Scunthorpe were back up to full compliment with the return of Drewry, Turner, Redmile and Hale and with home advantage they were in confident mood.
Sheffield won the toss and opted to play down the slope in the first half giving the Greens the kick off.
The game commenced and as to be expected there was nothing between the two sides in the opening exchanges. The Greens clearly had the upper hand in the forwards but Sheffield had the youth and speed out wide.
Sheffield opened the scoring on the 15 minute mark with a well worked team try, their right winger being the eventual scorer in the corner. This was soon followed by a penalty to give them an 8-0 lead.
The Greens hit right back though thanks to Rick Lee. From the kick off an excellent chase down by the Scunthorpe pack saw them recycle the ball to Lee inside the Sheffield 22 and he powered over under the sticks. Ian Lee converted to reduce the defecit to just a single point, 7-8.
The visitors were slightly shell shocked to the Greens response but as any good side would they too responded with their second try, again going over in the corner but this time on the left hand side to show they had an abundance of pace on both wings. The conversion was missed taking the score line to 7-13 in Sheffield’s favour.
Scunthorpe’s only hope of staying in touch in this fixture was to play a tight game and prevent Sheffield getting quick ball out to their backs. And this they did to good effect, in turn the pack made good ground and retained possession excellently.
The Greens mounted the pressure which eventually paid off and Dave Westhead was able to pick and go from the back of a ruck to score from close range, seeing him continue his excellent run of try scoring. The conversion was missed from wide on the left taking the Greens to within a point once again, 12-13.
With half time looming the Greens opted to play it safe knowing they would go into the second half with the downhill advantage and only trailing by a point wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Half Time Scunthorpe 12 v 13 Sheffield
Scunthorpe kicked off proceedings in the second period, Ian Lee put plenty of hang time on the ball allowing Mychaijluk to smash the Sheffield receiver……………the perfect start to get the psychological edge.
However Scunthorpe were forced into a couple of changes to their side, the most significant being the influential Gav Drewry having to withdraw from the field of play with a hamstring injury.
This seemed to knock the Greens a bit off their stride and again Sheffield registered the first score of the half. This try had a sense of déjà vous about it………….for the third time now in the game Sheffield shipped the ball out wide to score in the corner giving them a 6 point advantage.
The Greens then showed they too could play some attractive rugby, starting in their own half and working through several phases before releasing Mick Coult in space inside the Sheffield 22. Coult then linked up with the Greens try scoring machine this season Rick Lee who finished the move off in the corner taking the score to 17-18 as the game moved into the final quarter.
The next opportunity fell to Scunthorpe as they looked to take the lead for the first time. Rick Lee broke the defencive line and off loaded to Gav Hale who was clean through to score but the referee bizarrely pulled him back for a forward pass.
Scunthorpe then received another blow as their work horse Andy Warrilow pulled up with injury before the visitors registered another score to extend their lead to 17-25.
The Greens tried everything in their power to finish strongly and at least take a losing bonus point but it just wasn’t to be and Sheffield had the final say as their prop scored under the posts in the final play of the game.
Man of the match honours went to Guy Mychaijluk for a solid performance in the front row…………a performance that gained interest from the Sheffield coach!
A spirited performance from the Greens who have now proved they are more than capable of competing at this level. To only lose one game so far out of 15 this season is an outstanding achievement and one that every player involved should be proud of. The third’s will look to bounce back to winning ways in two weeks time when they travel to Selby.