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Second Half Display seals Victory in Nottingham

Second Half Display seals Victory in Nottingham

Ross Neal on the charge. Credit: Rod Wetton Photography

After a rollercoaster of a game last week against the Bedford Blues which ended in a spectacular 52-52 draw, London Scottish made the trip up to Nottingham looking for a win that would see them leap ahead of Jersey in 9th place.

Nottingham have made their home ground a fortress in the past few months, and were keen to make it five straight home league games unbeaten.

MPU

On a mighty, mighty cold, but dry evening at The Lady Bay in Nottingham, the game took a few minutes to warm up. All the possession was with Scottish, but they were unable to capitalise; in the first 15 minutes, two penalty attempts from Sharp drifted wide, so they had nothing to show for their commanding display.

On the 15-minute mark, the first opportunity for Nottingham to get on the board fell to Tiff Eden. Scottish were penalised for being offside, so from the 22, Eden slotted the ball easily between the uprights to give Nottingham the lead, 0-3.

Scottish continued to press & attack, continually enjoying more possession and territory. Huge carries in the centre of the pitch from James Tyas, Namibian international Tjiuee Uanivi & Joe Atkinson kept Nottingham on the back-foot, and Scottish moving forward.

Scottish gave away a number of penalties throughout this game, and Nottingham duly punished them. 29 minutes played, and Scottish were penalised for offside again. Tiff Eden applied the pressure, and kicked for touch. From the ensuing 5m line out, Nottingham tried the catch & drive but it went nowhere. The tackles flew in to stop the pick & go, but West spun out of his tacklers arms and dived for the line. Easily converted by Eden, Nottingham took a 0-10 lead.

Nottingham finally began to put together some phases in the final five minutes of the first half. Big tackles from Mills and Uanivi ensured that Nottingham made no meaningful gains, so the half ended, LSFC 0-10 Nottingham.

The night was growing colder as the second half kicked off, Scottish continued to have more possession and territory but were struggling to make in-roads to the Nottingham defence. Williams, making his 50th appearance for London Scottish, and Ingall both tried their luck down the wings, but were dragged into touch. Atkinson repeatedly  powered over the gainline, and more than once sent Eden sprawling backwards, but could not get past the 22m line.

Again, it was penalties that let Scottish down. Two consecutive penalties gave Nottingham a chance from a 5m line out. The catch & drive went nowhere, so it went through the hands to Qualter, who dived over the line for his first ever try in Nottingham colours. Another simple conversion for Eden, and Nottingham now had a comfortable 0-17 lead with 30 minutes left to play.

Nottingham began to put more meaningful phases together, and probed the Scottish defence for holes. Smart defensive work from Ingall & Parton kept Nottingham at bay. On the one-hour mark, these two got their chance to attack; from the Scottish 22, Ingall stepped two Nottingham players and sprinted 60m, only being brought down just outside the Nottingham 22. The ball popped up and was pinged wide to Parton, who breezed past the defence to score between the posts. The crowd sat in stunned silence at the fantastic individual skill from Ingall. Sharp converted, to make it 7-17 with 19 minutes left to play.

Nottingham came on the attack, and put the Scottish defence under huge pressure, on the 66th minute, Nottingham went phase after phase just 1m out from the Scots try line… the ball popped up on the Scots side, into the hands of Sharp who had to shrug off 4 attackers to get out from behind his own try line, he then ran 20m and put his foot through the ball to clear. It was a huge defensive effort from Scottish and a fantastic piece of individual skill.

This lifted Scottish and they attacked themselves; up to the 22m line, the Scots went phase after phase too. Eventually, 10m out, Uanivi stepped clear of the ruck and made for the try line, he offloaded smartly to Atkinson, who smashed straight over the final defender to score. Sharp added the conversion to make it 14-17 with 9 minutes to play.

With less than 5 minutes to go, Scottish got hold of the ball deep in their own half, and went through the phases, creeping up the pitch towards the Nottingham try line.  Carries from Coombes and Marley got Scottish up to the 22. It was the 80th minute, and Nottingham were penalised for not rolling away. Sharp put the ball into touch for a 10m line out. From the line out, the catch & drive rumbled at speed towards the line, until it was brought down illegally. The ref awarded a penalty try & called full time. London Scottish 21-17 Nottingham.

 

London Scottish Appiah; Miller; Waldren; Mills (c); Uanivi; Baillie; Atkinson; Tyas; A. Walker; Sharp; Ingall; Lyle; Neal; Williams; Parton // Replacements: Austin; Christie; McQuillin; Milne; Marley; Hoadley; Coombes

Tries Parton; Atkinson; Penalty Try

Conversion Sharp (x2)

Penalty

 

Nottingham Scanlon; Robinson; Thacker; Lyons; Cobden; Eden; McConnell; West; Stevens; Burke; Moon; Qualter; Morris; Everard (c); Poullet // Replacements: Brownlie; Penman; Hooper; Cardall; Coghlan; Veenendaal; Millett

Tries West; Qualter

Conversion Eden (x2)

Penalty Eden

Referee Karl Dickson

Attendance 1225

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