Sheffield RUFC 24 - 20 Scunthorpe RUFC
Sheffield show real passion, with no little grit and determination to take the points from top of the table Scunthorpe...
Sheffield RUFC 24 - 20 Scunthorpe RUFC
Team Selection for Saturday, 24th November 2018
15 Andy Hodgson
14 Rupert Broadley
13 Lewis Bowman
12 James Flint
11 Gareth Morley
10 Matt Law
9 Steve Depledge
1 Ben Whitney
2 Ianto Jones
3 Dan Rylance
4 Dave Clayden
5 Dom Parsons
6 Jason Hignell
7 Zak Smith
8 Sean Casey
16 Joe Cooke
17 Tommy Womack
18 Jonny France
After the fine performance away to Sandbach last Saturday, Sheffield were to face league leaders, Scunthorpe, who have a reputation of grinding out wins even when they are not on top form. Sheffield went into the match with neither centre Rob Conville nor wing Ali Womack, together with full back Laulu Togaga'e who has departed to take up a contract with Rugby League side Halifax. Tom Womack and Jason Hignell swapped places at blindside flanker and the bench and the coaching team decided to put 3 forwards on the bench, with Joe Cooke joining Tom Womack and Jonny France, making his long-awaited season debut.
Sheffield got off to a good start despite a number of unforced errors at the line out, which they managed to recover through the awareness of prop forward Dan Rylance. The scrum looked strong and Scunthorpe were under pressure for several minutes. Sheffield had a scrum 5-metres out after a drive from the line out was deemed to be held up. The scrum had to be reset three times as Scunthorpe struggled, but quick hands from the scrum led to outside centre Lewis Bowman going in under the posts after 7 minutes. Steve Depledge did not miss the kick and Sheffield led by 7 points to nil. Four minutes later it looked like winger Rupert Broadley had been put free and clear with just the full back to beat, but referee Callum Watson deemed the pass forward and we had to come back for the scrum. Sheffield were denied again on 17 minutes when Gareth Morley broke away before passing to Lewis Bowman, but again the pass was deemed as forward. Scunthorpe were to get on to the scoreboard just two minutes later when Lewis Bowman was penalised for a high tackle on his opposite number, Will Robinson. Scunthorpe full back Paul Cook converted and the lead was reduced to 7 points to 3.
Shortly afterwards, Sheffield were to lose wing Rupert Broadley to injury, which saw back row forward Jonny France make his debut in the centre, with Lewis Bowman moving to the wing. Then on 24 minutes, Sheffield were awarded a penalty of their own, which Steve Depledge despatched to move the lead out to 10 points to 3. Sheffield pressed hard and were regularly up in the Scunthorpe 22-metre zone. So, when Sheffield kicked to the corner, the clearance kick from the line out left Sheffield with an attacking opportunity just 10 metres out. Sheffield set up the driving maul and moments later Number 8 Sean Casey was the happy recipient of the score. Once again, Steve Depledge did the honours and Sheffield led by 17 points to 3 after 30 minutes. Sheffield continued to pile the pressure on and following a string of penalties close to the Scunthorpe line, Scunthorpe’s replacement second row, Tom Hughes was sin-binned and Sheffield had a penalty 5-metres out. Once again, they went for the driving maul, but Scunthorpe’s defence held firm. Eventually the ball came right and another try looked certain, but with the line begging Sheffield knocked on and Scunthorpe were able to relieve the pressure when they won a free kick at the resulting scrum. Scunthorpe were able to ride out the remaining few minutes of the half and we turned around with a 17 point to 3 lead.
The early period of the second half saw the two sides unable to take control of events and some frustration was evident in both sets of players. The first break-through came Scunthorpe’s way on fifty-three minutes when Sheffield were deemed to be off-side on their 10-metre line. Paulk Cook once again added the points and Sheffield lead was cut to 17 points to 6. Sheffield responded immediately from the kick off. Sheffield launched an attack straight off of the back of a line out and scampered off down the right side with inside centre James Flint finishing off the move with as score out on the right. Again, Stave Depledge added the conversion and Sheffield had extended their lead out to 24 points to 6 after 56 minutes.
