for the first time in a league rugby since the 1996/97 campaign – the last season (prior to the current campaign) that Newcastle found themselves in English rugby’s second tier. Newcastle recorded big wins over Moseley both at home and away that season, winger John Bentley scoring a hat-trick in each game. Newcastle won 75-9 in the away game and followed it up with an 88-19 success at Kingston Park - Va’aiga Tuigamala joining Bentley in scoring a hat-trick – on their way to promotion to the Premiership. The sides have met since then – on January 3, 2000 - in what was known at the time as the Tetley’s Bitter Cup. Newcastle won 41-8. Moseley will hope to get their first win at home this season at the third time of asking; both their victories to date have been on the road, the most recent coming at Bristol where they fought back from being 16 points down to win 22-21.

It was on December 12, 2009 that Plymouth and Bristol last enjoyed success at Bedford and Rotherham– their respective opponents on Saturday. That victory for Albion at Goldington Road nearly three years ago – a 19-16 success – was the only time they have beaten the Blues in the last eight meetings. But Nat Saumi’s in-form side head to Goldington Road in third, just one place below their opponents in the table, after recording their fourth win of the season against Rotherham.

Bristol, meanwhile, suffered a 44-6 hammering on their last visit to Clifton Lane on October 29, 2011. The two previous fixtures in South Yorkshire ended: Rotherham 22 Bristol 21 and Rotherham 0 Bristol 15.

London Scottish host Cornish Pirates on Saturday. The Pirates won both at home and away in the 2011/12 campaign. The Exiles have conceded over 200 points this season – 54 of them coming away to Nottingham in Round 5.

The Green & Whites conclude the latest set of fixtures with a game against Jersey at Meadow Lane on Sunday.


Saturday 28th September 2012
Bristol Rugby 21-22 Moseley
Doncaster Knights 18-18 Cornish Pirates
Nottingham 54-9 London Scottish
Plymouth Albion 15-Mar Rotherham Titans
Newcastle Falcons 53-10 Leeds Carnegie

Sunday 29th September 2012
Jersey 19-29 Bedford Blues




Week 4RFU Championship Table Week 4

In what must be a first for the Championship five of the weekend’s six games take place on a Friday evening, with Saturday’s solitary fixture seeing winless Jersey at home to Bedford. That fixture sees the side with the worst defence come up against the side with the best attack, although the Channel Islanders will be heartened by their first Championship point of the season after scoring four tries in the 54-31 defeat away to a rampant Rotherham.

Bedford left it late to claim their third win of the season against Nottingham: a try deep into injury-time inflicting a second straight loss on the Green & Whites who host London Scottish in Round 5 in one of the five floodlit Friday fixtures. Nottingham achieved home and away wins against their opponents last season but the Exiles came within a whisker of leaving Meadow Lane with the points before going down to a 33-31 defeat.

Bristol play one of their ‘bogey’ sides in the form of Moseley at the Memorial Stadium. Despite Moseley being near the bottom end of the table in recent years they boast a decent record of three wins and a draw in all competitions in the last seven meetings with one of the division’s dominant forces. Indeed, they have not been beaten by Bristol at Billesley Common in the last three years.

Doncaster and Cornish Pirates have always enjoyed stirring battles since they first came together in Level 2 rugby nearly a decade ago. Last season the home side came out on top on each occasion but the Pirates did enjoy success twice at Castle Park in the 2010/11 campaign.

Plymouth and Rotherham have traditionally struggled to score points – but not this season. Two of the division’s most potent attacks come together at Brickfields for what should be an entertaining clash. Each side has passed the century mark in terms of points scored after four rounds of action following impressive wins over Moseley and Jersey respectively. By this stage last year Plymouth had scored 69 points compared to 100 this, while Rotherham had scored just 93 – 46 fewer than their current total. Rotherham’s last victory at Brickfields came in February 2009, when they won 33-20.

Finally, Newcastle and Leeds play each other for the first time in a league fixture since they were in involved in a Premiership relegation dogfight in 2010/11. Leeds, who beat Bristol 50-31 last time out, have won on their last two visits to Kingston Park. Newcastle’s last home success over Carnegie came back in October 2007. The Falcons dropped their first point of the season after failing to get a try bonus point against Cornish Pirates.


