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British & Irish Cup: Round 6 Preview

British & Irish Cup: Round 6 Preview

Defending champions Leinster ‘A’, Bristol, Rotherham Titans, Worcester Warriors and Doncaster Knights have all qualified for the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup as winners of their respective pools with a round to spare. The quarter-final draw will take place next week.

The English Championship quartet are unbeaten after five rounds of action and are on course for a home draw in the quarter-finals, while Leinster ‘A’, who are bidding for a hat-trick of titles, are set to be on their travels in the last-eight unless they can improve their position this weekend and qualify for the knockout stages as one of the top four seeds.

Eight sides still have a mathematical chance of grabbing one of the three quarter-final spots available to the best runners-up.

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Yorkshire Carnegie are currently in the driving seat with 18 points, Pontypridd have 15 and Munster ‘A’ and Cornish Pirates, who met in the inaugural British & Irish Cup final in 2009, are both on 14.

Bedford, Moseley, Carmarthen Quins and Jersey have slim mathematical chances of maintaining their interest beyond this coming weekend.




CONNACHT EAGLES (4th) v Bristol (1st), the Sportsground, Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Top plays bottom as pool leaders Bristol go in search of the win they need to be certain of a home quarter-final. Bristol extended their winning run to 13 matches with a 22-14 victory over London Scottish in round 5. Bristol outscored Connacht Eagles by eight tries to four in front of a record B&I Cup crowd when the sides met in round 1. Olly Robinson, son of head coach Andy, scored a hat-trick on his competitive debut for the club.

London Scottish (3rd) v Pontypridd (2nd), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Pontypridd’s destiny remains in their own hands with the Welsh Premiership side knowing that a bonus point win at the Athletic Ground would guarantee them one of the best runners-up spots. Pontypridd won the first match with London Scottish 23-17.

Round 5 Results –
Bristol 22 London Scottish 14
Pontypridd 29 Connacht Eagles 10


Rotherham Titans (1st) v Yorkshire Carnegie (2nd), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Yorkshire Carnegie need two points from Saturday’s trip to Clifton Lane to be mathematically certain of their place in the last eight as one of the three best runners-up. If Carnegie head back up the M1 empty-handed they will have to hope that at least one of their main rivals, Pontypridd, Munster ‘A’ and Cornish Pirates fails to win. Titans kept Carnegie tryless in both previous meetings this season: 6-0 at Headingley in the Championship and 20-3 at Silver Royd, Scarborough RUFC in the B&I Cup.

ULSTER RAVENS (4th) v Aberavon (3rd), Deramore Park, Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Aberavon’s losing run was extended to eight games with last Saturday’s 42-14 home defeat to Rotherham. The Wizards have not won in any competition since they beat Ulster Ravens 18-14 at the Talbot Athletic Ground on October 11. The Ravens are winless and will exit the competition at the end of the pool stages for the third year in a row.

Round 5 Results –
Aberavon 14 Rotherham Titans 42
Yorkshire Carnegie 27 Ulster Ravens 19 – Video Highlights


Moseley (3rd) v MUNSTER ‘A’ (2nd), Billesley Common, Saturday, December 13, 2pm

A first bonus point win of the season would guarantee Munster ‘A’ a place in the last-eight regardless of how Cornish Pirates fare at Bedford. Tries have been hard to come by for Munster to date with just 10 in five matches. They beat Moseley 27-21 at Clonmel in round 1.

Worcester Warriors (1st) v Nottingham (4th), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Worcester are certain of a home tie in the knockout stages if they beat Nottingham for the third time this season. The Warriors won 55-16 when the sides met in the league at Sixways at the end of September and they prevailed 26-19 in the cup three weeks later at Meadow Lane.

Round 5 Results –
Munster ‘A’ 18 Worcester Warriors 23
Nottingham 26 Moseley 27


Bedford Blues (3rd) v Cornish Pirates (2nd), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Last Saturday’s agonising 31-30 defeat at home to Doncaster has left Cornish Pirates’ hopes of making it out of Pool 4 hanging by a thread. Realistically the Pirates need to win at Bedford for the first time since March 2011 – and hope Munster ‘A’ and Pontypridd fail to beat Moseley and London Scottish respectively – to qualify for the last-eight for the fifth time in their history. The first B&I Cup tie at the Mennaye Field was a real humdinger with Pirates winning 35-34. However the B&I Cup organising committee overturned the result after Pirates wrongly introduced an additional player to the fray when the game had already gone to uncontested scrums.

Doncaster Knights (1st) v Cross Keys (4th), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

Seven of the 10 matches played in Pool 4 have resulted in a winning margin of five points or less, and Cross Keys, while bottom of the pool, have more than held their own this season. Their two previous away trips to Championship clubs have ended in a one-point win (v Bedford) and a one-point loss (v Cornish Pirates). Doncaster won 37-32 at Pandy Park in round 1.

Round 5 Results –
Cross Keys 10 Bedford Blues 48
Cornish Pirates 30 Doncaster Knights 31


Carmarthen Quins (2nd) v Jersey (3rd), Saturday, December 13, 2pm

The winners of this tie can still go through as one of the best runners-up if Munster ‘A’ and Cornish Pirates are well beaten. Jersey are on a four-game losing streak but won with a bonus point when the sides met back in October.

LEINSTER ‘A’ (1st) v Plymouth Albion (4th), Donnybrook, Saturday, December 13, 2pm

To qualify as one of the top four seeds, Leinster ‘A’ need to pick up maximum points against Plymouth and hope that Bristol and Worcester fail to make it six wins on the spin. Leinster prevailed 31-24 when the sides met at Brickfields in Round 1.

Round 5 Results –
Jersey 21 Leinster ‘A’ 22
Plymouth Albion 16 Carmarthen Quins 18

5.2.1 At the end of the pool stages, the highest ranking club in each pool shall be the pool winners and the pool winners together with three best-runners up across the five pools will all proceed to the quarter-finals.  The rankings shall be determined in accordance with the following criteria and in the following order:
a) Competition points; or
b) where the competition points are equal between two or more clubs, the club(s) that has achieved the greater number of wins; or
c) where these are equal, the aggregate points difference from all matches in the pool stages for each of the clubs that have an equal number of competition wins and competition points; 
d) or where these are equal, the club that has scored the greatest number of points in the pool stages; or where these are equal, the club that has the better result(s) from the match(es) between the clubs; or
e) where these are equal, the greater number of tries scored in the match(es) between the clubs shall determine the rankings; or
f) where the tries scored are equal, the aggregate points difference in the matches between the clubs in the pool stages shall determine the rankings; or
g) where the aggregate points difference is equal the fewest number of players shown a red card in the pool stages shall determine the rankings; or
h) where the number of red cards are equal, the fewest number of player shown a yellow card shall determine the rankings; or
i) where the number of red cards are equal, by the toss of a coin.

5.2.2 The five pool winners shall be ranked 1-5 in each case based on their playing record in the pool stages using 5.2.1 and shall proceed to the quarter-finals. The three best runners-up shall be ranked 6-8 in each case based on their playing record in the pool stages using 5.2.1 and shall proceed to the quarter-finals.