Nottingham put in an incredible performance to convincingly beat their local rivals, Doncaster Knights in front of their home crowd on a wet and windy Friday night under the lights.
It was Doncaster who came out of the gates looking like the better side. They immediately put Notts under severe pressure and after a number of phases on the try line, Ben Murphy found a way through to score the first try of the evening.
Despite going down early, Nottingham kept their heads up and pushed deep into Doncaster territory, winning a penalty for Sam Hollingsworth to kick for three.
The visitors kicked a penalty of their own minutes later, but after that was when Nottingham began their period of dominance. They kicked a penalty to the corner, and then turned the lineout into points by putting Jordan Olowofela away in opposite corner for their first try of the night.
Only a short moment later, the boys in green and white were back at it again, winning a lineout just five metres out. The resulting attack seemed to be over for a second when Sam Hollingsworth’s pass slipped out his hands, but Olowofela kept it alive by getting a foot to it and kicking it through to Harry Graham who leaped on top of the ball to score the go ahead try.
With ten minutes until the interval, Doncaster were attacking on the line again but mishandled the ball. Liam Slatem scooped it up and then found Graham out on the wing who had space to run until he eventually got tackled at the halfway line.
However, the visitors hadn’t quite thwarted the attack. A couple of minutes later Graham had the ball again and cutely kicked it over the Donny defence. Olowofela outpaced the defence to get on the end of it and was able to stroll over the line for his second try of the evening.
With half time approaching, Nottingham had built a commanding 12-point lead, but they weren’t done yet. In the final minute of the first half, they came knocking at the Knights’ try line again. David Williams chased down a high ball and offloaded it to Nathan Tweedy who was able to gain a few more metres. They then spread it out wide for Graham who dove over the line for the bonus point try.
The interval seemed to have changed nothing, as the second half started with a strong attack from Notts. However, the defence was able to keep them out and clear their lines. Only a couple of minutes later, Doncaster spread it out wide for George Simpson, who found space and scored their second of the game.
After Hollinsworth missed a chance to put the Archers 15 points up with a penalty, Nottingham had another chance to add to their lead when George Cox broke through the defence. The visitors were able to get back and regroup but gave away a penalty on their try line and were shown a yellow card.
Nottingham were unable to make their man advantage count through, as Doncaster were able to keep them out and the next 15 minutes passed with both team exchanging blows in the centre of the field.
The Green and Whites were eventually able to hammer the final nail in the coffin when Morgan Bunting slotted a penalty from the 22 with five minutes to go.
Now with three wins from four in the league, Nottingham will hope to continue their good run of form as they travel Hartpury next weekend.