Saturday 22nd September 2012
Bedford Blues 27-25 Nottingham
London Scottish 36-26 Doncaster Knights
Moseley 22-24 Plymouth Albion
Rotherham Titans 54-31 Jersey

Sunday 23rd September 2012
Cornish Pirates Mar-25 Newcastle Falcons
Leeds Carnegie 50-31 Bristol Rugby




Week 3RFU Championship Table Week 3

Rotherham will be searching for their first home win in seven games when they entertain Championship newcomers Jersey on Saturday. Remarkably their last league victory at Clifton Lane came in January this year: a 40-31 success against Moseley. Andre Bester’s men, though, will be in buoyant mood following a 27-16 win over Nottingham in Round 3. The defeat ended Nottingham’s previously unbeaten start to the season.

Nottingham face a difficult trip to Bedford this weekend. The Blues are the top points-scorers in the league having racked up another half-century against London Scottish at Goldington Road. Bedford won last season’s corresponding fixture, 40-26, although the Green & Whites will point to the fact that, at the time, they were playing their third game in the space of a week.

Having come badly unstuck at Bedford, London Scottish Head Coach Simon Amor will be looking for a positive response from his side when they take on Doncaster at the Athletic Ground. Doncaster did the double over the Exiles last season.

Saturday’s other fixture comes at Billesley Common where Moseley, fresh from a victory over Jersey, entertain a Plymouth side that edged out Leeds in their last outing. The sides met on five occasions last season, with Moseley claiming three wins to Plymouth’s two. The last meeting came in the now disbanded relegation play-off phase and ended in a 54-24 win for Albion – the Devonians’ highest score since they beat London Welsh 55-7 at OId Deer Park on December 2, 2006.

On Sunday, Cornish Pirates and Newcastle Falcons do battle at the Mennaye Field. Newcastle have yet to drop a point having recorded their third bonus-point win in as many weeks with a 37-3 victory over Doncaster at Kingston Park last Friday night. Newcastle last won three away league games on the bounce in February/March 2009.

Two former Premiership sides meet at Headingley Carnegie when Leeds play host to Bristol. Last season’s corresponding clash went right down to the wire, with Leeds coming out on top thanks to Joe Ford’s last-gasp drop goal. Bristol into the game on the back of a 29-17 win over Cornish Pirates in the first televised encounter


Friday 14th September 2012
Newcastle Falcons 36-3 Doncaster Knights

Saturday 15th September 2012
Bedford Blues 55-20 London Scottish
Jersey Dec-31 Moseley
Plymouth Albion 32-31 Leeds Carnegie

Sunday 16th September 2012
Nottingham 16-27 Rotherham Titans
Bristol Rugby 29-17 Cornish Pirates




Week 2RFU Championship Table Week 2

NEWCASTLE FALCONS have made a perfect start to their maiden Championship campaign with two bonus-point victories, while opponents Doncaster are without a win following defeats to Plymouth and Bristol. Only last month Newcastle comprehensively beat the Knights, 52-17, in a pre-season friendly and it would be a major shock if the tables were turned at Kingston Park on Friday night.

Bedford entertain London Scottish the following day, while Saturday’s other fixtures are Jersey v Moseley and Plymouth v Leeds. The Blues did the double over the Exiles in the Championship last season, racking up over 40 points in each of the games. Jersey and Moseley, both still searching for their first ‘W’, have never met in the league before, while Plymouth will be looking for a repeat of last season’s victory over Leeds at Brickfields when they entertain the Yorkshire club in another 3 o’clock kick off.

There are two games to savour on Sunday, with Nottingham at home to Rotherham Titans and Bristol up against Cornish Pirates at the Memorial Stadium. Last season’s corresponding fixture between Nottingham and Rotherham ended in a 30-all draw. The Titans took part in another high-scoring draw in Round 2, sharing the spoils with Bedford in a 38-all thriller. Nottingham go into the match having added Moseley to the scalp of Leeds to hand new head coach Martin Haag a great start to his tenure at Meadow Lane.

Unquestionably the feature game of the weekend is the televised clash between Bristol and the Pirates. Sky Sports’ coverage of the Championship kicks off with two of last season’s semi-finalists going head to head. The sides met five times in total in 2011/12, with wins for the home side in each – three to Pirates and two to Bristol. The Pirates last victory at the ‘Mem’ came way back in February 2005. Wes Davies and Alan Paver are the only two survivors from the starting line-up that day in the current squad.


