Doncaster Knights failed to avenge a defeat at Nottingham late last year in the return at windswept Castle Park as Dougie Flockhart had a rare off-day with the boot.
The Championship’s top points scorer could only convert one of Knights’ four tries and only kicked one penalty from three on a difficult day for kickers as Knights lost 28-25.
But Knights’ boss Clive Griffiths, whose side picked up two vital points for their efforts, didn’t look to blame the Scot – a match-winner on more than one occasion.
“We re-grouped after a shocking first half and played something like we can and to give it away like we did is heart-breaking,” he said. “I can’t believe some of the errors and game-management. It was a low after recent highs.”
The fourth-placed visitors dominated the first half for long periods, despite having wing Edward Styles sin-binned, and led 11-7 thanks to two Tiff Eden penalties and an unconverted try by flanker Tom Calladine.
Knights had to settle for converted try by scrum-half Tomasi Palu on 37 minutes after good work by wing Tyson Lewis in the build-up.
Skipper Michael Hills scored from close range to edge his side into a 12-11 lead on 45 minutes before being sin-binned seven minutes later during which time Calladine claiming a second try, goaled by Eden, to make it 18-12.
Flockhart’s penalty cut the gap to three points but Knights’ hopes suffered a blow when scrum-half Brad Field was sin-binned for dissent and Eden converted the resulting penalty.
Fly-half Ume Fosita broke the line to send centre Mat Clark in but the resulting conversion, which would have given Knights the lead, was again wide.
Greens’ full-back Billy Robinson raced in before Field’s long pass created the chance for Flockhart’s late try.
Knights: Jarvis; Flockhart, Catchpole, Clark, Lewis; Fosita, Palu; List, Hunter, Tyler, Hotson, Phelan, Challinor, Hills,Eggleshaw. Rep: Davies, Thacker, Foden, John, Armitage, Roberts,Field.
Nottingham: Robinson; Styles, Stevens, Pohe,Iongi; Eden, Romans, Porter, Malton, Carey, Freeman, Montagu, Cooper, Calladine, Grant. Rep: Vickers, Holford, Ma’afu, Price, Everard, Smit, Maisey.