Even if they was to finish top, promotion would not be possible as they would not have the funds required for Aviva Premiership rugby.
Despite this, the club would still have hoped to have done better, but a win against London Scottish on Saturday could move them up to 8th in the table, ahead of their visitors, and it would mean a return to winning ways after a defeat in their last fixture to Doncaster Knights last time out.
The RFU Championship has been largely dominated by Bristol who sit 15 points clear at the top of the table. Whilst Rotheram Titans have performed the worst, sitting bottom, having won just once out of their 16 games, losing the rest.
Hartpury’s biggest win in the league came in an impressive win at home to Nottingham Rugby last month (39-20). And they have picked up 11 bonus points in the league, more than any of the the bottom four teams.
It has been an inconsistent story so far for Hartpury though, both in the RFU and the cup. In the British and Irish cup, they finished bottom. Mark Cornwall’s side won just one game in the group stage, a 41-24 win over Scarlet Select. The side’s heaviest loss came to 3rd -placed Bedford, crashing on their own turf 7-31 and they have conceded 578 points in both competition this season. Mark Cornwell admitted consistency issues throughout the season, ahead of the game at home to London on the 10th March.
He told the club’s official website:
“They are in a very similar situation to us. We are close to each other in the league and, like us, they have had the same issues of being inconsistent and losing out in a few tight games.”
“They can drop in big performances – their high-scoring draw with Bedford comes to mind – and they have definitely got a threat with ball in hand.”
“They will be keen to get one back on us after we snatched a win with a last minute, 90-metre try at their place.”
With six games left of season, they will be keen to pick up as many wins and points as possible, to finish as high in the table as possible. And with relegation all but secure, a strong finish to the campaign could give them momentum at the start of next season.