Friday 7th September 2012
Doncaster Knights 9 - 18 Bristol Rugby
Leeds Carnegie 32 - 19 Jersey

Saturday 8th September 2012
London Scottish 32 - 49 Newcastle Falcons
Moseley 17 - 28 Nottingham

Sunday 9th September 2012
Cornish Pirates 19 - 17 Plymouth Albion
Rotherham Titans 38 - 38 Bedford Blues




Week 1RFU Championship Table Week 1

LEEDS’s poor record on the opening day of the season continued after they went down to a disappointing 34-29 defeat against Nottingham at Meadow Lane. It is now four years since they kicked off a league campaign on a winning note.

Carnegie threw away a 20-3 lead in the 2012/13 Championship season curtain-raiser and will be desperate to make amends when they welcome the division’s new boys, Jersey, to Headingley Carnegie on Friday night in a game that pitches Leeds wing David Doherty against his former club. Jersey lost to another of Doherty’s former employers, Cornish Pirates, in their Championship debut.

Also searching for their first win on Friday night are Doncaster and Bristol who meet at Castle Park following their respective losses to Plymouth and Newcastle. Bristol were comprehensive winners in all four clashes between the sides last season, scoring 194 points in the process.

Having staged a dramatic recovery to beat Leeds, Nottingham Rugby are now looking to record back-to-back wins at the start of the season for the first time in seven years. Moseley boss Kevin Maggs comes up against former Bath team-mate, Martin Haag, now the Director of Rugby at Nottingham in one of two Saturday games.

Maggs will be looking for a big response from his side after a 50-6 loss away to Bedford in Round 1. But the form book points to a Nottingham win, as the Green & Whites have won the last nine meetings at this level.

London Scottish and Newcastle Falcons will do battle for the first time in league rugby for 14 years when they meet at the Athletic Ground. The home side won both games when they last met in the 1998/99 Premiership season, Scottish beating a star-studded Falcons outfit 27-17 on their own patch.

Bedford Blues have won the last three encounters against Rotherham, racking up an average of 29 points along the way. And they showed their ability to score tries is as good as ever with seven touchdowns against Moseley. The Titans go into the game having lost away to London Scottish on the opening weekend for the second time in as many years.

Sunday’s solitary game sees Cornish Pirates entertain cross-Tamar rivals Plymouth Albion. The Pirates boast a six-game winning run in the head-to-head standings, with Albion’s last victory coming on April 16, 2010, when they won 19-14 in a promotion play-off fixture at Brickfields.


Friday 31st August 2012
Nottingham Rugby 34 - 29 Leeds Carnegie

Saturday 1st September 2012
Bedford Blues 50 - 6 Moseley
Jersey 6 - 20 Cornish Pirates
Plymouth Albion 27 - 22 Doncaster Knights

Sunday 2nd September 2012
London Scottish 26 - 20 Rotherham Titans
Bristol Rugby 20 - 37 Newcastle Falcons




2012-13 LAUNCH

THE revised RFU Championship funding structure was unveiled at the season launch on Tuesday August 21.

RFU Championship Launch 2012

Following extensive consultation with the clubs, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Championship Clubs Committee have agreed a structure running from the 2012-13 season up to and including 2015-16.

Conditional on clubs continuing to participate in the English Qualified Player scheme, the total funding provided by the Rugby Football Union will show a steady increase to reflect the growing nature of the competition.

As well as money received as a result of fielding 15 English Qualified Players in a match day 22 – the threshold rising from 14 – the RFU will increase its financial underwriting in relation to a title sponsorship while efforts continue to secure a partner.

Additional funding will be provided for the British and Irish Cup in the form of travel assistance and for the first time in the competition, a financial reward will be given upon those RFU Championship sides that reach the knock-out stages.

Following the announcement at the Championship launch today, Championship Club Committee Chairman and CEO of Bedford Blues Geoff Irvine commented:

“I am delighted to welcome in the new season and a new chapter for the competition. With the four year funding now agreed between the Union and the clubs, I am hopeful that the competition can continue to advance both on and off the field.”

Dean Richards DoR Newcastle Falcons RFU Championship Launch 2012The launch saw an unprecedented press attendance for the RFU Championship which can be attributed solely to the return of the inimitable Dean Richards. English Rugby welcomed Deano following his 3 year hiatus after he was scapegoated for the actions of others as well as himself in the infamous 'Bloodgate' Affair at Harlequins in 2009.

Richards was warmly welcomed back as he returned as Director of Rugby at Newcastle Falcons, a team which may well have been relegated to the RFU Championship from top flight rugby, but is expected by all to head straight back up next season.