22nd September 2013
Meadow Lane
Att: 1164
Nottingham
19
London Welsh
46
Match Report
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London Welsh made it two wins from two with a bonus-point victory over Nottingham at Meadow Lane.

A tight first half saw the Exiles lead 15-9 thanks to the boot of Gordon Ross, with Matthew Jarvis on target three times for the Green and Whites.

However, the game opened up in the second half with the Exiles responding in empathetic style to Edward Styles’ early try, as Carl Kirwan and ex-Nottingham winger Rhys Crane crossed in a two- minute spell that swung the game decisively in Welsh’s favour.

Seb Stegmann claimed the visitors’ third try and although Harrison Lee-Everton dived over for Nottingham, the Exiles were not to be denied a four-try bonus-point as Dante Mama touched down at the death.

The opening 40 would give little indication of the try-fest that was to follow after the break, as Ross and Jarvis engaged in a tit-for-tat kicking duel.

The Green and Whites number ten opened the scoring with a cracking strike from inside his own half, which sailed between the uprights with room to spare. It was a warning to Welsh.

The Exiles drew first blood in a keenly anticipated scrum battle, with Ross pulling the Exiles level. Try scoring opportunities were few and far between with defences on top, but Jarvis found space to breach the Welsh line, only for his floated pass to force Styles to check and the Exiles snuffed out the danger.

Ross and his pack combined again in the 17th minute to give the Exiles a lead they would never relinquish.

Seb Jewell then touched down only for the TMO to rule a knock on after the ball had been ripped from the grasp of James Lewis. Welsh still left with three points, however, with advantage being played for an earlier infringement by the home side.

Jarvis replied but a good drive by the Welsh pack gave Ross the opportunity to respond. Another powerful scrum saw Ross extend the Welsh lead to 15-6, only for Jarvis to send the home side back to dressing only six points adrift with his third penalty.

It might have been a conversion attempt for the Nottingham number ten but for a timely tap-tackle by Ben Pienaar on George Catchpole, when the centre looked like he might be away.

The home side did make the breakthrough, however, just five minutes into the second half. Diving forward, Pienaar couldn’t quite collect a clearance downfield and the loose ball was hacked on by Styles, and the winger had the legs to beat Jewell to the touch down.

Jarvis couldn’t add the extras but Welsh’s lead had been cut to a solitary point. The Exiles needed a response and it came via Ross’ sixth penalty.

Six minutes later came the game’s turning point. A double hit on Crane saw the home side initially awarded a penalty as Welsh infringed, only for that decision to be reversed on the advice of the near side touch judge for a high tackle on Crane.

The home crowd felt aggrieved and to add salt into the wound Welsh went straight down the field and scored. Having found a good touch on the Nottingham 22 from the resulting penalty, Kirwan broke the first line of Nottingham defence before shrugging off another to go over under the posts.

Ross converted and two minutes later kicked the Exiles into an unassailable 18-point lead after Welsh countered straight from the restart and Crane had the gas and the strength to touch down against his former club.

It was a double blow that knocked the wind out of the home side, particularly as only moments earlier they’d fleetingly been looking at a penalty to close the gap to a point, only for it to be reversed.

Pinning Nottingham in their own 22 and forcing them to play from deep, Welsh simply waited for the mistake. It duly came when the ball spilt out of a ruck and the unopposed Stegmann sauntered over for try number three.

The home side kept going and their reward came after a sustained period of pressure on the Welsh line which ended with Lee-Everton taking a quick tap penalty and diving over.
 
But the last word would go to Welsh with their task made easier by Rupert Cooper seeing yellow. Kevin Davis intercepted with Nottingham forced to throw caution to the wind and Ollie Stedman delivered the scoring pass for Mama go cross. Ross kept his 100 per cent record by landing the conversion.

Nottingham scorers:
Tries: Styles, Lee-Everton; Pens: Jarvis (3).

London Welsh scorers:    
Tries: Kirwan, Crane, Stegmann, Mama; Cons: Ross (4); Pens: Ross (6).

Referee: Ian Tempest
Referee Assistants: Simon Harding & Darryl Chapman
Half-time: 9-15

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