It was tense, dramatic, and everything you might expect
from a game with so much at stake.
But Nottingham finally clinched the points that guarantee
Championship rugby next season by beating Moseley 29-24 at Meadow
A sparkling first half performance saw them seal a bonus point as
they ran in four tries, all from the backs, who put on one of their
best displays of the season to open up a 21 point lead.
And yet a disastrous fifteen minute spell at the start of the
second half almost saw all that good work evaporate as the visitors
ran in three quick tries to get back to within a couple of
But a Matt Jarvis penalty stopped the rot and the Green and Whites
were able to close the game out - just.
George Catchpole's try down the right was the highlight of a
nervous opening spell, and Jarvis did particularly well to slot
over the conversion from the most difficult of angles.
A minute later, Ryan Hough broke from just outside his own 22 and
made it to the line, with Jarvis again on target to make it
Moseley's first threatening attack brought them a close range
lineout and their pack powered over, with back row man Oliver
Robinson getting the touch down.
Nottingham were on top though, and as they piled on the pressure a
lineout steal midway inside the Moseley 22 set up the position for
try number three, working the ball across the field for Hough to
get his second of the night.
It took some good defence to hold Moseley up as they went for
another catch and drive before skipper Dan Montagu broke out of
defence to set up another promising attack.
With the visitors' defence stretched prop Ben Evans was sin-binned
and Nottingham soon made their advantage count as Henry Purdy broke
through, Jarvis making it 26-5 with the conversion.
That gave the Green and whites a 21-point lead at half time - what
could possibly go wrong?
Nottingham's near-suicidal propensity for kicking away possession
resurfaced and played straight into Moseley's hands as they simply
ran it back, with Matt Williams, William Owen and replacement Simon
Hunt all tearing through the home defence.
And so from 26-5, Nottingham found themselves with a lead of just
A penalty from Jarvis fifteen minutes from time eased the nerves,
but only slightly as a yellow card for Michael Holford soon
Worse still, two kickable penalties - either of which could have
left Moseley needing to score twice - were shunned in favour of
lineouts, the second of which went straight to the visitors' second
And an injury to Tom Calladine - enjoying one of his best games in
the Green and White - didn't help either.
A frustrating and nerve-wracking last ten minutes seemed to go on
forever, but Nottingham's sheer determination saw them hang on for
that badly needed win.
It was left to Dan Montagu to put the ball into touch to signal
the end of the game, to the cheers of a massively relieved Meadow