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Plucky Nottingham Unlucky at the Death

Nottingham had what would have been a vital, and deserved win snatched away from them in controversial circumstances at the end of an absorbing afternoon's rugby.

Nottm Vs Bristol 2

Against one of the best sides in the Championship Nottingham again defended heroically, and led for most of the game, only to be denied in the dying minutes as an injury time penalty at the scrum gave Bristol a 25-24 victory.

The Green and Whites rode their luck a little in the opening quarter as Bristol spurned three good try-scoring opportunities, but fought bravely to build up a first half lead.

Despite falling behind in the last ten minutes the Green N Whites again fought their way back into the lead with a penalty try deep into injury time, only to concede an even later penalty for replacement Nicky Robinson to win the game for Bristol

That score was particularly galling as, in the build up to it, Nottingham second row Dan Montagu was clearly tackled in the air as he gathered the ball from the kick-off.

An early turnover gave Nottingham the chance to set up the first attack, and they put together some promising play before knocking on.

The visitors responded with a flowing attack and should have scored, but when the ball went loose Nottingham stole and cleared.

They then worked their way upfield to win a penalty, which Matt Jarvis kicked to touch. Although Bristol held up the drive they missed a tackle when the Green and Whites moved the ball out with winger Ryan Hough taking advantage to get the game's first try. Matt Jarvis converted for a 7-nil lead on 11 minutes.

Bristol broke out of their 22 with another threatening attack down the right and again could have scored when they created a two man overlap, but made a mess of it and handed possession back to Nottingham.

Their next attack, this time down the left, also saw them create an overlap but somehow Nottingham kept them out.

Having weathered the storm the Green and Whites began to work a few good positions and eventually won a penalty, which Matt Jarvis again put to touch to give them a lineout on the Bristol 22.

Nottingham drove forward and again released the ball with Joe Munro crashing through for the second try just after the half hour mark. Matt Jarvis again converted to make it 14-nil.

Bristol hit back strongly to win a penalty. They, too, kicked for touch and although it looked as though Nottingham had forced the drive out of play the referee awarded the try, with Ross Rennie getting the congratulations from his teammates.

That made it 14-5 at the end of an entertaining first period.

The visitors shoved Nottingham off their own scrum in the opening minutes of the second half to win a penalty and again went for touch.

Again they drove and when Nottingham pulled down the maul, still some 8 metres from the line, the referee had no hesitation in running between the posts to award the penalty try, which Adrian Jarvis converted to bring his side to within two points.

Five minutes later, and following more pressure from Bristol, Alex Shaw was sin-binned, Adrian Jarvis slotting over the resulting penalty to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.

It was a short-lived lead though as Matt Jarvis cancelled out that score within five minutes.

A second try from Rennie, converted by Robinson, with less than ten minutes to go looked to have put the game beyond Nottingham.

But after a lengthy stoppage, which eventually saw hooker Alun Walker stretchered off, it was Nottingham's turn to force a penalty try, Matt Jarvis making it 24-22 with the simple conversion.

But that last gasp penalty from Robinson gave Bristol the win.


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