Brave Nottingham Pipped at the Post
Nottingham Rugby suffered a third consecutive defeat in the
Greene King IPA Championship as they went down 22-19 at home to
The Green and Whites were much improved from the previous week
and the defeat to London Scottish, however playing 30 minutes of
the match a man down told in the end.
Yellow cards at scrum time for Michael Holford, Campese Ma'afu
and Ryan Bower took their toll and Jersey made the advantage tell
as they came from behind to construct a lead they wouldn't
Credit to Nottingham for managing the periods with fewer players
well and staying well within reach of claiming victory despite
being at a numerical disadvantage.
Nottingham could have snatched a draw when a late penalty was
awarded wide on the right in the Jersey 22 as the match moved into
stoppage time. However the brave decision to go for the try
and the win ultimately proved unsuccessful.
Martin Haag can be very proud of the application and commitment
shown by his players and the character displayed in refusing to
A losing bonus point was scant reward for their efforts, but
they now have time to re-group ahead of the British and Irish Cup
Full Match Report by Andi Starr
A difficult second half spell saw Nottingham slip to a third
straight defeat, and a second consecutive defeat on home soil.
Having had the better of the first half, and worked hard to
build a slender lead, they fell behind as Jersey grew in confidence
in the second period to force a narrow 22-19 win.
And having dealt with losing prop Michael Holford to the sin bin
early in that second half, two more front row sin-binnings in quick
succession, for Campese Ma'afu and replacement prop Ryan Bower,
left the Green and Whites struggling to cope with Jersey's
Even then they forced a couple of penalties in injury time that
could have seen them force a draw, but elected to try and win the
game by kicking to touch only to lose control of the ball.
A minute's silence was observed before the game in memory of
Andy Grogan and Ian McMurdo, two club stalwarts who have put a lot
into Nottingham Rugby over the years.
A fine start saw the Green and Whites almost break through down
the left, but brought a penalty for Matt Jarvis to open the
Jersey's restart kick went straight into touch, but although
Nottingham mounted a promising attack from the resulting scrum,
they knocked on and Jersey were able to clear.
They kept play in the visitors' half though and a second penalty
gave Jarvis the chance to double the lead, but he was off
A charged down clearance kick put them under pressure for the
first time in the game, and when they were penalised at their own
scrum just outside their 22 Niall O'Connor slotted over the kick to
level the scores midway through the first half.
Minutes later though, on-loan winger Tom Chapman showed
excellent pace to leave the defence for dead and race in for a fine
individual try, with Jarvis making it 10-3 with the conversion.
A second penalty from O'Connor made it 10-6, while a third kick
hit the outside of the posts on the half hour.
Nottingham hit back to force another penalty for Jarvis just
before half time, but an injury time kick form O'Connor made it
13-9 at the break.
Tom Calladine showed his pace as he led a charge out of defence
in the opening minutes of the second half to set up a good attack
which brought another penalty for Jarvis, and a yellow card for
Jersey flanker Joe Buckle.
He was quickly followed by Holford, with O'Connor making it
16-12 with his fourth kick of the day.
Within minutes the visitors were in front as winger Mark McRea
burst through to touch down alongside the posts, giving O'Connor a
They almost forced a second as a chip over the defence caused a
Replacement Rory Lynn hit back with a penalty for the Green and
Whites, but then came the double sin-binning in a farcical passage
that looked as though it might end with a penalty try for
Somehow the Nottingham defence clung on through a series of
reset scrums and eventually managed to clear their lines.
They powered forward in injury time in search of the try that
would bring victory, but despite spurning a couple of kickable
penalties they had to settle for a losing bonus point.