March 5 2013
After a long and arduous trek, and the most bewildering quiz ever to be witnessed by the traveling supporters (A.Einstein would have been confused), believe it or not all about PLYMOUTH, we all arrived in Nottingham with a sense of an away day victory, which very early on was looking more and more unlikely as the half ebbed away.
The green and whites were very quickly into their stride and after 5 minutes we were playing catch up rugby again. With Albion having possession a glaring error by P. Roberts as he tried to pass the ball, went loose and was seized upon by the Nottingham backs who swiftly moved the ball out wide on the right for Ryan Hough to score in the corner and give Notts a 5-0 lead, the generally reliable James Alridge who was having an indifferent day with his kicking missed the conversion.
Before Albion could establish a foothold in the game we were staring down the barrel as Nottingham looked rampant and after 11 minutes scored a deserved second try, more good ball handling skills by their backs lead to Alex Lewington being put in to put the Green and whites into a 10-0 lead, after yet another con miss by J. Alridge.
It took nearly 25 minutes before Albion made an adventure into the Nottingham 22, which all broke down and came to nothing.
On the half hour it was evident this was going to be a tough afternoon, as Nottingham chalked up their third try of the afternoon, Albion were penalised on halfway, which lead to Notts winning their lineout and they drove, they worked the ball inside where Joe Munro made great headway before off-loading to R. Hough to complete a brace of tries, and this lad was making his debut. J Alridge put over the conversion 17-0.
A couple of minutes later, Green and whites totally dominant went for a fourth try, and were only denied by a last ditch tackle pushing their attacker into touch.
Albion then lost their own lineout, and had to do all they could to stop relentless Nottingham pressure, and eventually Albion won a penalty to relieve what was becoming one - way traffic.
Nottingham all the first half tackled and chased everything and put Albion under constant pressure where kicks were being made hurriedly and making very little headway.
Just before the interval, P. Roberts had an opportunity to kick for goal after Nottingham conceded a penalty, which was despatched to bring the score to 17-3.
Right on the half time whistle Meadow Lane was stunned into silence,after pressing the Albion line once again a grubber kick from 5 metres from the Albion line was picked up by Tom Bowen who pinned his ears back and took off like an express train down the wing, with Nottingham defenders being left in his wake and he finally went over to the relief of all the traveling faithful 17-8 became 17-10 as from the touchline P. Roberts expertly put over the conversion. H/T 17-10.
What was in store for the second half and how does Nat motivate his men too far greater efforts.
The Green and Whites nearly scored right from the kick off, they won the ball from the restart and got within 5 metres and knocked on, not the start to the second half Albion were looking for, and 5 minutes later after Albion had been penalised again J. Alridge slotted a penalty to make it 20-10.
It didn't take long before the fourth and bonus point try came about, after good work from D. Jackson he off-loaded to what I thought was a forward pass to R Hough to complete a memorable afternoon by completing his hat-trick of tries. J. Alridge despatched the conversion and very quickly added another penalty to make the score 30-10.
Albion then had a chance to get back into the game, after at last some sustained pressure, Albion had a 5 metre scrum, lead to another penalty set again and after a professional foul another penalty was awarded, I sensed a penalty try was coming and after Albion pressurised the Nottingham line another penalty was given and not the try, and when re-set again Notts turned Albion over and almost scored another try down the other end.
A score for Albion then would have made this game alarmingly interesting as Green and Whites were making many changes some to injury and some to tiredness, after a lot of effort had been put in.
There were some strange decisions given by the referee today, Simon Harding who took charge of Albion's game first time round at Leeds. With Notts players lying injured or otherwise all over the park infringements were evident, the incident with regards to a penalty try, it appeared everytime an Albion player was tackled, penalised for holding on, on the other hand players of Nottingham lying in front of a ruck preventing Albion getting quick ball was not seized upon straight away, joys of being the away side one expects.
With the game entering its final phases, and Nottingham having taken off key players, Albion were enjoying a lot more ball, and to their credit seized the moment, With new boy Declan Cusack now on the park.
After a good sustain period of pressure and the ball being kept through the hands A. Carpenter went over in the corner, at first not given and the assistant Referreee had words with Referee try given.
D. Cusack missed the conversion 30-15, with the game well into injury time with at least 7 minutes gone K. Fisilau put R. McAtee in to give the scoreline a far more greater look to it as D. Cusack scored his first points for his new club by converting 30-22. Final whistle went straight away, in conclusion, positives three more tries, no cards good disipline shown again by the players, fitness levels good right up to the end and a never-say die attitude by the squad.
On the otherhand, Coaches have to address why we give teams huge starts every week and find ourselves playing catch up rugby, this week 17-0 before we got started, last week 14-0, week, before that 14-0, its a worrying trait which has to be eradicated.
The Jersey game is massive to both clubs, and the preparation for the game needs to be planned with caution, I'd love to see the boys perform without any fear, and take early control of the game and secure this much needed win and not set a new record of nine loses on the trot.
Come on Albion!!!!!!!!!