THE mathematics of Pool 8 in the British and Irish Cup
were such that Nottingham needed a bonus point win, a clear 10
point winning margin, and to deny Llandovery a bonus point in order
to progress to the quarter-final stage.
ON FIRE: Alex
Lewington continued his strong form for the Green and Whites with a
vital first-half try. PIC: Alison Bowden.
That objective was achieved at Meadow Lane with Andy Savage
leading the way, grabbing two tries in a 31-15 win that sets up
likely a all-English meeting away at Newcastle in the next round.
There are a number of group games still to be played before
the fixture can be confirmed.
Although the Green and Whites enjoyed much the better of the
second half, the closing stages were tense with the visitors 13
points behind and putting together a couple of pacey counter
But an injury time penalty from James Arlidge finally gave
Nottingham the win that takes them to the knock-out stage of the
In a bright start they almost broke through down the left only
to turn the ball over.
A lineout minutes later also saw them in a threatening position,
but again they lost possession.
They paid dearly for those mistakes as the visitors' first
serious attack created an overlap for winger Sam Soul to open
scoring. James Garland was wide with the conversion.
A kick through almost brought Llandovery a second try but Tim
Streather got to the ball first to touch down.
But then centre Matthew Jacobs somehow managed to wriggle out of
a tackle to break free and score under the posts, Garland this time
successful with his conversion, and suddenly Nottingham were 12
The Green and Whites replied with a well-worked try from Savage
in the left hand corner, after stealing a Llandovery lineout.
Arlidge missed the conversion, but their next lineout bought a
similar try for Alex Lewington, Arlidge levelling at 12 points each
with the touchline conversion.
And their next lineout almost bought a third try as Michael
Holford drove from close range, but a defender intercepted and
cleared the danger.
Towards the end of a close first half a yellow card for
Llandovery No 8 Richard Brooks handed Nottingham a vital advantage,
and they quickly made the most of it as Savage grabbed his second
to give them a 17-12 lead at the break.
It was a bittersweet ending to the first half with Streather
replaced by Joe Cobden, with the centre hobbling off the pitch
with a hamstring injury.
An early second half try from David Jackson, who came in as a
late replacement for Jack Cobden who was ruled out through illness,
secured that all-important bonus point. And although Arlidge was
wide with the conversion, the fly half slotted over a penalty
minutes later to make it 25-12, with a second opening up a 16 point
gap as the game moved into the final quarter.
Phil Eggleshaw has had a long lay-off with injury but his return
to action, on as a replacement for Rupert Cooper, brought an
appreciative cheer from the Meadow Lane crowd.
With 12 minutes remaining Garland reduced the deficit to 13
points with a penalty, but Nottingham kept their discipline and
despite those late counter attacks finished the game well on top,
Arlidge rounding off the scoring with that late penalty.