Nottingham traded places with Plymouth and moved into third in the Championship by virtue of a 48-16 win over Jersey, at Meadow Lane on Friday, writes Richard Grainger.
Alex Shaw scored two tries and Andy Savage and Rhys Crane also crossed for the Green and Whites, who were also awarded a penalty try. James Arlidge only missed one conversion and put over five penalties.
Despite enterprise and slick handling from the visitors, who were unlucky to come away from the East Midlands without greater reward for their efforts, Nottingham were always in control, leading 20-3 after only 10 minutes.
Jersey, who have yet to win a game, stayed within 10 points until Shaw scored his second. When Jersey prop Ben Evans was sent to the sin bin, their scrum creaked and Nottingham forced the visitors to concede a penalty try.
Bedford Blues are still just two points behind the Falcons at the top of the table after demolishing Plymouth 55-17 at Goldington Road on Saturday.
Mike Rayer’s men were expecting a thorough examination from the side that was below them at the start of the day, but they were simply too strong for the visitors, running in eight tries.
Plymouth went into the match with only one previous defeat, and that by the narrow margin of two points to the Cornish Pirates. Forwards Sam Hocking and Jon Vickers managed tries for Albion but unbeaten Bedford were always in control.
A last minute Phil Godman penalty sent the London Scottish faithful home happy at the Athletic Ground on Saturday.
It was a case of villain turned hero for Exiles’ flanker Chevvy Pennycock who was
sent to the sin bin after only 90 seconds. The extra-man pressure told and the Pirates took the lead with a converted try from Ben Maidment.
However, Pennycook redeemed himself with a brace of tries, and a late score in the corner from skipper Mark Bright brought the hosts back from 10-24 deficit to set up a tense finale.
Kieran Hallett missed the touchline conversion attempt which would have tied the scores at 24-24 following Bright’s score. However, the Exiles managed to keep possession from the re-start and move the ball into Pirates’ territory where the Cornishmen conceded a penalty on their 10-metre line. Godman was on target, moving the Exiles above the Pirates in the table.
Newcastle recorded their second consecutive 50-pointer, this time at Moseley’s expense, winning 13-53 at Billesley Common on Saturday.
The Falcons notched up their fifth bonus point win, with last season’s out-of-sorts finalists, the Cornish Pirates, the only side to deny them a maximum haul.
Moseley, who beat Bristol in round five, had no answer to the Premiership contenders’ pace and finishing.
But Head Coach Dean Richards wasn’t totally satisfied and told the Falcons’ website: “I don’t think we were as slick as we have been in the backline but we will look at that and work on it – to come down here and win by more than 50 points is a very good result”.
You would have been offered good odds against Bristol lying fourth from bottom six weeks into the season.
In a scrappy affair at Clifton Lane on Saturday, Bristol went down 23-16 to Rotherham. The visitors held the lead briefly early in the second half, when David McIlwaine ran in under the posts following a fine handling move.
However, a yellow card for Kyle Traynor led to numerous infringements at the scrum by the Bristol pack and left referee Mr John Meredith with no option other than to run beneath the posts.
Head Coach Liam Middleton told the Bristol website: “We played well… but little bits of quality let us down. I can’t fault the effort – the players gave everything”. He added: “Ten percent of our game wasn’t accurate and you have to be at your best to win here. The yellow card was the turning point, if you lose a player at this level then it makes it very difficult.”
Finally, Leeds Carnegie’s topsy-turvy season continued with the 42-7 thrashing of neighbours Doncaster at Headingley on Sunday.
In the last game before the Headingley pitch is re-turfed, Sam Lockwood and Curtis Wilson bagged a brace of tries for Leeds and Christian Georgiou and Jamel Chisholm and touched down.
Doncaster weren’t helped by having to play three quarters of the game with 14 men when referee Mr Greg Macdonald showed Adam Kettle a red card for a dump tackle.
So after all the week six action, the table looks like this: