Scunthorpe U14 v Melbourne U14
NLD cup 1st round action...
Few firsts today, we played Melbourne, we were in a cup, the lads self organised, we found out where the flags are kept, and Col offered to buy a round - okay the last one was a bit far fetched but the others were true.
Greeting us on a warm autumn morning were the green and gold of Melbourne - no not of Ramsay street and Scott and Charlene fame, but from Notts - making the early trip up as parents with other kids in younger age groups tore themselves in 3 ways trying to watch everyone.
The forecast was kind as coaches ran round trying to find the best way to snaffle a bacon butty, coffee and get over to warm up the kids, an added complication was we had forms to fill out, and refs to sort for the game ahead.
Warm up looked good. Thats about it for that.
Then came flag gate as Tony got in his 10000 steps looking for white poles, found them and we could finally kick off.
Off we went with Scunthorpe maybe a little ahead in the pack with the front row of Scott 'Tug' Kelly, Chris 'The Cat' Green and Jake 'Travolta' Sephton in the front row, ably assisted by Adam and Wilko in second row. It was a tight game with Melbourne using the ball better but the rucks being shaded by Scunthorpe.
Alfie Oldridge scored the games first try, receiving the ball from the wing and managing to go up the wing, beating the winger to cross. Some astounding scramble defence by Wilko, Green, and Dante at 7 was keeping them at bay, a super ruck by Jake Sephton also of note, but with Melbourne growing into the game they soon found an overlap on the right and exploited it well to cross, a super conversion meant the visitors went in 5-7 in front.
Dunky came on for Adam and made his presence felt in the scrum by winning a penalty, the backs were leading the defensive charge, Daniel Longden, Oskar Piecyzski and Jack Standerline keeping the backs in good order.
Our second try came through a great burst by Josh 'munchkin' Hebenstriet although held up the forwards piled in and managed to recycle well, the ball was fired from Will Horner, to Jack Murr whose understanding is growing with each game they play, Murr having a great game decision making well from his position. Alfie O squirmed over for his try.
A period of d'ing it like the lads at Rourke Drift, with notable hits from Daniel Longden and Josh H dislodging a ball, Lewis Talbot also stopping a certain try from a kick he won the foot race to ground the ball, from the ensuing scrum, Jack Walker picked and went right made absolutely tonnes of yardage, the ball worked its way to Oskar who flew down the wing, and over the try line however, he grounded the ball in the under 6's pitch marked up 6" away from the dead ball line - Oskars dead ball.
Dante tackled the Melbourne runner with his head and was promptly ko'd quicker than a AJ victim, so Reuben went out to the wing and Adam Wilson returned, proving a low numbers can play in the high numbers. Little Josh entered after asking from minute 3 to get involved, and Ollie Stirk also came on for the industrious Greeny - Stirk promptly making 2 consecutive tackles and then breaking his nose 5 minutes later.
This was just the start of the drama though as the game was balanced on a razor blade and when Melbourne got a penalty in our half their strike runner lined up and went through the defensive line quicker than a dodgy curry through the belly on the morning after and touched down with the conversion.
A quick word behind the sticks and the question was asked we're 4 points down, 3 minutes to go, you have a decision to make: 2 options play or give up? - 1 chance - The lads have previously not shown levels of resilience we would like, but this time they went from Fifa amateur level to legendary as we took a super quick kick off, which Melbourne fielded but kicked it back. Alfie received the ball ran a direct line through the heart and settled his hat trick, despite him scoring the tries they were definitely team efforts and he was the grateful recipient of some great work by the other players in the squad.
A few more nail biting minutes but Scunthorpe managed to win a line out, Wilko took a captains role, in nominating himself to win the lineout wining it and handing the ball to Will who launched the ball into touch and Scunthorpe into the semi finals.
We get loads of learning from games like this but sometimes we'd just like a good old 40-50 nil in these situations.... not gonna happen this season.
The boys have done the club, town, the parents and more importantly themselves proud.