ANOTHER close, tense game saw Nottingham maintain their
push for the promotion play offs with a narrow, but deserved, win
The 23-19 scoreline was enough to lift the Green and Whites back
above Bedford, who lost by just a couple of points at Newcastle,
and into second place in the Championship table.
And it opened up a 13-point gap between Nottingham and fifth
placed Leeds Carnegie as the race for the top four reaches its
A penalty from Tristan Roberts put the home side in front
following an earlier miss from the outside half, but it was
Nottingham who grabbed the first try of the evening.
Ignoring a possible three-point penalty, James Arlidge kicked
for the corner and eventually Nottingham managed to drive over,
skipper Brent Wilson getting the touch down and Arlidge
Roberts kicked his side back to 6-7 before Ruki Tipuna nailed
drop-goal from close range to open a two-point lead at the
That was a little harsh on the visitors, who had enjoyed a
significant advantage in terms of possession and territory and
defended well on the one occasion Bristol threatened their
Roberts could have extended the lead in the early minutes of the
second half, but his kick fell short, before Alex Lewington then
went close for Nottingham.
As Bristol continued to dominate possession over the third
quarter they eventually forced a penalty in front of the posts for
Roberts to make it 12-7.
It was against the run of play that Nottingham regained the
initiative, a storming run down the wing from Joe Duffey taking him
deep into the home 22 where he sent Alex Shaw in for a try, Arlidge
doing particularly well with the conversion to give his side a
Another miss from Roberts was followed by a brace of penalties
from Arlidge to make it 12-20 with ten minutes remaining.
The game was far from over though and a kind bounce presented
George Watkins with a soft try, Roberts bringing his side back to
within a point with the conversion.
A late penalty from Arlidge completed the
Bristol 19(G Watkins Try; T Roberts Conv; T Roberts
3 Pen; R Tipuna DG) Nottingham Rugby 23(B Wilson A Shaw Try; J Arlidge 2 Conv; J
Arlidge 3 Pens)
Nottingham Rugby: D Jackson, A Lewington, T
Streather (sub: J Cobden 41mins), J Munro (sub: A Forsyth), R
Hough, J Arlidge, S Romans, J Harris, J Duffey, M Holford (sub: R
Bower 79mins), D Montagu, N Rouse, R Cooper (sub: T Calladine
78mins), B Wilson, A Shaw.
Substitutes not used: S Malton, J Quinn, F Barnham,
Referee: D Rose. Attendance: 5,555