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Nottingham 20 vs Leeds Carnegie 27 - Match Report

NOTTINGHAM FIGHT BACK FOR BONUS POINT

BY ANDI STARR

A stirring finale from Nottingham saw them earn a precious losing bonus point against Leeds, so nearly wiping out a 24-point deficit in the process.

It finished 20-27, but with fifteen minutes remaining they trailed 3-27.

Finally the Nottingham backs got some reward for their persistence though, and they ran in three tries to come back to within a single score.

Ryan Hough, Henry Purdy and Javiah Pohe all crossed, while it was Matt Jarvis who clinched the bonus point with a tricky conversion.

When the final whistle went it was difficult to resist the feeling that had it gone on for another minute or two the Green and Whites may even have forced a draw, such was their dominance of those closing fifteen minutes or so.

And the whole Nottingham squad should draw confidence from the performance during that phase.

Leeds opened the scoring in the first minute with a penalty from outside half Glyn Hughes, Jarvis levelling five minutes later.

Nottingham had a let off though when Hughes missed form a similar position, but it was Hughes who evaded a couple of tackles to set up the opening try of the game as he sent in winger David Doherty and added the conversion to make it 3-10 midway through the first half.

Although the Nottingham set piece was not as dominant as it has been recently they were enjoying plenty of possession and keeping the game in the Leeds half.

One of their better attacks almost saw Pohe break clear, while Alex Shaw also went close.

They forced a couple of kickable penalties and opted for touch but still could not find a way through the Leeds defence.

After a long spell in which they should have scored they fell further behind when another missed tackle allowed scrum half Craig Hampson to make ground before sending in winger Oli Goss, Hughes again converting to make it 3-17.

And when Nottingham were penalised for a high tackle in first half injury time Hughes clipped the ball over to make it 3-20 at the break.

The Green and Whites had an early second half opportunity when they forced a penalty but didn't get enough distance on the kick to touch, and then lost their own lineout ball.

Both sides then had good chances in quick succession.

First it was Leeds who threatened down the right and as the ball came back in-field full back Alex Lozowski thought he had scored only for the referee to take play back for a forward pass.

Minutes later it was Lozowski who put in an outstanding tackle to deny Ryan Hough.

But it was the visitors who finally made the breakthrough as they forced their way up to the line where replacement Rob Vickerman crashed over fifteen minutes from the end of normal time, Hughes converting to make it 3-27.

From that point on though it was all Nottingham. Unconverted tries in quick succession from Hough and Purdy made it 13-27, and with five minutes remaining on the clock a bonus point was tantalisingly close.

They threw everything into attack and got their reward with a try from Pohe four minutes into injury time, Jarvis showing no sign of nerves as he slotted over the conversion to secure the bonus point.