A fast flurry of tries in the opening twenty minutes set the stage for a cagey final hour as Nottingham were unable to find the final try, losing to Doncaster Knights by six points.

A quick exchange of a number of tries was started in the first five minutes when Doncaster worked the ball up to the 22, and second rower Harry Wilson craftily picked up the ball from a ruck and squeezed through a gap in the Nottingham line to finish.

Nottingham’s first try came just minutes later. Jack Stapley spun away from a Doncaster tackle to open up a huge berth of space, and a quick offload to Harry Graham later and the green and whites were back to level pegging. 

Shortly after, the visitors then kicked a penalty to the corner and at first tried to use their forwards to drive their way over the line but Nottingham defended them superbly. Trying a different tactic they spread the ball out wide and Jack Metcalf eventually found a gap big enough to dive over the line.

However, Nottingham once again responded. David Williams first breaking through the gap in the Donny defence and getting tackled just inches from the try line. Nottingham quickly rallied though and it didn’t take long for Kayde Sylvester to find another gap and dive through it for a debut try. The conversion from Matt Arden also meant that the Archers took the lead thanks to Billy McBridge hooking his second conversion earlier on.

Doncaster got another one at the twenty minute mark though, finding they had a man advantage on the left hand side and taking full advantage getting over the line to take the lead again, though McBryde once again missed the conversion.

That would be the last of the tries though, and the rest of the second half passed with neither team really able to create another big opportunity to score, apart from right before half time when Doncaster were awarded a penalty on the Nottingham 22 which they kicked through the posts to send them into the break six points ahead.

It quickly became clear that the second half would be just as cagey as the latter parts of the first half, and the first twenty minutes after the break passed without much incident, apart from Connor Edwards unfortunately having to leave the field with a concussion.

However, still trailing by six points, Nottingham kept trying to create something to get them back in the lead, and they thought they were in with a try at the 60 minute mark when the ball was chipped over the Doncaster defence for Williams to chase. He took it well and offloaded it to Michael Stronge who looked like he could take it all the way, but was brought back by the referee ruling that Williams had been in front of the kicker.

Still trying for that all important final try, Nottingham kicked a penalty to the corner with ten minutes to go. They tried to utilise the driving maul to drive it over the line but the Doncaster defence stood strong, eventually winning a penalty which allowed them to clear their lines.

The visitors’ defence remained strong in the closing minutes and they were able to escape with the narrow victory. Nottingham can take some positives in the fact they came away with the losing bonus point which sees them leapfrog Hartpury in the table ahead of their game on Saturday.