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Four look head and shoulders above the rest
Worcester on top in Championship
Posted Dec 29, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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The Rugby Championship is shaping up nicely as the top teams try to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack as they aim for the big time.
Worcester are leading the way and look the team to beat in the division, which will see a two-legged play-off at the end of the campaign decide who is promoted to the Aviva Premiership.
The top eight teams in the league will enter the play-offs but in all honesty, expect the promoted team to come from one of Worcester, Bedford, Cornish Pirates or London Welsh.
These four teams are head and shoulders above the rest and will certainly be in the play-offs at the end of the campaign.
Worcester must be credited for their performances to date. Blessed with attacking prowess and defensive assuredness, they have won a staggering 14 of their 15 matches to date scoring a whopping 514 points and only shipping 253, giving them 67 points in total. They seem to have a policy of ’we’ll score more than you’ and it is working.
Then comes Bedford, a team competing in a strong catchment area for rugby union. The Blues have lost just twice this season and they have the meanest defence in the division, conceding just 230 points in their 15 matches. They face third bottom Moseley over the festive period and their winning form will no doubt continue here.
With 13 wins under their belts and a home match with struggling Bristol over Christmas, more points will almost certainly be coming their way.
Cornish Pirates have lost just once in their last eight outings, and with a trip to local rivals Plymouth Albion awaiting them on Boxing Day, expect that run to be one defeat in nine.
The Pirates are another side who score freely in this division whilst Albion have a habit of shipping points and that can only spell danger for the Plymouth outfit. Expect the Pirates to be in with a shout of promotion at the end of the season and expect them to be a side feared by their rivals.
And finally, London Welsh, the only other club with a realistic chance of promotion in my eyes. They have a game in hand on the teams above them and with 10 wins in 14 outings, it’s easy to see why they would want to be avoided.
They host second bottom Esher on Tuesday afternoon and you can almost guarantee they will be walking away with the points here.
The Championship is shaping up nicely and with the prize of a place amongst the elite in England on offer, the entertainment is surely only going to get better as the season progresses.