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FULL TIME: Nottingham Rugby 63 Bristol 7

By ANDI STARR

A CLINICAL, hugely impressive performance from Nottingham lifted them into second spot in the Championship table, and inflicted one of Bristol's heaviest ever league defeat.

They ran in nine tries in total, all converted by James Arlidge.

The 63-7 final score tells its own story, although the start of each half suggested otherwise as the visitors took the game to Nottingham.

But in each half, once Nottingham scored Bristol's challenge faded.

Having secured the bonus point before the break, the second half saw the Green and whites put together a purple patch in which they seemed able to score at will, five tries coming in the space of less than fifteen minutes.

Yet it was the visitors who looked the better side in the early stages, enjoying plenty of possession. But some fine defence from Nottingham kept them out.

And so it was against the run of play that the Green and Whites took the lead in the 15th minute, the pack driving form a close range lineout with skipper Brent Wilson getting the touch down and Arlidge converting.

They almost added a second within minutes as Arlidge intercepted on halfway and kicked deep into Bristol territory. Andy Savage and Dan Montagu made ground through the middle only to be penalised for crossing.

But the second try soon followed as Nic Rouse stole a Bristol lineout to set up another attack, which brought them a penalty. Arlidge kicked for touch and again the pack drove over, this time Alex Shaw getting the try and Arlidge converting to make it 14-nil on 24 minutes.

From the restart Arlidge did well to gather a high kick and as he raced away Joe Duffey was up in support. The powerful hooker showed footwork any winger would be proud of as he sidestepped a defender to score in the corner. Arlidge made it 21-nil with the conversion.

Astonishingly it was almost half an hour before the game's first scrum, but although Nottingham were given put-in they conceded a free kick.

The pack was in dominant form though and another impressive drive brought the bonus point try, and a second for Wilson. Arlidge's conversion saw them go in at the break leading 28-nil.

Again Bristol looked the better side in the opening minutes of the second half, and really should have scored when they created an overlap down the right. They kept the pressure on though and it took more good defence from Nottingham to keep them out before Rhys Crane intercepted inside his 22 and raced the length of the pitch for a try which opened the floodgates, with the Green and Whites running in another four over the next ten minutes.

Joe Cobden and Savage crossed, either side of a second from Crane, before replacement Tom Calladine got the ninth.

A rare counter attack form a shell-shocked Bristol saw replacement Ruki Tipuna cross, with fellow replacement Adrain Jarvis converting.

But it was Nottingham's day, and although an impressive fireworks display completed the afternoon's entertainment, many supporters will have felt the real fireworks came from the men in Green and White.

Nottingham Rugby 63 (Wilson 2, Crane 2, Shaw, Duffey, Cobden, Savage, Calladine tries; Arlidge 9 conv) Bristol 7 (Tipona try; Jarvis conv)

Nottingham Rugby: 15 Andrew Savage (21 Rory Lynn, 68mins) 14 David Jackson 13 Joe Cobden 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane (22 Jack Bradford, 63mins) 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans (20 Finlay Barnham, 66 mins) 1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey (16 Scott Wright, 66mins) 3 Michael Holford (17 Matt Shields, 59mins) 4 Dan Montagu (18 Joe Quinn, 70mins) 5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper (19 Tom Calladine, 46min) 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw 

Referee: Llyer ApGeraintRoberts

Attendance: 2,091

2012-11-04T16:46:00

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