Hullensians Colts 19 Scunthorpe Colts 24
Away victory at Hullensians has Colts close to winning their league.
On Sunday March 19th, Scunthorpe Colts travelled to East Yorkshire side Hullensians on the North bank. Outscoring the home side four tries to three and with a bonus point secured, the Francis Flower Colts are one victory away from securing top spot in their league. A remarkable turn around since Christmas, that has seen them lose only one league game.
The kick off from Hullensians with a strong wind at their backs, did not go the ten and so Scunthorpe were soon on the offensive. A scrum win and deft kick from fly-half Jess Matthews pinned the hosts back inside their 20 yard line. A beautiful lineout steal from Matty Wormold put the Greens in control. Hullensians repelled the early onslaught, but the Greens kept coming back. Intelligent play from hooker Jack McGrath, seeing space on the left and his chip over had Scunthorpe deep inside the hosts’ 22 once more. The early dominance was rewarded on 12 minutes, when Captain Lewis Meyer secured the lineout and Scunthorpe drove forward. The home side were penalised trying to stop the move, and whilst they tried to reorganise, flanker Josh Sarsfield, quickly tapped and went, and squeezed over. A difficult conversion was missed but Scunthorpe led 5-0.
Winger Devon James caught the restart kick and skinning his man on the outside, he was free. A chip and chase over the fullback had Hullensians scrambling back and again Scunthorpe had territory. Although, the home side had the advantage of the elements, the more controlled and inventive play was from the visitors.
Gradually, the home side grew into the game. A clear knock on, in the build up play, was not given and when Hullensians stole the ball from the resulting lineout, their rampaging number 8 burst through tacklers, and although prop Jon Rigby appeared to have got under the ball, the try was awarded. So, on 26 minutes, with an easy conversion, the home side led 7-5. This remained the score until half-time, and was certainly a satisfactory half because of the strong wind.
Scunthorpe started strongly in the second half, too. Prop Aiden Legge was the force behind the Greens pack. Harshly adjudged and penalised for a squeeze ball in his opening charge, he made up for it on 8 minutes of the second half. An easy penalty 10 yards from the Hullensians line was ignored, as captain Meyer sensed the home side were rocking. Legge drove it in, bounced off the first defender with ease and darted through the gap he alone had created, and went over before Hullensians could react. This prop certainly has rugby intelligence and not just power. Converted by Matthews, the Greens led 12 – 7.
Gaining in confidence, the visitors played the controlled rugby, whilst the home side played to their strengths of free flowing passing at pace. However, Hullensians found it so difficult to break the line because of the tackling of wingers Charlie Hunt and Devon James along with centres Charlie Van Gils and Morgan Turner. Their line speed and determination was a joy to watch. Although, Hullensians tried, they could not pose any real attacking threat.
A superb long kick by Matthews, aided by the wind, on 11 minutes, had the impressive Hullensians fullback turning round. Winger James made the 60 yard chase, and caught him when he tried to sidestep him. Only yards from his own tryline, a panicked pass went behind the deadball line to give Scunthorpe a scrum 5. The usual McGrath scrum win had Connor Graves pick up and go from the base, going over for the inevitable try. No one was going to stop this wrecking ball from so close out. He did have the luck that he appeared to ground it short and did a double movement to reach the line. The referee was unsighted and all he saw was the ball on the line and the try was awarded. Converted by Matthews 19-7.
Scunthorpe were again in control, although Hullensians used their full bench to add fresh legs, the Greens remained unbroken. Great pick-ups and goes from breakdowns by Sarsfield and McGrath, made the yardage on the right and when the ball was spread to the left, Winger James appeared from nowhere, to burst down the left wing, to support the attack. He pushed off the winger opposite to him and raced the 20 yards down the touchline to score. 24-7.
Sensing the game was won, the Greens took the foot off the pedal and sloppy handling and penalties kept inviting this talented East Yorkshire team back into the game. A quick tap and delightful passing got them the position on the Greens’ left, a yard from the line. Quick recycling had them over in the corner. Score 24-12 with 15 minutes left.
Fly half Matthews controlled the latter stages of the game with his clearance kicking and touchfinders. An illegal neck roll on replacement centre Bram Hollingsworth, in centre field was not punished. With the last play of the game, a brilliant tap and run from Hullensians had them over again from 30 yards out. A great game was somewhat marred when he went over and appeared to be fouled when he touched down. Converted to give a final score of 24-19, as hopefully Scunthorpe march on to the league leaders’ shield.
Scunthorpe's man of the match was winger Devon James for his strong defence and quick thinking attacking play. Other noteworthy performances were scrum half Morgan Bevan, who gave a battling display on his return, along with flanker Josh Sarsfield, to name just two. In truth, the whole squad played for each other and deserved this victory at a Hullensians ground were most sides have lost at this campaign..
1. Aiden Legge
2. Jack McGrath
3. Jonathan Rigby
4. Stephen Middleton
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Shea Matthews
7. Joshua Sarsfild
8. Lewis Meyer
9. Morgan Bevan
10. Jess Matthews
11. Charlie Hunt
12. Charlie Van Gils
13. Morgan Turner
14. Devon James
15. Daniel Sargeant
16. Kristan Martin
17. Connor Graves
18. Bram Hollingsworth
19. Israel Spry-Brittain