Nott our day.
28th March 2015
Knights 25 v Nottingham 28
The Knights tricky head to head record with Nottingham continued as the Green and Whites put an end to the Knights unbeaten run.
On a sunny spring day it was Nottingham who started the brighter, no doubt motivated by fellow play-off hopefuls Rotherham Titans’ victory over Moseley the night before. An early resistance to stay on the right side of the offside line from the Knights gave visitors a couple of early penalties and on three minutes Tiff Eden opened the scoring with an on target kick.
The penalty sparked a bit of life into the Knights and on their first pertinent attack of the day saw winger Ed Styles sin binned after he deliberately knocked on a would be pass to Tyson Lewis. Flockhart looked to level the scores with the resulting penalty but his effort bounced back off the upright.
The wind was having quite an effect on both sides kicking game but the visitors seemed to deal with it much better in the early stages of the game. On the back of another offside penalty Eden stuck the Knights in the corner and a well formed driving line out rumbled ominously toward the Knights line. The Knights packed looked to ebb the drive but Notts weren’t to be denied and flanker Tom Calladine touched down for the games first score.
Donny were unable to take advantage of Nottingham sin binnning and the score remained at 3-8 until Styles returned to the pitch. The hosts struggled to hold on to possession and in addition Knights winger and Championship top scorer Dougie Flockhart had an off day with the boot. Despite this it was the Knights who registered next, Nottingham had tried their best to avoid engaging the Knights driving maul but on 35 minutes Donny were able to get their breakdown formed. Having driven forward the ball was spun in field where Tyson Lewis broke the line before feeding Tom Palu who touched down. Dougie made the conversion, 7-8.
Nottingham had the final say of the opening half after Richard List was pinged for a high tackle on hooker Shaun Malton, with 40 minutes up Eden went for points and made no mistake.
The second half started with signs of improvement and the Knights made it tell through the forwards. A scrum penalty was put to touch by Ume Fosita and the pack rumbled over having patiently driven forward, skipper Michael Hills emerged with the ball to put his side ahead by a point.
Indiscipline was the Knights downfall for the next score, although the home fans will feel as if they got a raw deal with some of the refereeing decisions. Four successive penalties, all kicked to corner, resulted in firstly a yellow card for skipper Hills and then a second try for Tom Calladine in the following phase. Eden added the extras, 15-18.
Both coaches made a number of changes around the hour mark which disrupted the flow of the game, the only further score before a frantic final 10 minutes coming courtesy of another Eden penalty following a controversial refereeing decision. What looked like a no arm tackle on Ume Fosita ended in a penalty to Nottingham and a yellow card for Brad Field who had only been on the pitch for a handful of minutes.
Trailing by six the Knights needed to produce something quickly and they did through Ume Fosita. The fly half found a gap where there didn’t appear to be one to break before feeding Clark who raced home. Flockhart was unable to add the extras but the Knights trailed by just a point and restored to a full compliment momentum was with the home side.
The next play ultimately sealed the game for Notts, failure to deal with the restart saw possession coughed up by the Knights, full back Billy Robinson broke down the short side and got a clean run in to the try line. Eden converted to reestablish the visitors eight-point lead.
Despite needing two scores the Knights refused to give up and went straight back on the attack. A nice miss pass from Field found Jarvis out wide who broke speedily before feeding Flockhart to touch down, the Scotsman could not convert his effort, 25-28.
Unsurprisingly the visitors kicked the restart as long as they could and after several carries Field tried a long kick downfield for his outside backs. The effort bounced in to touch the end the game.
Despite the defeat the game was not a complete loss as the late Flockhart try secured two valuable points for the Knights who leapfrog Bedford into 9th place.
Knights XV; 15 Paul Jarvis, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 George Catchpole, 12 Mat Clark, 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Ume Fosita, 9 Tomasi Palu (Brad Field 55’), 1, Richard List (Tom Davies 56’), 2 Ben Hunter (Harry Thacker 55’), 3 Colin Quigley (WillGriff John 69’), 4 Tyler Hotson (Will Foden 78’), 5 Jon Phelan, 6 Matt Challinor, 7 Michael Hills ©, 8) Phil Eggleshaw
Replacements; 16 Tom Davies, 17 Harry Thacker, 18 Will Foden, 19 WillGriff John 20 Bevon Armitage, 21 Paul Roberts, 22 Brad Field.
Tries; Palu 36’, Hills 46’, Clark 74, Flockhart 78’
Conv; Flockhart 36’
Pens; Flockhart 59’
Sin bin Hills 53’, 62’
15) Billy Robinson?14) Pila Iongi?13) Heath Stevens?12) Javiah Pohe?11) Ed Styles?10) Tiff Eden?9) Sean Romans, 1) George Porter (Jon Vickers 68’)?2) Shaun Malton (Michael Holford 75’)?3) Conor Carey?4) Toby Freeman (Tom Price 68’)?5) Dan Montagu (c)?6) Rupert Cooper?7) Tom Calladine?8) Paul Grant
Replacements: 16) Jon Vickers?17) Michael Holford?18) Campese Ma’afu?19) Tom Price?20) Matt Everard?21) Alex Smit?22) Will Maisey
Tries; Calladine 12’, 54, Robinson 75’
Conv; Eden 55’, 75’
Pens; Eden 3’, 40’, 62’
Sin bin; Ed Stevens 7