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Pos Pld Pts
1 Nottingham 0 0
2 Bedford Blues 0 0
3 Bristol 0 0
4 Cornish Pirates 0 0
5 Doncaster Knights 0 0
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Full-Time: Cornish Pirates 11 Nottingham Rugby 10


WINS at Cornish Pirates are rare for Nottingham, and earned the hard way, but despite a brave effort they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Nottingham muddy loss

That will be of little consolation to the Green and Whites on their long journey home after the 11-10 defeat, but this was a game more likely to be remembered for the conditions than the quality of the rugby.

In such conditions it was difficult for either side to establish any real pattern, and impossible for either to play their favoured running game.

It was a day when forwards doing everything to keep the ball was just about the limit of expectation, with backs generally reduced to little more than a rather cold watching brief.

The battle between the two sets of forwards was nothing less than full-blooded though - imagine the England v South Africa game of a week earlier played in a mudbath and you get close to the picture.

A James Arlidge penalty put Nottingham in front in the fourth minute as they managed to dominate early possession.

Although Keiron Hallett levelled with a penalty soon after, that early dominance brought a try from a catch and drive at a close range lineout, skipper Brent Wilson getting the touch down and Arlidge making it 10-3 with the conversion on fourteen minutes.

But Pirates gradually worked their way back into the game and with half time approaching they forced their way over the line with hooker Rob Elloway getting the try.

Hallett was off-target with the conversion and so the sides went in for a well-earned break, and a change of shirts, with Nottingham leading 10-8.

With conditions deteriorating both kickers struggled to keep their feet and consequently missed penalties they would normally expect to land with ease, although Hallett did manage to edge Pirates in front by a single point with what proved to be the last score of the day.

Some excellent defence from Nottingham during a long spell of pressure from the home side deserved particular credit, and on another day might have turned the game in their favour.

But it wasn't to be, and although they mounted a late charge they could not work their way into a position to force another score.


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