British & Irish Cup Round Two preview

Bedford Blues
Bedford Blues

Bristol will looking to back up their opening day 23-14 Pool One win over Cardiff at The Arms Park, when they take on Ulster Ravens at the Memorial Ground on Sunday.

Twenty-four hours earlier Cardiff make the short trip to Bridgend in one of four local derbies to take place in Wales this weekend. Bridgend were well beaten by Ulster Ravens in round one.

Both Pool Two matches take place on Saturday afternoon with Neath and Bedwas, losers in round one, facing each other, while Bedford welcome Stirling to Goldington Road.

Try doubles from Neil Cochrane, Mark Kohler and James Stephenson helped ease Bedford to a 48-23 win at Bedwas.

Carmarthen versus Swansea, separated by a mere 25 miles, should spare a thought for Cornish Pirates who have a considerably longer journey in Pool Three.

The inaugural British & Irish Cup winners travel to Dundee following a 44-32 win over Carmarthen. Dundee lost 43-17 to Swansea.

Connacht Eagles have the unenviable task of trying to stop Championship pacesetters and B&I Cup Pool Four leaders Newcastle.

The Falcons put 50 points on Cross Keys in round one, while Connacht were edged out 18-14 at Newport, who head to near-neighbours Cross Keys.

In Pool Five, Leeds Carnegie – beaten 47-18 by Leinster A in round one - take the first of three home games on the road on Sunday when they entertain Jersey at York RUFC.

The initiative – aimed at growing Leeds’ support base throughout the White Rose county – also coincides with the famous Headingley pitch being replaced for the first time in nearly half a century.

Leeds played Jersey in the league at the beginning of the season and recorded a bonus-point win over the newly-promoted outfit, with tries from Josh Griffin, Jamel Chisholm and two from Jacob Rowan.

Jersey are yet to record a win this season but they came close at St Peter on Saturday when they had to settle for a 20-20 draw against Pontypridd at home.

The Islanders had led until the final five minutes but conceded a late try and held on for a share of the spoils. Pontypridd play Leinster.

Moseley turned in a superb second half display to send Llanelli packing at Billesley Common.

The Birmingham side can make it two wins from two in Pool Six with victory at London Scottish on Saturday.

On the same day, Llanelli play Gala, the conquerors of the Exiles in round one.

Rotherham returned home from Port Talbot with an opening round win in Pool Seven over Aberavon, mainly thanks to the boot of James McKinney who was successful with seven of his eight kicks at goal.

The Titans get the chance for swift revenge for their league defeat away to Plymouth a few weeks ago when Albion visit Clifton Lane on Saturday. Munster A host Aberavon.

Finally, in Pool Eight, Nottingham and Doncaster go head-to-head at Meadow Lane on Friday evening.

Nottingham slipped to a 28-21 defeat away to Welsh Premiership high-flyers Llandovery, while Doncaster’s long wait for a win continues after an agonising one-point loss at home to Melrose. Melrose take on Llandovery at the Greenyards.

Round Two fixtures

Friday, October 19

Pool Three: Camarthen v Swansea, kick-off 7.15pm.

Pool Four: Connacht Eagles v Newcastle Falcons, kick-off 7.45pm.

Pool Eight: Nottingham Rugby v Doncaster Knights, kick-off 7.45pm.

Saturday, October 20

Pool One: Bridgend v Cardiff, kick-off 2.30pm.

Pool Two: Neath v Bedwas, kick-off 2.30pm; Bedford Blues v Stirling, kick-off 3pm

Pool Three: Dundee v Cornish Pirates, kick-off 3pm.

Pool Four: Cross Keys v Newport, kick-off 2.30pm.

Pool Five: Pontypridd v Leinster A, kick-off 2pm.

Pool Six: London Scottish v Moseley, kick-off 3pm; Llanelli v Gala, kick-off 4pm.

Pool Seven: Munster A v Aberavon, kick-off 1pm; Rotherham Titans v Plymouth Albion, kick-off 3pm.

Pool Eight: Melrose v Llandovery, kick-off 2pm.

Sunday, October 21

Pool One: Bristol Rugby v Ulster Ravens, kick-off 3pm.

Pool Five: Leeds Carnegie v Jersey, kick-off 3pm.