Scunthorpe Colts 39 Pocklington Colts 13
Great start to 2017 for Scunthorpe Colts.
On Sunday January 15th, Scunthorpe Colts played hosts to Pocklington Colts for their first match of 2017 at Heslam Park. In damp conditions, the home side posted six tries to the visitors' two and ran out worthy winners with an excellent second half display. A somewhat flattering scoreline, in an evenly matched game, the Greens' backline had too much power and pace for their North bank visitors.
The early exchanges were mainly played inside Pocklington's half, as the Scunthorpe team pressed forward. Quick line speed produced handling errors from the visitors on many occasions, as both sides got Xmas rustiness out of their system. Slowly, Pocklington came into the game and posted the opening score. A simple catch and drive from a lineout 15 yards out had the visiting Blues over after 18 minutes. Unconverted 0 – 5.
Scunthorpe responded well and Pocklington were pinned back in their own half. A succession of penalties led to a sin-binning for a Pocklington prop on 25 minutes, as he did not retreat 10 yards from a quick tap. Harsh, but maybe a try scoring opportunity was halted. Whilst a man down, Scunthorpe took advantage on 30 minutes. Clean lineout ball was won by captain Lewis Meyer and driven forward. The backs ran with purpose when the ball came out and a cutout ball from fullback Matty Boden allowed winger Devon James just enough room to go over in the corner. Unconverted 5 -5, and this was the half time score.
The second half did not start too well for the Greens but it would eventually improve. In the second minute, Second Row Stephen Middleton was yellow carded, again for not retreating 10 before tackling. Taking this advantage, the Blues from Pocklington scored their second try, and with the conversion led 5 – 12.
The team galvanised and started working as unit. From the kick off, Winger James was the first to react to a bouncing ball and won possession back. It was quickly distributed from livewire scrum half Archie Swain to flyhalf George Taylor. His deft kick over had the Pocklington defence stretched wide right, and it was gathered in by centre Jess Matthews as he chased. Touching down under the posts, giving Boden an easy conversion, the scores were level again 12-12.
Pocklington came back and tried to put the home side under pressure. Fullback Boden gathering in a bouncing clearance 30 yards from his own line and a high up and under had his opposite number knock on as the Greens advanced on him. A scrum win put Scunthorpe on the attack and only superb Pocklington scrambling defence could stop centre Ben Botham as he was held up over the line. A rare Greens handling error also stopped a certain try, with men over, but the deadlock was broken when Meyer called on Boden to kick a penalty 20 yards out from straight in front. Edging ahead for the first time, this decision was a game changer.
Pocklington came back and were attacking with purpose. However, a blitz defence as the Blues passed along the line was brilliantly anticipated by Morgan Turner and he ran 60 yards at pace, to extend the Greens lead, with the Pocklington flyer on the left wing just unable to catch him. Converted by Boden, the lead was now two scores at 22-12.
Pocklington did not help themselves from the restart. Prop Shay Hicks caught the kickoff but was dump tackled by the visitors' number eight, who then received the third yellow card, from a game that was not dirty at all!! Superb play from flanker Josh Sarsfield, led to the next score. At a ruck, the referee called the ball out and Sarsfield pounced. Meyer secured the ball and it was quickly shipped out after a storming Middleton drive. Taylor brought in hooker Jack McGrath,on the charge. Instead of just passing to faster men on the outside, he ran a beautiful line and drew in the only Pocklington defender. A sweet pass allowed Matthews a clear 20 yard sprint to touchdown. Teamwork at its best. Converted by Boden, the lead now extended to 29-12.
The Greens were now rampant. Everything they tried came off whilst Pocklington, had no luck at all. Middleton stole the ball one on one 10 yards inside his own half and stormed ten into their half. A superb backhand flick pass caught Morgan Bevan running at speed through a gap. He ghosted through three Pocklington players and then chose a superb line to outsprint and outthink the last defender. A 50 yarder at least. Middleton gets the assist, but don't forget the skill of the finish. Now 34-12.
The scoring was completed with 3 minutes to go. The impressive Boden, again showed his attacking prowess. Catching a kick, he noticed Pocklington were light on their right flank. Darting through, he was now over half way and in space to run. He might have got over himself, but unselfishly drew the covering defender putting the pacey Ben Botham on a 30 yard sprint to the line. A richly deserved try for one of Scunthorpe's best and most consistent performers. Unconverted final score 39-12.
A team performance where individuals clicked. Archie Swain continues to impress and his replacement Morgan Bevan also showed class. Second Row Stephen Middleton was destructive in his running. Man of the Match was flanker Josh Sarsfield, because he seemed to be everywhere and was at the heart of many of Scunthorpe's best moves. Pocklington did not deserve this scoreline but just caught the Greens on a day when it all clicked. Six tries, all scored by backs, in a game that was played in a good spirit and was most entertaining to watch.
1. Shay Hicks
2. Shea Matthews
3. Isreal Spry-Brittain
4. Charlie Hunt
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Lewis Meyer
7. Joshua Sarsfield
8. Kristan Martin
9. Archie Swain
10. George Taylor
11. Piers Sciolti
12. Jess Matthews
13. Ben Botham
14. Devon James
15. Matty Boden
16. Stephen Middleton
17. Morgan Turner
18. Danny Shungedza
19. Morgan Bevan
20. Jack McGrath
Report by Carl Meyer