There followed a comedy of errors from both teams, but which in the end were to be more damaging to Sheffield. Sheffield were awarded a penalty. Matt Law kicked to touch for a line out. The line out was won, but Sheffield were deemed to have been accidentally off side and Scunthorpe had the scrum. Scunthorpe conspired to turn the ball over to Sheffield and as Sheffield scampered away down the right wing, referee Callum Watson again called them back for what he saw as a forward pass. We all disagreed. From the resulting scrum Scunthorpe moved the ball down their three-quarter line, and a smart switch in mid-field saw the impressive Will Robinson run clean through the Sheffield defence. The referee did not, however, see the forward pass that put him into the gap and Robinson ran clear through under the Sheffield posts. Paul Cook added the conversion and the lead was now only 24 points to 13 after sixty-two minutes. Sheffield’s centre Lewis Bowman was injured in the attempt to get back to stop the try and had to be replaced by flank forward Zak Smith.
Sheffield recovered and held a resurgent Scunthorpe at bay, but the disruption of having to replace backs with forwards was not helping and slowly Scunthorpe began to show how they grind games out when they are in a difficult position. They found themselves attacking close on Sheffield’s try line. On this occasion, referee Watson decided that Sean Casey had erred at the breakdown and he was despatched to the sin-bin, despite there having been no other penalty against Sheffield in the ‘Red Zone’. Sheffield battled on, but two minutes later Steve Depledge also saw yellow. Scunthorpe now smelt blood, with Sheffield down to thirteen men, but it took a full further two minutes before Scunthorpe prop forward Ollie Cole was able to get over the line. Paul Cook added the conversion and with three minutes left to play Sheffield led by a mere 24 points to 20. From the kick off, Scunthorpe cleared to the Sheffield 10-metre line, and despite a great deal of interference at the line out from the Scunthorpe forwards, Sheffield clung on to the ball. Fully reminiscent of the last few minutes of our play-off match at Rossendale two seasons ago, Sheffield kept control of the ball for a full three minutes before swishing it back to Jonny France and as the onrushing Scunthorpe attack closed him down he calmly kicked the ball to touch and Sheffield had survived a late Scunthorpe revival, two very disruptive injuries and two even more disruptive yellow cards to take a hard fought and well deserved win.
01-Dec-18 Syston RFC Home League
08-Dec-18 Bournville RFC Away League
15-Dec-18 Broadstreet RFC Home League
|Time||Scorer||Type of Score||Team||Score||Score|
|7||Lewis Bowman (11)||Try (1)||Sheffield RUFC||5||-||0|
|7+1||Steve Depledge (9)||Conversion (1)||Sheffield RUFC||7||-||0|
|19||Paul Cook (15)||Penalty (1)||Scunthorpe RUFC||7||-||3|
|24||Steve Depledge (9)||Penalty (1)||Sheffield RUFC||10||-||3|
|36||Sean Casey (8)||Try (2)||Sheffield RUFC||15||-||3|
|36+1||Steve Depledge (9)||Conversion (2)||Sheffield RUFC||17||-||3|
|Half Time: -||17||-||3|
|53||Paul Cook (15)||Penalty (1)||Scunthorpe RUFC||17||-||6|
|56||James Flint (12)||Try (3)||Sheffield RUFC||22||-||6|
|56+1||Steve Depledge (9)||Conversion (3)||Sheffield RUFC||24||-||6|
|62||Will Robinson (13)||Try (1)||Scunthorpe RUFC||24||-||11|
|62+1||Paul Cook (15)||Conversion (1)||Scunthorpe RUFC||24||-||13|
|76||Ollie Cole (3)||Try (2)||Scunthorpe RUFC||24||-||18|
|76+1||Paul Cook (15)||Conversion (2)||Scunthorpe RUFC||24||-||20|