Although bitterly disappointed following their defeat by a penalty in the 8th minute of injury time away at Worcester last Saturday, the young Knight’s team will take heart from the fact that, after a torrid start in which they conceded 17 points in the opening 20 minutes, they outscored the league leaders by 28 points to 13 in the remaining 60.
However, the Knights will need to be on top of their game when they entertain free scoring Nottingham on Saturday as their visitors, currently 4th in the Championship compared with the Knight’s 10th, are one of the leading points scorers of the season to date with 170. This is made up of 17 tries, 14 conversions and 19 penalties. Their leading points scorer is New Zealand born flyhalf James Arlidge with 90. This compares with the Knights who, to date, have scored 108 points through 9 tries (of which Matt Williams has 4), 8 conversions and 14 penalties. Our leading points scorer is Tristan Roberts with 63.
Defensively however the two sides have similar records with Nottingham having conceded 121 points made up of 14 tries, 9 conversions and 11 penalties. The Knights, on the otherhand, have conceded 15 tries, 8 conversions and 11 penalties.
London Welsh perhaps gave the Knights the best indication of how to beat Nottingham when, in their opening encounter which they won by 27 points to 21 at Meadow Lane, they dominated possession to deny the home side try scoring opportunities. Knights beware however as in that match Arlidge kicked 7 penalties.
Last season's games between the Knights and Nottingham ended all square after four matches. In the "regular" season games, Nottingham won both games - 23 to 7 at Castle Park and 27 to 21 at Meadow Lane. In the Play Off Pool games, the Knights blunted Nottingham's hopes of reaching the Championship Semi-Finals by winning 25 to 14 at Castle Park and 25 to 15 at Meadow Lane. Prior to that, we have played Nottingham 8 times in the leagues, winning 5 of them including doing the double in 2006/7 and 2007/8.
Keeping things in order today will be referee Tim Wigglesworth who has moved up the rankings as we have moved up the leagues. He will be assisted by Ross Campbell and James Minard. Nigel Yates will be in attendance as the Assistant Referee’s coach. Gentlemen, welcome to you all and have a good day (please).
Castle Park will open its gates at noon for home and visiting supporters alike for what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Available, of course, will be our famous Cow Pie and Tetley’s Bitter which can be obtained in both the main Clubhouse Bar and in the Concourse, with its 72 foot bar, under the DML Stand. So why not come down and enjoy a great family day out!
Perhaps the best indication about this match is this post made at the beginning of the week by a Nottingham supporter on the Rolling Maul forum “This is the game of the season for me. Time to renew some old rivalries, munch some Cow Pie, drink at the longest bar in S Yorkshire, shout from the best terrace in the Championship and enjoy some non-controversial rugby in a quiet clean match”. Not sure about the last comment but can vouch for the rest.