Scunthorpe Colts 36 Selby Colts 31
First half blitz sees Scunthorpe Colts home against a talented Selby outfit.
On Sunday January 29th, Scunthorpe Colts played host to Selby Colts at Heslam Park. In just about perfect conditions for rugby, the home side posted six tries to the visitors' five, each with three conversions. With both sides excelling in attack, there was some excellent defence too. The visitors played the best rugby seen by a visiting Colts team this season and only a strong team effort saw Scunthorpe home.
As the colours clashed, Scunthorpe changed to their alternative kit of red and were soon under pressure from the visiting greens of Selby as the home side gifted possession back with a knock on in their own 22. Controlled and efficient rugby saw Selby pound the Scunthorpe line four times, thwarted by gallant defence each time. However, on the fifth, their talented number 10 cut inside with his awesome sidestep to touch down. Unconverted but 0-5 after four minutes.
Scunthorpe responded well within minutes. A stray pass into touch allowed Scunthorpe possession inside Selby territory. A quick tap by flanker Josh Sarsfield advanced Scunthorpe forward from a Selby offside decision. The momentum was carried on by a Stephen Middleton drive to the line. Quick acting hooker, Jack McGrath, passed to Sarsfield, allowing him to release to captain Lewis Meyer into space, wide right, with a sublime flick pass on contact. The big flanker did the rest, touching down. Unconverted, the score was 5-5.
On ten minutes, Scunthorpe took the lead. A huge punt from fly-half Jess Matthews had the Selby fullback scrambling as the ball bounced. Gathering in the ball, he was smashed by Scunthorpe speedster Devon James as he chased. With the ball out, scrum half Archie Swain reacted quickest by hacking the ball forward and outpacing the Selby defence as they came back, touching down. Again unconverted 10-5.
Then the class from the Selby backs showed. The running Ten beat three or four defenders on a lovely run through the centre, passing to their12 to finish the move. A beautiful rugby try that deserved the conversion.10-12. The ball was gathered in from the kick off and found its way to the number 12. He did the reverse, beating three or four home defenders with speed and a wicked sidestep, before releasing the 10 to finish it off. Awesome, if somewhat painful to watch from a home side's point of view. Within two minutes, a five point lead was now a nine point deficit.10-19. The game was only twenty minutes old!!
Scunthorpe's first half blitz was about to start. The Scunthorpe coaches changed things around in the backs and rotated the forwards to devasatting effect. Starving Selby of the ball, the home side advanced with power rugby and it took superb defence from Selby to hold up number eight, Bram Hollingsworth over the line. The resulting five yard scrum was won by Scunthorpe and driven in by Kristian Martin, who returned to the forwards after starting the game at centre. Quick recycling allowed power prop Shay Hicks to muscle his way over the line, near the posts. Converted by Jess Matthews, the visitors' lead was cut to two points 17-19.
Now on a roll, Scunthorpe finished the half in rampant mood. An Aiden Legge burst scattered the Selby defence and had Scunthorpe back in Selby territory. A darting scoot from Swain, cut through Selby like a surgeon's knife, setting up the pick and drive by second row Stephen Middleton, who could not be stopped, as he touched down. A Matthews conversion put the home side back in the lead - 24-19.
The kicking game of Matthews again had Scunthorpe in the ascendency. A huge up and under was not dealt with by a Selby defence, somewhat in shock at losing their lead. As the ball rolled around from the bounce, Swain again reacted better than anyone, punting it forward 20 yards to land and stop half a foot behind the Selby posts. Backing up, Winger Piers Sciolti won the race to the ball to touch down and give Matthews an easy conversion. 31-19, was the half time score.
Selby were superb in the second half and thwarted all the early Scunthorpe dominance. Matthews' touch-finders were excellent as Selby were being penalised time and time again. A Lewis Meyer catch and Scunthorpe drive of 20 yards, after winning all their own lineout balls, on ten minutes in the second half, was eventually passed out to playmaker Jess Matthews who was dump-tackled by his opposite number, who was yellow carded. There was no intent in the tackle, but he was lifted, and although placed safely on the ground, rules are rules.
A man down, Selby were superb in defence, as Scunthorpe were inventive in attack. A Matthews chip and chase with a ball steal, had a Ben Botham pass dropped by his team-mate with the line in sight. A lineout catch and drive, again only stopped when Scunthorpe knocked on because of in your face Selby resistance. Scunthorpe failed to turn their forward dominance into points and suffered on 22 minutes. Running fifteen yards in his own half, the Selby 12 ran over 60 yards, beating anyone and everyone who tried to tackle him. A class try from a class act. Supporters of both sides were in complete harmony with their admiration of his efforts. Converted, 31-26.
Scunthorpe forwards again tried to exert their dominance. Hollingsworth was so close but lost possession as he went to touch down, after a typical burst from him. Selby were unable to get out of their own 22, and forced an error from the visitors eight yards out. A scrum win was quickly picked up by Kristian Martin. Cutting back inside, he caught out the tiring Selby defence and wrestled his way over with half the Selby pack hanging on. Unconverted, 36-26 with six minutes left.
Silly penalties from the home side gave Selby the upper-hand and territory. Flanker Josh Sarsfield went and got an intercept with an unopposed run to the line. Correctly given offside, he threw the ball away in frustration and was rightly sin-binned with three minutes left. 30 yards from the Scunthorpe line, Selby went right, left and right again trying to set up the grandstand finish. Their 12 saw a gap and needed no second invitation, as he went over to complete a well deserved hat-trick. Unconverted, 36-31.
With less than a minute on the clock, Scunthorpe prop Shay Hicks gathered in the bouncing restart and drove it in, securing possession. In their eagerness, a stray Selby knee caught the big man and he was out cold. The resulting penalty kick was put into touch by Morgan Turner and as linesman Owen McNeil put his flag up, the game was over.
A superb game of Colts rugby, played hard but fair. No visiting Colts team this year has played so fairly and so well and they were a credit to themselves and their coaching staff. Unfortunately, they met a Scunthorpe squad determined to maintain their unbeaten start to 2017 after a difficult start to the 2016 season.
A great team performance where individuals again clicked. Man of the Match Archie Swain continues to impress and his replacement Will Greaves was class. Second Row Stephen Middleton was forward of the match. The returning Aiden Legge, Bram Hollingsworth, Dan Seargeant and Connor Graves will all benefit from their outing. Onto the next game with confidence high…
1. Shay Hicks
2. Jack McGrath
3. Connor Graves
4. Stephen Middleton
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Lewis Meyer
7. Joshua Sarsfield
8. Bram Hollingsworth
9. Archie Swain
10. Jess Matthews
11. Piers Sciolti
12. Kristan Martin
13. Ben Botham
14. Devon James
15. Daniel Sargeant
16. Sam Longstaff
17. Morgan Turner
18. Isreal Spry-Brittain
19. Morgan Bevan
20. Will Greaves
21. Aden Legge
Report by Carl Meyer