Nottingham were unable to hold onto a ten point lead in their first home game of the new Championship season.
The Cornish Pirates were the ones to get on the scoreboard first. Just a couple of minutes into the game, Arwel Robson tried a drop goal from distance to put the visitors three up.
Not long after, though, Nottingham responded with the first try of the game. The move was started by new signing Jordan Olowofela offloading to Harry Graham, who used his pace to make a lot of ground up the left wing. After knocking on the door of the Pirates try line for a while, Josh Poullet was able to bundle over the line to put Notts in front.
Pirates tried to react and nearly got over for a try of their own but the Archers defence remained strong and soon after, Sam Hollingsworth broke away from the defensive line and had the gas to run almost the entire length of the pitch to score.
Despite now being nine points to the good, it wasn’t all good news for the home side. They unfortunately lost their captain and try scorer early on. Poullet sustained an injury in a big defensive stand and had to be replaced by Championship debutant, Ross Bundy just 20 minutes into the game.
The visitors kept coming and brought the gap to just three with a pair of nicely kicked penalties from Arwel Robson before half time. However, the Archers were just as active in attack. A cross field kick was chased down by Harry Graham who was able to get on the end of it. he was about to score when the referee blew his whistle and ruled that he had been in front of the kicker.
Craig Hammond’s side came out of the break and picked up where they left off. Three minutes into the second half, Liam Slatem took an offload from Charlie Thacker and sauntered over the line for the try, giving Nottingham their biggest lead of the afternoon.
However, this is when the comeback began. Pirates won a penalty deep in Nottingham territory which they kicked to the corner. They tried to bundle it over the line and the referee awarded them the penalty try, showing Charlie Thacker the yellow card in the process.
Only a couple of minutes later, the team from Penzance took advantage of their extra man, scoring another try. Harvey Beaton got over the line after multiple phases to put the visitors in front for the first time since the ninth minute.
The Green and Whites weren’t down and out though. Liam Slatem excellently outpaced the Pirates defence to chase down the ball deep in Cornish’s half. The visitors were able the thwart the resulting attack though
With just five minutes to go and four points in it, Pirates attempted to clear the ball with a box kick, but Ross Bundy was able to get in the way to block it. Despite recovering the ball, Pirates conceded a penalty which Nottingham kicked to the corner. After another few phases, the Green and Whites won another penalty which also went to the corner. They tried the driving maul over the line, but the Cornish defence stayed strong and they were able to escape the game with the victory.
Next weekend, Nottingham will try to put this tough defeat behind them next week as they travel to face Championship new boys, Caldy.