BY ANDI STARR
A stirring finale from Nottingham saw them earn a
precious losing bonus point against Leeds, so nearly wiping out a
24-point deficit in the process.
It finished 20-27, but with fifteen minutes remaining they
Finally the Nottingham backs got some reward for their
persistence though, and they ran in three tries to come back to
within a single score.
Ryan Hough, Henry Purdy and Javiah Pohe all crossed, while it
was Matt Jarvis who clinched the bonus point with a tricky
When the final whistle went it was difficult to resist the
feeling that had it gone on for another minute or two the Green and
Whites may even have forced a draw, such was their dominance of
those closing fifteen minutes or so.
And the whole Nottingham squad should draw confidence from the
performance during that phase.
Leeds opened the scoring in the first minute with a penalty from
outside half Glyn Hughes, Jarvis levelling five minutes later.
Nottingham had a let off though when Hughes missed form a
similar position, but it was Hughes who evaded a couple of tackles
to set up the opening try of the game as he sent in winger David
Doherty and added the conversion to make it 3-10 midway through the
Although the Nottingham set piece was not as dominant as it has
been recently they were enjoying plenty of possession and keeping
the game in the Leeds half.
One of their better attacks almost saw Pohe break clear, while
Alex Shaw also went close.
They forced a couple of kickable penalties and opted for touch
but still could not find a way through the Leeds defence.
After a long spell in which they should have scored they fell
further behind when another missed tackle allowed scrum half Craig
Hampson to make ground before sending in winger Oli Goss, Hughes
again converting to make it 3-17.
And when Nottingham were penalised for a high tackle in first
half injury time Hughes clipped the ball over to make it 3-20 at
The Green and Whites had an early second half opportunity when
they forced a penalty but didn't get enough distance on the kick to
touch, and then lost their own lineout ball.
Both sides then had good chances in quick succession.
First it was Leeds who threatened down the right and as the ball
came back in-field full back Alex Lozowski thought he had scored
only for the referee to take play back for a forward pass.
Minutes later it was Lozowski who put in an outstanding tackle
to deny Ryan Hough.
But it was the visitors who finally made the breakthrough as
they forced their way up to the line where replacement Rob
Vickerman crashed over fifteen minutes from the end of normal time,
Hughes converting to make it 3-27.
From that point on though it was all Nottingham. Unconverted
tries in quick succession from Hough and Purdy made it 13-27, and
with five minutes remaining on the clock a bonus point was
They threw everything into attack and got their reward with a
try from Pohe four minutes into injury time, Jarvis showing no sign
of nerves as he slotted over the conversion to secure the bonus