Greens bag another 5 points
Enterprising rugby fails to give Lichfield a bonus point as the home defence held firm
The Greens welcomed Lichfield who had excellent victories in their last two games and put out a squad that excluded absentees Ollie Cole, David Haig, Jakob Hardy and Sam Morgan. Josh Sarsfield comes into the squad for his first team debut from the bench.
For the first ten minutes the home boys were forced to defend as the visitors monopolised possession and showed great enterprise, although without gaining any penetration. Scunthorpe’s first venture into opposition territory game via a kick and chase by fullback, Paul Cook, with a great follow-up tackle, giving a line-out in the visiting ‘22’. From the resulting catch & drive the pack drove forward allowing Gareth Mist to touchdown. Cook added the extras and The Greens were 7 points to nil ahead.
Lichfield continued with their adventurous approach but paid a price when losing possession on the edge of their ’22’ and the enterprising Rory Rendell-Tyrrell dodged all the defensive traffic to touch down under the posts. Cook again converted to give his team a 14 points to nil lead after 15 minutes of play. The home boys were not able to rest on their laurels as Lichfield struck back virtually straight away, when from a penalty at the breakdown, a quick tap resulted in an overlap on the left for Huw Marsden to touchdown. Greg Massey missed the conversion but the Staffordshire boys were back in the game at 14 points to 5 after 17 minutes of play.
The breakdown, ruck area, was proving to be a problem mainly for the home boys as they were being heavily penalised for not coming to terms with the referee interpretation. They continued however to brake the opposition line with some strong running by first Will Robinson and then more fruitfully by Cook, who managed to link up with Oli Wood and following an interchange of passing, Wood was able to score. Cook added the conversion and Scunthorpe had taken a 21 points to 5 lead after 25 minutes. The Greens continued to have more of the play and created a few opportunities but squandered them all with some sloppy play. The teams went into the interval with the score unchanged with the home support wandering how so many chances had gone to waste.
Lichfield, to the great credit, continue with their attacking philosophy and were rewarded after 10 minutes when fullback Greg Massey joined the line and evaded the defence to go over in the under the posts. He then added the extras to put his team back in the game at 21 points to 12. Scunthorpe took play into the opposition ‘22’ but an inside pass from Tom Foster to Rendell-Tyrell was ruled forward as the flanker went in under the posts. The Greens had now managed to stem their profligacy with the ball and following excellent play from a set piece, moved the ball wide to the left and once checked, the supporting replacement, Eddie Newsum crossed close to the posts. Cook once more added the extras for a 28 points to 12 lead after 22 minutes of the second half.
The pressure from the home boys was now taking effect as Lichfield were increasingly have to attack from inside their own half. As mistakes increased so Scunthorpe pinned them back. It was from a penalty after 35 minutes that the home pack again drove forward and although being stopped short, the phases continued until Nick Dyson drove over the line. Cook again added the conversion for a 35 points to 12 lead. A run of injuries to Lichfield players led to the possibility of the game having to go uncontested but with little time left all ended well for the home team with another bonus point victory. A satisfying situation for coach Tim Robinson as last years Colts, Kane Linklater, Liam Brunt and Josh Sarsfield integrated well into the squad.
Next week The Greens undertake the long journey into Herefordshire to play Luctonians. The two teams last met a couple of season ago at national 4 level. Lucs, having come down last season have nonetheless put together a strong squad and go into the fixture on the back of a good win at Sandbach. It will take a good performance to maintain our place at the top of the table.