1stXV Schooled At Nottingham 10 tries to 2
Ampthill travelled to The Bay, Nottingham’s home ground for the last pre-season fixture in good spirits after two wins but came home with their tails between their legs after Nottingham ruthlessly exposed an indisciplined and inaccurate performance.
The omens were not good with centre Will Goodge going to hospital after suffering an ankle injury in the warm up, the cracking noise that accompanied the injury indicating a poor prognosis. The day went to worse when tight head Matt Collins dislocated a shoulder in the 4th minute of the game.
Amps went behind to an 8th minute push over try which went unconverted.
A’s now had their best period of the match taking the game to their hosts with blindside Syd Blackmore scoring in the 16th minute after the visitors had built pressure, Lawrence Rayner, on his return to Lady Bay, adding the extras.
Ampthill continued to hold their own until hero Blackmore became the villain receiving the first of two yellow cards followed after his return by another to full back James Pritchard, the 20 minutes when a man down saw Nottingham score 3 converted tries to leave the score 26-7 at half time.
Any chance of a positive response in the second half was snuffed out by the hosts early converted try (42nd minute) and another on 53 minutes.
Trailing 40-7 the visitors clawed back 7 pts in the 60th minute through lock Carl Burgess after multiple phases in the home 22 had created pressure.
Sadly, the last quarter was one way traffic with Nottingham adding 4 more tries (2 converted) as Amps resistance crumbled.
DoR Mark Lavery commented “Nottingham were ruthless in capitalising on our errors, scoring 5 converted tries from our poor exits. Our lineout, breakdown work, defense and particularly our penalty count, were simply not good enough. It wasn’t all bad news as our scrum held up well, there is talent in the squad but we have much work to do before we travel to Moseley whose pre-season has included beating Worcester Warriors.”
We thank the Green & Whites for their hospitality.
Forwards:- Trinder, Lutui, Collins, Hehea, Woolford, Blackmore (1 t, 1 yc), Bercis, Johnson
Backs:- Liebenberg, Rayner (2 c), Baker, Goodge, Sterling, Weightman, Pritchard (1 yc)
Replacements :- Wright S, Culverhouse, Garside, Burgess (1 t), Walker, Pitfield, Dawson, Molitika H, Barratt, Reeder, Hanks, Lynch