Scunthorpe arrived at the impressive surroundings of Sandal, looking to play in the three way including Selby, what was forecast was a windy and wet day so everyone was pleasantly surprised when they stepped out of the car to find a nice day, this was soon to be dashed as the wind and rain drove in and Scunthorpe were left playing on a muddy pitch.
Scunthorpe were split into two evenly matched teams and the first side went out to play a Sandal team, who several of which wouldn't of looked out of place a year or two above, the Scunthorpe coaches left scratching their heads at how the Yorkshire teams are so much taller than the Lincolnshire ones.
Scunthorpe kicked off against Selby and they were met with a determined opposition in that the Sandal were equally good in the execution of the tackle, Sandal had the better of Scunthorpe in a couple of aspects in the speed from the offside line and running onto the ball, some fantastic tackles by Lewis Talbot, Charley Wilkinson and Chris Green were managing to stem the onslaught from the Sandal players, even when Scunthorpe had ball in hand they unfortunately played one pass rugby meaning it was easy for the Sandal players to defend and Scunthorpe struggled to get good 'go forward' ball. Try as they might they could not breach the Sandal defence, had the 7 tackle turnover been enforced (which was agreed between the coaches it wouldn't be) then both sides would have relinquished the ball on numerous occasions with tackles flying in from all over, the half finished 15-5 in Sandal's favour with Scunthorpe's try coming from Talbot.
The second half continued in a similar vain, Sandal were able to offload out of the tackle and create quick ball where as Scunthorpe were very static, Longden on a few occasions taking up a good position out wide only to see the ball not come to him. Harry Soulby having one great run tacking 4 tacklers with him, set the tone for Longden to score, but despite the great efforts in defence from Longden, Murr, Wilkinson, Talbot and Green the first half ended in a similar way to that of the first Scunthorpe's first loss of the season in 30-10 reverse.
Scunthorpe's other side played sandals other team and it was clear to see there was a difference in the two teams in that there wasn't the aggressiveness nor the eagerness out of the defensive line, this Sandal side had nothing on their team mates in terms of size and stature Scunthorpe exploited this and Alfie Taylor made in roads running and tackling hard throughout the game, Alfie Oldridge was back to his former self making tackles and running with ball in hand, backed up by the superb tackling of Dante Salvatore-Chapman Scunthorpe were well on top in this half. William Horner was his usual speedy self and drifting in in and out of the defenders was able to wriggle through, Jake Kreamer also showing great support in always being there for his team mates to offload too. The half finishing 35-10 in Scunthorpe's favour.
There was no let up after the break as a thoroughly good team performance was witnessed, soccer convert Isaac Elliot on debut making good tackles and even popping up with a try in the corner after seizing a spilt ball...even saying as he did rugby is better than football!!!! Further scores from Horner, Taylor and Oldridge left Scunthorpe with a 55-10 win and a good defensive display in not letting the Sandal side cross the line.
Scunthorpe side which played first accepted the offer of a game from Selby as coach Oldridge limped after the first Sandal side coach to try and organise another game.
Both were played at the same time the Selby game first then...
Scunthorpe set off with the coaches words ringing in there ears about the passes and the defence being more aggressive and they were soon into there stride again with strong runs from Green and Longden. Good Tackles coming from Harry Robinson and the amount of times Jack Standerline wanted the ball was admirable. Murr took a good offload and sprinted up the wing only to see him place the ball over the wrong line, he wasn't held and managed to stand, stretch out and place the ball over the try line, Murr followed this up with his second with a strong run down the wing, A diving Talbot try rounded of the first half scoring and Scunthorpe were up 15-0 at half time and looked to be cruising.
Scunthorpe were met with a rejuvenated Selby side as they were tackling stronger running harder at the Scunthorpe defence, again good tackles came in through Soulby and Wilkinson, however, Selby managed to break through on 2 occasions to bring themselves to within a try, and as they pushed hard a hurried pass was thrown into the air which Talbot caught and ran the ball in for a close 20-10 win.
Meanwhile on the other pitch Scunthorpe were playing the big lads of Selby having re-recruited them in from all over the field, despite lots of good tackles through Oldridge and Salvatore-Chapman followed by a bit of argy bargy between Kreamer and a Sandal player on the floor, Scunthorpe found themselves 20-0 down, Scunthorpe were standing up to the aggressive runners from Sandal and were matching them not taking a backward step, a high tackle saw a Sandal player dismissed but then turned out to be a substitution.
Scunthorpe had the last say through Taylor and Elliot but as they started to find momentum an injury to Bingham brought a halt to proceedings.
Despite suffering their first defeats of the season there were lots of positives to the games non more so in defence when standing up to much bigger players and the determination to carry on
Player of the week went to Alfie Taylor who did well to lead the fight forward to the Sandal players and also a Player of the month was awarded to Lewis Talbot for all round good displays and his fearless defensive abilities.