Greens Keep Up the Pace at the Top of the League
First half dominance followed by second half folly
The Greens played the first home game of the new year without Tom Hughes and Guy Mychujluk, Whilst senior coach, Tim Robinson is in Hong Kong on a university teaching exchange.
The game kicked off with good surface conditions but a cold biting wind was always evident. With bragging local rites at stake, the Doncaster boys were first to show their paces by moving the ball across the pitch to both flanks. The home boys won a penalty, following a turnover by Jakob Hardy and placed the ball into the visiting ‘22’. They then showed their forward power by driving over from the lineout, for Grant Elliott to touchdown. Paul Cook added the conversion for a 7 points to nil advantage after 7 minutes. The Phoenix boys continued in their flamboyant style and after several phases, created an overlap in the left hand corner, which the referee ruled had been illegally stopped and awarded a penalty try. The game was now level at 7 points apiece after 21 minutes. Cook was yellow carded for the offence which resulted in the penalty try award, so Scunthorpe were now down to 14 men.
The home side continued to dominate despite being a man down and won a penalty in the 25th minute which was well struck by Will Robinson in the absence of Cook. Scunthorpe now held a 10 points to 7 lead. The Doncaster boys gained some respite when Dan Cusack struck a penalty on the half hour. Scunthorpe came straight back and from a 5 metre scrum, the drove the visitors over their own line for a touchdown by Ben Hyde. The conversion was missed but The Greens now held a 15 points to 10 advantage after 35 minutes. The home boys were soon back on the attack and following multiple phases it was Hardy that squeezed over in the right hand corner for the try. Cook added the extras with a finely judged kick against the cross-wind. The home boys now led by 22 points to 10 going into first half injury time. The Phoenix boys attacked hard to get a score back but a mistake allowed Sam Morgan to snaffle the ball and race from his own ‘22’ to within 10 metres of the visitors line, before passing to Tom Foster for the run-in. Cook added the extras and The Greens went into the interval with a 29 points to 10 lead.
The home dominance continued as the second period commenced and following an attack virtually from the re-start, Robinson went over in the left hand corner. The conversion was unsuccessful but The Greens were now in control at 34 points to 10 after only 2 minutes of the second period.
The Phoenix boys stuck to their game plan and swung the ball about and were rewarded when James Wright touched down in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed and the score was now 34 points to 15. The game took an interesting turn after about 15 minutes of the second half, when the Doncaster boys went to uncontested scrums following a front row injury. The referee allowed them a full contingent on the field for the next 15 to 20 minutes before realising that they had to forfeit a player. He did apologies to both captains but it could have led to dire consequences had the final result been changed.
The visitors benefitted from not having to contest the scrummages and it nullified the obvious home team advantage in that area. Doncaster went on to score two more tries, one more for Wright and another at full-time from a driving maul. The second of these was converted by Dan Cusack for a final result of 34 points to 27 in favour of the home team. This enabled Phoenix to take home two valuable points to aid them in their battle against relegation. Scunthorpe still had the comfort of a bonus point victory which keeps them at the top of the table.
Match Report By LWJ Clayton