By Richard Grainger
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.
The Green and Whites were firing on all cylinders, with tries from Andy Savage, Rhys Crane and a double effort from Alex Shaw. Despite slick handling from the visitors they 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 who top the table after demolishing Plymouth 55-17 at Goldington Road on Saturday. Mike Rayer’s men were simply too strong for the visitors and ran 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 as the Pirates took the lead with a converted try from Ben Maidment.
However, the flanker redeemed himself with a brace of tries plus a late unconverted try from skipper Mark Bright brought the hosts back from 10-24 deficit to set up a tense finale.
However, the Exiles dominated possession from the re-start causing the Pirates to concede 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.
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.
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…
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