By ANDI STARR
A CLINICAL, hugely impressive performance from
Nottingham lifted them into second spot in the Championship table,
and inflicted one of Bristol's heaviest ever league
They ran in nine tries in total, all converted by James
The 63-7 final score tells its own story, although the start of
each half suggested otherwise as the visitors took the game to
But in each half, once Nottingham scored Bristol's challenge
Having secured the bonus point before the break, the second half
saw the Green and whites put together a purple patch in which they
seemed able to score at will, five tries coming in the space of
less than fifteen minutes.
Yet it was the visitors who looked the better side in the early
stages, enjoying plenty of possession. But some fine defence from
Nottingham kept them out.
And so it was against the run of play that the Green and Whites
took the lead in the 15th minute, the pack driving
form a close range lineout with skipper Brent Wilson getting the
touch down and Arlidge converting.
They almost added a second within minutes as Arlidge intercepted
on halfway and kicked deep into Bristol territory. Andy Savage and
Dan Montagu made ground through the middle only to be penalised for
But the second try soon followed as Nic Rouse stole a Bristol
lineout to set up another attack, which brought them a penalty.
Arlidge kicked for touch and again the pack drove over, this time
Alex Shaw getting the try and Arlidge converting to make it 14-nil
on 24 minutes.
From the restart Arlidge did well to gather a high kick and as
he raced away Joe Duffey was up in support. The powerful hooker
showed footwork any winger would be proud of as he sidestepped a
defender to score in the corner. Arlidge made it 21-nil with the
Astonishingly it was almost half an hour before the game's first
scrum, but although Nottingham were given put-in they conceded a
The pack was in dominant form though and another impressive
drive brought the bonus point try, and a second for Wilson.
Arlidge's conversion saw them go in at the break leading
Again Bristol looked the better side in the opening minutes of
the second half, and really should have scored when they created an
overlap down the right. They kept the pressure on though and it
took more good defence from Nottingham to keep them out before Rhys
Crane intercepted inside his 22 and raced the length of the pitch
for a try which opened the floodgates, with the Green and Whites
running in another four over the next ten minutes.
Joe Cobden and Savage crossed, either side of a second from
Crane, before replacement Tom Calladine got the ninth.
A rare counter attack form a shell-shocked Bristol saw
replacement Ruki Tipuna cross, with fellow replacement Adrain
But it was Nottingham's day, and although an impressive
fireworks display completed the afternoon's entertainment, many
supporters will have felt the real fireworks came from the men in
Green and White.
Nottingham Rugby 63 (Wilson 2, Crane 2, Shaw, Duffey, Cobden,
Savage, Calladine tries; Arlidge 9 conv) Bristol 7 (Tipona try;
Nottingham Rugby: 15 Andrew Savage (21 Rory Lynn, 68mins) 14
David Jackson 13 Joe Cobden 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane (22 Jack
Bradford, 63mins) 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans (20 Finlay
Barnham, 66 mins) 1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey (16 Scott Wright,
66mins) 3 Michael Holford (17 Matt Shields, 59mins) 4 Dan Montagu
(18 Joe Quinn, 70mins) 5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper (19 Tom
Calladine, 46min) 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw
Referee: Llyer ApGeraintRoberts