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Nottingham 15 vs London Scottish 3 - Match Preview

Nottingham Rugby welcomes London Scottish to Meadow Lane on Friday (31st January) hoping to continue doing the positive things they did against Bedford in their last outing.


Scottish Preview 14

Despite the Green and Whites losing the match 14-9, the performance on display was widely regarded as one their best of the season, particularly the first half.  Nottingham came away with a deserved losing bonus point for their efforts along with plenty of optimism.

Nottingham Rugby Head Coach Martin Haag said, "We don't like losing and we mustn't be happy with losing.  We felt that we could go there and win and we were hugely competitive.  I thought some of the elements that we've been working on began to work in the game a bit more.  There are some elements that aren't quite there yet, but I thought in the first half in particular, some of our attack was really good; we got good gain line and good quick ball and put them under pressure.  We had a couple of opportunities in the first half which we didn't take from five metres out from their line which may well have changed the game.

"In the second half I thought we showed a lot of grit and a lot of determination.  I was really pleased with people like Rory Lynn, Perry Humphreys and Alfie Molloy playing their first games, plus young Ryan Hough on the other wing, so we had a very young and very inexperienced back three and they were put under a lot of pressure.  There was some good kicking from Bedford and they got some territory but I was really pleased with the character, we dug deep and ended up getting a bonus point."

Building on positives is a theme destined to run throughout Meadow Lane on Friday evening as the club also host their annual Construction Dinner, where companies from within the construction industry will enjoy a great night in hospitality before watching the match.  This comes on the back of Nottingham securing their immediate financial future via a change of ownership.

Looking ahead to the challenge Scottish will pose, Haag continued, "They have a good set piece and they are very set piece oriented - they have a good scrum which gives them penalties, a good lineout drive and they've got a good backline which, as we well know, if we don't defend properly they'll cut you apart.

"Their defence this year has been very, very good, very organised, very disciplined, so they'll be hard to break down.  We'll have to be patient and the conditions may dictate how we're going to play again, so it's going to be a big battle and a great test at Meadow Lane on Friday night against a very good Scottish team.

"We know we have to be good, we know we have to compete really hard.  It's a good challenge and what we need to see, more importantly in our performances, is the consistency.  So, elements that we had against Bedford have to be there this weekend and that's almost non-negotiable, it needs to be there every single week so that hopefully we can turn losing bonus points into wins."

Nottingham welcome Ed Styles back on the wing after a period out through injury.  He replaces Perry Humphreys, while Finlay Barnham comes in at scrum half with Sean Romans moving to the bench.

In the forwards, Campese Ma'afu and Harry Williams come in at prop in place of Ryan Bower and Michael Holford.  Jon Vickers returns from injury on the replacements bench.

Nottingham team to face London Scottish:

15) Rory Lynn
14) Ryan Hough
13) Alfie Molloy
12) Joe Munro
11) Ed Styles
10) Matthew Jarvis
9)   Finlay Barnham

1)   Campese Ma'afu
2)   Alun Walker
3)   Harry Williams
4)   Toby Freeman
5)   Dan Montagu
6)   Tom Calladine
7)   Brent Wilson (c)
8)   Alex Shaw

Replacements:

16) Jon Vickers
17) Ryan Bower
18) Neilus Keogh
19) Will Skuse
20) Kiefer Laxton
21) Sean Romans
22) Jacob Knight

Any media wishing to attend the match should contact Nik Emmonds on nik@perfectmotion.org or 0115 9683320/07949 768913.