London Welsh showed why they are being tipped as
favourites for the Greene King IPA Championship following a display
of power against Nottingham Rugby at Meadow Lane.
The Exiles ran out 46-19 winners secured on the back of a
dominant forward display and a flawless kicking performance from
Despite tries from Ed Styles and Harrison Lee-Everton,
Nottingham struggled to cope with the well drilled Welsh forwards
and conceded penalty after penalty as the match wore on.
The battle of attrition took its toll as Nottingham tired
noticeably around the 55 minute mark. Where Welsh could look
to a strong bench, Nottingham soldiered on as best they could, but
the fresh legs made the difference that allowed the visitors to a
secure a well deserved bonus point.
Nottingham will be pleased with their efforts in the first half
as they showed that they can still mix it with the best in the
league, but the small numbers available to the Green and Whites
will be of concern as the long season wears on.
Full Match Report by Andi Starr
Two tries in the space of less than two minutes midway through
the second half left Nottingham chasing the game, and it proved too
much for them as they suffered their first Greene King IPA
Until that point there had been little to choose between the
sides, and certainly no suggestion that either would go on to win
by much more than a single score, let alone the 27 points that
Welsh eventually stretched clear by.
The 19-46 scoreline was disappointing given how close the first
half had been, along with much of the third quarter, but Welsh
gradually stepped up the pace and with it, their level of control
before securing a bonus point in injury time.
The Green and Whites took an early lead as Matthew Jarvis struck
a penalty from five metres inside his own half.
Welsh levelled almost immediately though when Nottingham were
penalised at a scrum, Gordon Ross stroking over the first of ten
A fine break through the middle from Jarvis set up a promising
attack for Nottingham but Ed Styles slipped as he took the pass and
the chance was gone.
A good scrum from the visitors brought a second penalty for Ross
to put them in front before a third made it 3-9 after the referee
had checked with the TMO as to the possibility of a try, which
never really looked likely.
Jarvis cancelled out that score with his second penalty only for
Ross to add another couple before a third from Jarvis in first half
injury time made it 9-15 at the break.
When Welsh spilled the ball on halfway in the early minutes of
the second half a deep kick saw Styles show impressive pace as he
raced down the wing and got the first touch on the ball. The
referee again consulted the TMO and the try was awarded. Jarvis was
just wide with his conversion but the deficit was down to a single
point before Ross put over yet another penalty to make it
The game turned against Nottingham in unfortunate circumstances
though. A strong hit looked to have brought them a penalty, but on
consultation with the touch judge that penalty was reversed and
Welsh fashioned a try for Carl Kirwan.
A minute later Rhys Crane did for Welsh what he so often did for
Nottingham last season, skipping through the defence to touch
Ross added both conversions and so, having been a close fought
game up to that point, the Green and Whites found themselves 14-32
Five minutes from time Seb Stegmann got a third try for Welsh,
Ross making it 14-39 with the conversion.
Nottingham threw everything into attack and an opportunist
effort from replacement scrum half Harrison Lee-Everton made it
After Rupert Cooper was sent to the sin-bin the visitors wrapped
up the bonus point with a try from another former Nottingham
player, this time Dante Mama crossing in the tenth minute of injury
time. As for the conversion, well I am sure you can guess.