After a last minute pitch inspection following a downpour overnight, Scunthorpe travelled to a very windy Rotherham with the promise of a good morning’s rugby playing a previously unbeaten team.
Scunthorpe Rhinos lost the toss and were caught napping by the Rotherham side who scored the first try of the day, Murr levelling with a run through the middle straight from the resulting kick off. Scunthorpe took a while to ‘wake up in defence and they shared tries with Rotherham William Ogg added Scunthorpe’s try before Rotherham added another which was again matched by the direct running style of Murr. It looked as though the try swapping would continue but Alfie Taylor seized on a loose pass he fed Charley Wilkinson who charged down the wing scoring from long range. That gave Scunthorpe the impetus they needed to kick on turning the ball over with a series of tags, Taylor capitalising on this with his unique style of running to score, he added 2 more through great support play to secure a quick fire hat-trick.
Scunthorpe conceded one more before William Ogg scored in the corner, followed by Murr’s hat trick try at half time the score being 8-4 to Scunthorpe.
Following half time Scunthorpe continued where they left off Jack Gardener adding a try with a skipping run through the middle, Scunthorpe then shared tries again with Rotherham, Ogg securing his hat-trick to make the score an intimidating 10-5. Scunthorpe then seemed to switch off with a series of mistakes with the pass not going to hand or players in touch, Rotherham went on to exploit this and pulled 3 tries back to get to within 2 scores. Ogg restored the balance with a try out wide, before Rotherham came back with yet another score, Scunthorpe then put to bed any mini Rotherham revival with some strong tagging by Joseph Bingham and Gardener as Jake Kreamer scored and Taylor added 1 more before Ogg rounded off the scoring in his birthday week. Final score was 15-11 in Scunthorpe’s favour.
Scunthorpe Crusaders vs Rotherham.
Scunthorpe Crusaders match started the same as Scunthorpe’s as they shared tries with Scunthorpe without a tag being taken, Longden grabbing Scunthorpe’s 1st with a great step to totally wrong foot all the defence, Alfie Oldridge the second with a direct run and Lewis Talbot the 3rd with a trademark mazy run. Scunthorpe then managed to turn the ball over as Rotherham spilled it forward in the face of some good pressure by the Scunthorpe defence, Chris Green capitalised and scored in the corner, Green then saw space outside of Talbot and took the pass from Talbot at pace to run into open field to score.
Talbot and Longden then gave each other tries in similar positions Talbot first receiving a wide pass from Longden to score and then longden receiving a wide pass from Talbot in almost identical situations. Rotherham pulled one back on the stroke of half time to leave the score 7-3.
Again the habit of sharing tries with the opposition came into play Emily Milner forcing her way through to score Scunthorpe’s try and Oldridge adding his second after Rotherhams obligatory try.
Scunthorpe remained determined and again their talent came through to pressurise the Rotherham attack into making mistakes completing one set of 7 tags, Talbot scored a try either side of an Oldridge brace to leave a final score 13-9.
A fantastic determined effort by both sides who are showing signs of turning into a quality side, it is evident both sides are also more than ready for the rigours of contact as the games become slightly more physical Scunthorpe are more than a match for most teams.
Player of the week went to Harry Robinson for his excellent positional play, Tagger went to Jack Gardener not just for this week but for several big efforts in defence.