Nottingham coming off the back of another strong home performance, go on the road in search of a first away win of the season. Facing bottom of the table London Scottish looked to be a game to target for their first away 5 points.
Nottingham started the game strong with two quick successive penalties, but struggled to keep the ball in hand in order to create chances. This was put into balance by Scottish who of recent, have really been playing expansive rugby, struggled to keep ball in hand, forcing errors and handing back over possession. It is clear from the off that both teams were looking to score some impressive tries.
It took 16 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Scottish leaking successive penalties gave the Green and Whites access to their 22 where the big men operating the maul managed to find the line and Vanes dived over for his first of the match.
Nottingham was quick to try and double up on their efforts but a strong defensive set from Scottish forced the handling error and they were able to regain possession on halfway with a strong platform to play off. Scottish began to threaten through multiple fast phase possession but playing at such a pace increases chance of error and Nottingham held firm and forced an error, relieving pressure.
Nottingham looked to exit form this passage however, not finding grass and touch, Scottish forced their way back in, earning a penalty and opting to take 3 points. However, following the points Nottingham kicked long and with a poor exit from Scottish number 10, some excellent ball carrying form the skipper and quick mindedness from Stronge, Williams was freed for a clean run in to the try line for his first of the match.
Scottish looked to keep applying pressure to Nottingham as the first half came to a close, through some intricate pick and go’s and off load play they managed to force a penalty, kick to the corner and drive over for their first score of the game.
Straight from the kick off Nottingham were back on the attack, Williams catching their own kick off made it to the Scottish 5m before being dragged down, from here the Green and Whites built phases, forcing a penalty and finally after a couple of phases Toby Williams dotted down for a try near the left touch line ending the half with a Nottingham lead.
The second half began with a flourish of contact with both teams fiercely battling to get the upper hand in the half with both making errors and struggling to find fluency. It was Scottish who made the first blow with a lovely offloading line break, Scottish’ number 10 put boot to ball finding the winger for him to dot down in the corner.
Nottingham looked to bounce back and went through a series of phases in the Scottish half, but the defence held strong. Scottish managing to stop all threats both wide and through the middle, earning themselves a penalty which they reached half way, looking to start their own attack plan.
Nottingham held firm after an onslaught of phases and once again, Nottingham’s Mr Reliable Charlie Thacker was there to win a penalty at the breakdown. Thacker being a figure head in Nottingham’s defence all season. The penalty resulting in 7 points to the Greena and Whites with the big operators coming in handy again, providing the platform for Vanes to dive in for his second form the maul.
As the half went on Nottingham sent out the impacts and Hollingsworth soon put his stamp on the match, commanding his way round the park and eventually setting Williams free again in the corner for his second of the match. Nottingham’s changes really proving to add value later on in the season as fatigue sets in.
Scottish came back fighting hard as the game began to get away from them, in a last-ditch effort to keep the score line close. It wasn’t soon after the pressure became too much, and Scottish’ pack who had been dominant at scrum time went to work, picking and going, eventually shoving over for a try near the posts.
In spite of Scottish’ effort, it was to be Nottingham to have the last laugh hoorah when after multiple phases, Hollingsworth put boot to ball and landing an inch perfect cross-field for Graham to dot down in the corner. Finishing the game with 5 points to Nottingham and a first win on the road this season.