Nottingham Rugby refound their winning form when they beat Hartpury RFC 26-7 at The Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Coming into the match off the back of a tough defeat to Cornish Pirates last weekend, Neil Fowkes’ team put in an assertive and dominant performance and well deserving of their win.
The opening minutes belonged to the home side, who repeatedly caused problems for the Hartpury defence and Nottingham’s efforts were rewarded when Shane O’Leary slotted away a penalty in the first five minutes.
Despite having the upper hand, Nottingham failed to capitalise on their strong chances in the first 20 minutes, as poor handling cancelled out several try-scoring opportunities.
However, Nottingham’s persistence paid off when Jack Spittle, who had received treatment for a hand injury minutes before, scored a try after 28 minutes. O’Leary converted to give Nottingham a 10-point lead.
Nottingham continued to set the pace and Sean Scanlon scored his third try of the season minutes later. O’Leary’s missed the conversion.
But Shane O’Leary was on the scoresheet again when he successfully kicked a penalty moments before half-time, giving the Green and Whites a lead of 18-0 as the first half came to an end.
Nottingham started the second half well. Shane O’Leary kicked another successful penalty as the hosts looked to pick up where they left off.
But it was the away side who had a strong spell. Hartpury repeatedly attacked to no avail, as Nottingham’s resolute defence held off phase after phase.
However, ill-discipline saw Rory Burke yellow carded and, with the Green and Whites at 14-men, Hartpury scored a try off the back of a scrum. The conversion was good.
Nottingham then looked to take back control over the match and continued to apply pressure to the Hartpury defence and it was the hosts who scored the final points of the day when flanker Jordan Coghlan scored a try. Conversion missed.
Nottingham next face eighth-place Richmond in the Greene King IPA Championship.
Attendance – 930