Young Greens battle hard against high quality visiting sides
Following a series of festivals and the NLDs this was Scunthorpe's first opportunity for over a month to host a normal club game. The visitors were Kesteven and Old Brodleians so everything apart from the weather looked set for a good morning of junior rugby.
Both visiting teams had apparently been playing well and came with good sets of results. The first game of the mini tournament was Scunthorpe vs Kesteven and it started at a fast pace with the tackles, rucks and mauls coming thick and fast. Both teams had improved from their encounters earlier in the season, with their organisation and rucking in particular being better. Several minutes passed with the play being contained to the middle third of the field. Lambert put in a vital tackle from the wing to prevent Kesteven breaking through the Scunthorpe defensive line at speed. Scunthorpe then broke and Cooling almost made it to the line, but good follow up and rucking from Scunthorpe allowed Heath-Drury at scrum half the opportunity to pick the ball from the ruck, take to two strides and place the ball over the line to break the deadlock. Just before half time Brader almost added a second but was denied by a fantastic tackle over the try line by Kesteven who forced a fumble and no-try.
Scunthorpe's tackling was strong and fair throughout the game and all the young greens took their turn in the determined defensive display. This prevented Kesteven from getting into their stride and the visitors struggled to get through the Green's defense. Scunthorpe were able to make progress with some piercing runs from forwards and back alike. McInnis and Dawson were both unlucky to score, but were thwarted by good tackles into touch from Kesteven. Scunthorpe notched another score though when Hogg broke through a couple of tackles and, drawing in the remaining defense, offloaded perfectly for Taylor to cross the line.
Taylor then added a 3rd for Scunthorpe with a jinking 10 yd run to navigate a throng of defenders. The game was wrapped up with a lovely solo effort from Heath-Drury who stole the ball from the Kesteven scrum half and scampered 25 yds narrowly avoiding the Kesteven defense and the touch-line. Final score 4-0, and compliments came from the Kesteven supporters for the strong, well organised display from the Scunthorpe U9s.
Scunthorpe were straight back into the fray, against their guests from West Yorkshire. Brods were straight into the task and had obviously learned something from the touchline when watching the first game. They made good use of their forwards making strong, direct runs, each of which seemed to get them 5-7 yds over the gain line. Scunthorpe's tackling was up to the task, but they needed to close these runs down quicker so less territory was conceded. Elford and Talbot are to be commended for their gutsy tackles against some fast moving, bigger lads from Brods. Scunthorpe were a bit less composed against the Brods and did struggle at times. Both sides picked up a few bangs, such was the commitment in the tackle. The breakthrough for Scunthorpe came just before half-time when Hogg scooped the ball up in a turnover and dashed across the line following good Scunthorpe tackling.
Scunthorpe had possession at the start of the second half and it was put to good use, when Brader took the ball at speed from Dawson, rebuffed the first Brods tackler and carried on carving up their defense to claim a superb try. Brods didn't give up though and kept working hard, putting in the tackles and looking for opportunities. Scunthorpe managed to contain this effort though with their own intense work-rate and closed the game with a final try, another strong run from Brader. Final score 3-0.
The final match of the morning was our two guests going head to head against eachother and this would prove to be another titantic struggle. Both sets of lads tried hard but it was Brods that managed to prevail, with the direct forwards running this time proving more successful and able to get them behind the Kesteven defense and through to score on a few occasions.
A great morning of junior rugby with 3 well organised and capable teams giving their best and playing with superb commitment and spirit. Thanks to our visitors for making the long journies and to all the Scunthorpe players and parents for their continued support.