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Nottingham 24-14 Stirling County

Nottingham completed a British and Irish Cup double over Stirling County, but it was a long way from the 50 pointer of a week earlier.

The Green and Whites had run in seven tries up at Stirling to record a 50-7 win, and so expectation of another high-scoring evening was high.

All the more so as Nottingham included England international Matthew Tait in their line up.

But apart from a promising first half spell they rarely suggested they might repeat that try spree.

From start to finish the one shining light was the scrum, where Nottingham enjoyed total dominance, but the visitors deserve much credit for the way they dealt with that.

Scrum half Henry Pyrgos and No 8 Steve Swindall regularly managed to somehow get the ball away from a retreating scrum as Nottingham drove forward.

And it was Stirling who got the first points on the board in only the sixth minute.

Having gone close with one flowing attack, their next saw skipper Brian Archibald cross, adding the conversion to open up a seven point lead.

Nottingham stepped up the pace but it was not until midway through the first half that they levelled the scores.

It came following a yellow card for Swindall, the pack driving over the line and skipper Brent Wilson getting the touch down.

Rory Lynn's conversion made it seven points apiece.

Archibald missed a long-range penalty chance that could have regained the lead before Lynn put the Green and Whites in front with a penalty as they put together their best spell of the game.

Five minutes later they got a second try as Joe Munro burst through the middle to touch down close to the posts, giving Lynn a simple conversion to make it 17-7 at the break.

An early penalty for Nottingham saw them go further ahead when they kicked for the corner, the pack driving Wilson over for his second of the game and Lynn adding the conversion.

At 24-7 that proved to be Nottingham's last score, although they almost got a fourth try in the left hand corner late in the game.

Stirling again found themselves a man short when Will Bordill was sin-binned, having only come on as a replacement a couple of minutes earlier.

It was a scrappy second half though, with both sides making too many errors.

A late try from Stirling winger Matt Lamb, converted by Archibald, gave the scoreline a respectability the visitors deserved.

Nottingham were unlucky not to force their way over in injury time from a close range lineout, Stirling doing well to hold them up.

 

2013-12-16T12:55:00

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