SCUNTHORPE RUFC 3rd XV vs BP CHEMICALS
Saturday 6 September 2014
Saturday 6 September saw the opening fixture of the 2014-15 rugby season. The 3rd XV’s original opponents Dinnington 2’s uncharacteristically cried off late on Thursday evening. However, the 3rd XV were grateful to the clubs fixture secretary for finding a replacement fixture, and a home one at that, against local merit league rivals BP Chemicals.
Due to a significant number of injuries, unavailability’s and a stag do, selection was a very interesting affair. 3rd team players were called up to the 2nds, 4th team players were called up to the 3rds and 5th team players were called up to the 4ths. This resulted in the club being unable to field 5 teams on the opening weekend of the season, which was disappointing.
Upon arrival at Oglesby Park, Scunthorpe played a bit of touch or participated in the usual drop goal practice, BP on the other hand, had a much more structured warm up, utilising tackle bags no less. The home side knew, therefore, that this was going to be a difficult fixture
The home side won the toss and elected to play up the slight slope in the first half.
The first half was a very non-descript affair. The game was littered with handling errors and mistakes from both sides and became a very stop start affair. The major difference between the sides was the visitors were much more disciplined that the boys in Green, as numerous penalties were conceded. BP had in their ranks a very astute kicker who easily added converted two kickable attempts, and was unfortunate with a third long range event which just dipped under the uprights.
A verbal dressing down from skipper Spelman resulted in the home side being left in no uncertain terms that their current level of performance was not acceptable. This had the desired affect as finally the home side raised their game. A searing break from 2nd rower Dawson saw the player finally tackled on the visitors 22, excellent support play saw the ball recycled. Numerous passages of play ensued before a poor pass from Nundy to Shaw in support saw a try go begging with the try line inches away.
However, the home side did cross the white wash from the next play. A poor clearance kick saw the ball caught by Shaw. The flame haired full back carried the ball back deep inside the visitors 22. Numerous pick and go’s saw the Greens inch ever closer to the try line, before skipper Spelman picked and went himself, using his strength and agility to score the try. With the ball on the touchline, Redhead struck the conversion beautifully to add the two points. However, Scunthorpe were forced in to a reshuffle when centre Rob White had to leave the field with a nasty looking ankle injury.
With no further scores, it was 7-6 to the home side at half time.
The second half started in much the same way as the first, with numerous dropped balls and stoppages in play. This coupled with numerous penalties conceded as a result of temper tantrums from the home sides Nundy saw the boys in Green struggle to build any momentum.
When the home side did mount any phases of play, they looked a dangerous outfit. Tom Fell, Luke Murray and Colin Redhead were made breaks which put Scunthorpe on the front foot. From a break made by Lee Hyde, the home side ventured into the BP half. The ball was recycled to the three quarters before Lloyd Akers made a break splitting the visitors centres before passing unselfishly to James Hartley-Sinclair in support to score the try. Colin Redhead again added the extras from right on the touch line to increase the lead to 14-6.
BP were dominating the scrum, but they were unable to capitalise on any good ball they won as the Scunthorpe defence held firm. Any forays in to the Scunthorpe half were as a result of penalties conceded by the home side. Fortunately for the boys in Green none of these opportunities were capitalised on as the hooker had an off day with his throwing.
He home side were reduced to 14 players following the prevention of a quickly taken tap penalty. However, they never looked like scoring even with the man advantage.
It was testament to the home side that they increased the score further, despite being down to 14 men when following a break made by Matthew Shaw, quick ball again saw Lloyd Akers find left winger Robbie Johnston this time who out paced his opposite number to score in the corner. Unfortunately the conversion was missed to leave the full time score 19-6 to Scunthorpe.
A win is a win, but an improvement in performance is required as sterner tests await the defending merit table champions.