The Yorkshire outfit are a new development team based within Doncaster Knights, a side set up in the hope they can keep young talent from the colts within the club if they don’t exceed expectations by jumping straight into the first team.
Like the Greens, Doncaster were unbeaten so far this season…………the ideal recipe for an entertaining fixture!
Scunthorpe were forced into a few changes with the talented ‘Mr Versatile’ Gav Drewry moving from number 8 to hooker to cover for the injured Olly Aldridge, Ben Wright covering the ever present Nay Turner in the front row and a welcome return to Lewis Jones at outside centre. Despite the changes, due to the strength in depth this term, the Greens side on show were going to take some beating.
Doncaster kicked off and immediately put the Greens under pressure, pinning them back in their own 22. Despite an excellent leap to gather the ball from the kick off by Dan Mather, the chase was equally as good. Much to the disbelief of the home side this would set the tone for the entire first half as the Greens struggled to maintain possession in the Doncaster half. Unfortunately the home side’s lineout wasn’t functioning as well as it can and some debatable decisions against the Greens didn’t help matters. Whenever the Greens did venture into the Yorkshiremen’s territory their Croatian International fly half managed to get his hands on the ball and use his useful boot to good effect in order to re-apply the pressure.
The first half saw the Greens put their bodies on the line and produce possibly their best ever defensive display. In particular, the brick wall that is Andy Warrilow was in rampant mood, hitting everything in sight and his team mates soon followed suit. Doncaster must have been wandering at this point what on earth they had to do to break down this stubborn defence.
The Greens did what most would perceive as unusual in a game of rugby and turned defence into points. The shear commitment to the breakdown from Scunthorpe forced Doncaster into either holding on or killing the ball which was to be their downfall. Ian Lee kicked 4 penalties to give the Greens a 12-0 half time lead.
Had it not been for the Scunthorpe packs work rate, Mick Coults organisation at 10 and the quality of tackling from Lewis Jones and Rick Lee in midfield then the scoreline could have been somewhat different.
Half Time Scunthorpe 12 V 0 Doncaster
Now talk about a game of two halves……………the next 40 minutes was all about Scunthorpe. Despite being dominated in the first period, the way all 18 men involved on the day reacted in the second period was like 18 rockets had been stuck somewhere they don’t belong! A real show of team spirit and belief!
The forwards were now in confident mood, Drewry, Warrilow, Dyson and Mather all made good breaks while the front row of Mychaijluk and Wright along with Redmile and Stow did the dirty work and to good effect as always. Dave Westhead at 9 was now able to give a platform for Coult to open the game up and in defence Westhead tortured the young Doncaster scrum half to thwart any opportunities.
Pressure soon paid as the Greens were awarded another penalty just inside the Doncaster half. Lee opted to go for the 3 points and confidently converted despite the constant barracking from the very vocal Doncaster 10 (remember this is a New Zealand born Croatian international who hadn’t yet scored a point, yet he continues to remind us of his 45 caps!). Clearly it was going to take a lot more to silence this man!
Scunthorpe’s next wave of attack came from Gav Hale who raced to touch down after several good phases of play. Hale was confident he was first to the ball but the referee gave the benefit of the doubt to Doncaster and disallowed the try, allowing them to clear their lines.
The first try of the game came on 60 minutes. Stow took the ball on from the back of a scrum and closely followed by the pack he ploughed into the Doncaster defence. The ball was recycled to Coult who magnificently switched play to find Ian Lee out wide on the left. Lee dummied the winger then stepped the full back to race under the posts to finish off a great team try and then followed up with the conversion. 22-0.
The pack were now absolutely dominant and the Greens were playing excellent rugby. Coult was using the power of Rick Lee to commit the Doncaster defenders before allowing either the forwards to work off his shoulder or putting Jones, Whiteley and Hale in space out wide. Everyone was getting in on the action as the Greens looked to finish the game in style.
Doncaster’s frustration began to show and on 70 minutes their back row became one man light as they received a sin bin. Lee added insult to injury by converting another 3 pointer. 25-0.
In to the last 5 minutes of the game and the Greens scored a superb team try to cap off a well earned victory. From inside their own half the home pack rumbled into the Doncaster 22. Dave Westhead who had his best game for the 3rd’s to date picked up from the base of a ruck and was unstoppable as he powered over the line from close range. Lee again converted to take the score to 32-0.
Doncaster made one last ditch attempt to score in the final minute but Matt Meadows is no fool in defence as he showed by driving the opposing winger into touch, with the assistance of 3 team mates. This was great work ethic at this point of the game when it was already won, showing the desire to keep a clean sheet!
The Greens played the perfect game from start to finish despite spending a long period of time under the cosh. This match was not won through anyone kicking well or one or two guys having individually brilliant games, it was simply down to the fact that 1 to 15 worked for one another for 80 minutes!
Man of the match honours should go to the team, however the votes were shared between Ian Lee for another 100% performance with the boot and Andy Warrilow for his shear work rate in attack and defence. Warrilow is proving to be a special addition to the third team this season.
Full Time Scunthorpe 32 V 0 Doncaster
(Apologies for the lack of humour, i wouldnt dare attempt to outdo Chris Redmile on that front!)