IT was back to the bread and butter of the Championship
for Nottingham, and they maintained their push for the play-offs
with a 30-22 win over Plymouth Albion at Meadow Lane.
Ryan Hough crossing over for first of his treble against Plymouth.
Pic: Steve Galloway.
For three quarters of this game there was only one side in it as
the Green and Whites enjoyed one of their more dominant
But for all their possession they couldn't quite put the game
beyond the visitors, and the final quarter saw Albion come more
into it and force a couple of tries in injury time.
James Arlidge's early penalty effort drifted across the face of
the posts, but it was only a matter of minutes before Nottingham
opened the scoring.
David Jackson beat a couple of challenges down the right to find
Joe Cobden who then sent Ryan Hough clear for a try in the
It was a similar move that brought a try for Alex Lewington
after some impressive skill from Cobden.
A rare counter attack form the visitors took them deep into the
home 22 but they were penalised for not releasing.
On the half hour Nottingham extended their lead following a
penalty reversal on halfway. Driving from the resulting lineout,
the pack drew in the defence before a fine pass from Joe Munro sent
Hough in for his second. Arlidge was on target this time to make it
17-nil with the conversion.
And it took a last ditch tackle to deny Hough his hat trick as
the Green and Whites continued to dominate.
It was against the run of play that Albion finally got their
first points on the board when Paul Roberts landed a penalty on the
forty minute mark.
Nottingham were straight back on the attack, but an interception
midway inside the Albion 22 allowed winger Tom Bowen a clear run
almost the length of the field to get their first try, Roberts'
conversion the last kick of the half.
That meant that despite near-total domination Nottingham went in
at the break with just a seven-point lead.
Their response in the early stages of the second half was
clinical and professional as they quickly clawed back the points
given away, with Arlidge slotting over a penalty before Hough
completed his hat trick, again put clear by Jackson. Arlidge added
the conversion followed by a penalty minutes later to make it
Surprisingly though, that proved to be their last score and it
was Albion who finished the game the stronger.
Their best attack of the game saw them camp on the Nottingham
line, and although Alex Shaw was yellow-carded some heroic defence
kept that line intact.
The visitors finally forced a try in the fifth minute of injury
time as No 8 Aaron Carpenter touched down.
Everyone expected the final whistle but play continued for
another four minutes when, somehow, full back Rhodri McAtee managed
to weave through some half-hearted tackles for a third try,
replacement kicker Declan Cusack knocking over the conversion with
the last kick of the game.
Nottingham Rugby: Jackson, Lewington, Cobden
(sub: Forsyth 58mins), Munro, Hough, Arldige (sub: Lynn 78
mins), Romans (sub: Barnham 78 mins), Parr (sub: Harris
54nins), Duffey (sub: Malton 71 mins), Bower, Quinn (sub:
Wells 58 mins), Rouse (sub: Calladine 75 mins), Cooper,
Nottingham Rugby 30 (R Hough 3 A Lewington Tries;
J Arlidge 2 Conv; J Arlidge 2 Pen) Plymouth Albion
22 (T Bowden A Carpenter R McAtee Try; P Roberts 2 Conv; P
Referee: S Harding Attendance: 1,370